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Attention to Detail

Taking off my author hat for today’s blog. I’m posting as a reader, a reader who likes paying attention to detail. I enjoy reading a book and seeing how the plot points connect. The problem is that the dots don’t always add up.

Case in point: I’m currently reading a fantastic little series that makes me sing. Two characters are ten years apart at the beginning of the first book. By the end of the book there is a mention of them being eight years apart. Yet one character is twenty-four and the other is thirty-four. I think I’m pretty good with math. This doesn’t add up. I can see nine years apart depending on where birthdays fall, but eight? Nope, doesn’t work.

The same thing goes for changing eye color, family members, histories… the list goes on and on. When I come across something that doesn’t quite add up (weren’t these characters twins in book one?) I’m thrown out of the book. Then, in a mad dash, I’m thumbing back through the pages (much easier in a paper copy) to find out whether my memory is faulty, or if some witch craft magic did create a now conflicting notion in the book.

Besides for my mother I haven’t found another person that is as bothered by this as I am. In some ways I feel like I am back in my college poetry class, fighting the urge to yell at people to STOP READING TOO MUCH INTO THE POEM. Maybe I’m reading too much into the book. But that still doesn’t explain how a person’s eyes can change from blue to brown. Sans colored contacts or magical color changing eyes, both of which would need to be explained to the reader.

Putting back on my author hat: I get how mistakes like this can happen. My first novel is quickly becoming a trilogy and I have created a freakin’ spreadsheet to keep track of my characters ages. And I still can’t wrap my head around it. I very nearly almost had siblings, who were originally four years apart in age, become three years apart. And there are only three weeks between their birthdays, so the time line excuse doesn’t work.

I also have seen how comments are made in one book don’t stand up when a character is further fleshed out in another book. When I catch these little errors I fix them. Because if I don’t it will drive me up a wall.

What about you? Do these little details get to you? Or is a good story able to keep you wrapped up in the moment and not caring about magical bouncing ages?

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