Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cases of Disappearing THINGS

As it takes me days to draft one scene, I often find myself forgetting THINGS. I try to be mindful of character and place consistency, but THINGS are harder to remember. As I've read (and re-read (and re-read)) my manuscript, I find that THINGS have a tendency to disappear...

The mango and croissant Tess was eating? I definitely did not give her enough time to finish breakfast before she ran into the beach house to change. (Unless she ate it very fast.)

That water bottle she carried as she crossed through the rainforest with Quinn? Well, it ceased to exist when she grabbed a hold of the rope to climb a ruin. (Did she litter? Bad, bad Tess.)

What about the oars they used to beat a path through the island jungle? They really do need them to kayak back to shore, but suddenly Quinn finds his hands conveniently unburdened when he pulls out his camera.

Now the spear. (Oh the spear.) When I chose a fifteenth-century Spanish soldier as one of my heroes, I didn't consider that he'd be toting a spear half the time. He just rescued a small boy, and the spear happily vanished when he needed to lift the child off the ground.

Do you have trouble keeping tabs on all your literary props?

9 comments:

  1. Hmm, I don't think so. I find I have generally explained an object as going in a pocket (or whatever). However, I might just be really bad with 'continuity errors'.

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  2. This will sound funnier than it is, but I have trouble keeping track of my character's clothes! I'm going to have to cut out pics and put them in a file for each scene. I can't have them running around naked...or having wardrobe changes in the middle of a scene!

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  3. I definitely do! Sometimes I have people holding hands and I have to remember that they have to let go before holding something else!

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  4. Sometimes. It's so easy to get distracted.

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  5. I definitely do have troubles with THINGS in my drafts as well. It's so easy to let them slip your mind and become continuity issues.

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  6. wow you sure got a lot of disappearing stuff. ha ha. i think its easy to forget and i do it a lot in my stories but my brothers read my stuff and tell me and then i fix it. my last one was jumping off a cliff and opening my parachute i didnt have because i put it on the ground before i jumped. ha ha. i hope you could find that missing stuff. ...hugs from lenny

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  7. Good for you for noticing, though! My things don't so much as magically disappear as magically appear. Like, oh, how convenient! A sword! Even though this is a holding cell for prisoners! WHAT a coincidence! (oddly enough, it took until draft 3 for me to catch this)
    *sigh*
    :)

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  8. I forget stuff like that all the time. Thank heavens for critique groups!

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  9. I know just what you mean! I read the other day If there's a loaded gun... you'd better make sure your character uses it. It's a great analogy to remind us we have to follow through with those props and thoughts and things the characters have.

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