by Lillian Csernica on April 3, 2013
C is for Consistency
Whether you’re writing a short story or a novel, the time will come when you rewrite it. Editing a manuscript means making lot of little changes and a few rather large ones. This forces you to read through the story to make sure all those changes line up in correct order.
This is the essence of consistency.
I’ve watched “Moonstruck” so many times I finally caught the mathematical error in the script. There are three references to when Cher’s husband died. They don’t add up to a consistent time frame. It’s not pivotal to the story. Most viewers wouldn’t notice. And yet, now that I know, I haven’t watched the movie since.
Authors who write successful novel series have staff whose specific duties involve making sure the current book is consistent with all previous books. Charlaine Harris has someone do this for the Sookie Stackhouse books. That became very important after Hurricane Katrina hit and Ms. Harris had to address the consequences of all the damage Katrina did in Sookie’s fictional Louisiana.
Good readers pay attention. Good writers respect that.