Writing a book is a long process, and I’m not even counting prior research, making time lines or edits. Most authors can take several months to years to finish a novel (with maybe the exception of the lovely Hannah Moskowitz , who has super human powers to complete writing a novel in the blink of an eye). In that time period, it’s not unusual to forget all the little details that went into the beginning of one’s work.
As I was doing a read through of Tears of a Clown, I found several mistakes of that nature. Seems like her step mom had a sudden name change half way through the book. Oops. Also, Jazz’s car was originally blue. I guess the next time I wrote about her in a car, I decided she was such a spunky kick ass kind of character that she needed something shiny and red! Then there were the two instances where my fingers just betrayed me and typed Chaz’s name as Chris. I don’t know what brought that on…but I don’t think it’s unusual to find those little issues. While you may keep your character descriptions, it’s impossible to have lists for all the little details you add in. That’s what editing is for anyhow, to catch those discrepancies.
Here’s the other time related issue I find I’m running into, the actual passage of time and days in my writing. While I could, and should, keep a graph of sorts to remind me of when a day has gone by in storyland, that doesn’t help with the actions that happen during that day or night. I find myself re-reading things and thinking “Wait…did enough time pass for him to get upstairs, change into those skimpy running shorts and lift enough weights to get that sexy light sheen of sweat going on?” As the author, we know where the story is going and how we want it to get there (most of the time) so I think we sometimes just write and write without stopping to think about things like “did I leave enough time for her to get to her locker and class before the bell?” and “is it safe for him to come to the door so soon after her folks left? Maybe they aren’t even half way down the road yet!”
I think we get a little leeway because it is a book, but I wonder if people really do stop and think about that stuff. I mean if it’s blatantly impossible, like someone getting from one side of the state to the other during a 5 minute conversation, then yes, I think people will call the author out on that, but the little stuff? I have a feeling most people will skip over the slight improbability factor. What says you fellow readers and authors?