Mind Tricks by Debra H. Goldstein
Have you ever felt like you’re losing your mind? Perhaps, as you go to introduce two people, you go blank on the name of someone you’ve known forever. Maybe, you mentally make a list of items you must run to the grocery store for and get home to discover that you forgot to buy the milk or whatever prompted your trip in the first place. Of course, there is the classic forgetting of where one puts one’s keys or glasses. (Pro tip for the latter: check the top of your head before asking for help finding them.)
Happily, most of the time, this doesn’t mean you have the beginnings of dementia. Often the problem is being over-stressed or the mind simply not thinking this is a super-important item to recall at that particular moment. Authors confront this problem in a different way when the book they write becomes a series. When an author mixes up character names or relationships, attributes a character with a different eye color or hair shade, or modifies the setting in a way that is impossible based upon earlier discussions, it isn’t something to laugh off.
Rather, it is something that sharp readers will catch and call out the author. Even worse, it may
cause the reader to lose faith in the author’s abilities and stop reading the series. Different writers try to ameliorate the problem by keeping profiles on Scrivener; creating a bible that outlines every aspect of character and setting or using sticky notes that highlight error prone areas to avoid from one version of a story to another. Others simply hold everything in their minds and if in doubt, look back to an earlier version of the work.
I have never been an outliner or a planner when it comes to writing. Instead, I let the muse flow. That worked fine for the first few books, but by Four Cuts Too Many, the fourth book in Kensington’s Sarah Blair series, I often was looking back to the first three books to confirm (refresh my recollection) I didn’t deviate on anything important. The same proved true for Five Belles Too Many, which will be published in June 2022, but is available for pre-order.
What methods do you use to preserve accuracy in your stories or life?
Please contact E. B. Davis at email@example.com for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for May: (5/4) Linda Norlander, (5/11) Connie Berry, (5/18) Mary Keliikoa, (5/22) Annette Dashofy, and (5/25) Rosalie Spielman.