This post is a short one. I wrote previously about the top ten mistakes writers make, but those were mistakes that made it into print. I haven’t really discussed the mistakes that you should look out for when you’re still in the writing process. One of those mistakes is performing magic tricks with people and objects, namely making them disappear. It’s a problem I face all the time, especially when I go back to a project after a long time of not working on it. What I’m trying to say here, is if you put a cup of coffee, or a revolver, or a small, two-headed lizard in your character’s hands, don’t forget it’s there. Don’t have them hold something, and then write that they walk out of the room, get in the car, and drive off without ever putting it down. You’ll leave people wondering where that two-headed lizard went. Did he put it in its cage? Drop it in a vat of acid? Did it crawl onto his shoulder to sit there while he drives? That’s important to remember, and it’s important to catch those things in the editing stage, because you will almost definitely make a mistake like that, and you will have the best chance of finding it when you go back through later and reread.
May 22, 2011 · 10:45 PM
I have, in fact, forgotten that I had a character walk into the room at one point, so I had all the other characters doing their thing without regarding him. Later, I went back and had to change around the scene so that the character didn’t just disappear off the face of the earth. It’s important to pay attention to these things, like I said.
That’s it for now!
Word of the Day: Perfunctory (adj) – Performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial