Good… bad… I`m the guy with the keyboard.
Slow Roasted Goodyness
Ah, patience. I so wish I knew thee better…
Like any good pulled pork (well, any good Southern pulled pork that is… still waiting for them northern folk to figure out that you can’t fast-cook everything) a good novel takes time. A lot of time, really. Even if you’re only at your keyboard for six hours writing, the story is in your mind all the time. And the plot lines, characters, destinations and localities all reside there on a permanent basis. The author should have a solid grasp on everything, and it’ll taste wonderful at the end (insert crude joke here… c’mon, you know you want to).
So then why, when we read a novel of our favorite writer, are there glaring inconsistencies between books with the same characters?
For me, it’s because the story is always flowing in my head. Things I could have done better, explained better, shown better… and I want to improve. So I improve, and I forget some of the things that made the original so special to me in the first place. Then I start to confuse facts (did you know I called Jade the wrong name a dozen times in the first read-through of Corruptor?) and the next thing you know it reads more like a drunken Mafia don’s hitlist than a novel. Trust me, the woman who edited Corruptor cried tears of blood once she finally finished working her way through my mess. She’s wonderful and I should get her a Christmas card this year…
But for other authors, part of their problem is is that they don’t use any sort of tracking chart. Or they don’t take many notes on what they write. Or, best (worst?) of all, they have written so many farkin’ books that they can’t even keep track of what series they’re writing in at the moment. Authors like King, John Ringo and Laura K. Hamilton have so many books out there that inevitably they’re going to screw up some minor detail that, while the publisher and editor might miss, that one fan in Iowa sure as hell won’t. It’s the nature of the game, really.
Does anyone else notice this, or am I just blowing smoke (and pulled pork, which is currently sitting in a tub of brine in the refrigerator waiting for me to cook it)?