Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - On Series - Rooting Out Inconsistencies. #MFRWauthor
Readers who love series can be very critical when an inconsistency occurs. The series can die before the writer is ready to say this is the last story. So how do these inconsistencies creep in. One way is for a lack of planning. Another is that the writer has missed something that was spelled out in another book in the series. Some series are filled with many inconsistencies but they continue. I;m not sure the reason can be found. Let's look at some of the ways they've managed to creep into the string of stories.
Oversights - This means the writer has forgotten something mentioned in one of the prior books in the series. This can be serious or something the reader can look over. My thought if the heroine or one of her friends was a blonde in a prior book and becomes a redhead in the current one, she probably had a reason for changing the color of her hair. But if there's a change in the nameof a major character, there's a problem.
Change Premise - This can throw a series totally off base. There is a search for an evil opponent throughout the books but along comes book 4 and the villain changes, or the writer forgets all about the villain and makes this a totally different kind of story where the villain doesn't even appear.
Technical Problems - This means a development of some technique that didn't exist in an earlier time in the story. Lately I've been updating some old stories about nurses and hospitals but there are no computers and these have to be added in to make them fit into the present level of technology. If a development is missing in the story the writer had better find a way to invent it or if the technical areas make a drastic change from one book in the series there needs to be a reason.
Continuity issues - Having a person be in two places at the same time in a series especially if the reader is a fanatic about the stories. Having a drastic change in the character's age. He was seventeen years older than his youngest brother. His brother is twenty-five in the current story but the main character is only thirty-five. This can be a problem.
Unanswered questions. What this means is that an issue that has been seen in mentions through the entire set of books is never resolved by the writer in the current book. Could be that the writer forgot or that the plug was pulled on the series before it was set to end.