Monday, March 1, 2010

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds ---Ralph Waldo Emerson Thank goodness I don't have any of that --Mary Connealy

Okay, I said I was going to write a series about revisions.
Here’s what I look for as I give a book a final read through.
1) Grinding action to a halt--Read about that HERE
2) Consistency
3) Telling
4) Dialogue tags
5) Comedy
Today, I’m writing about—Consistency

Here’s how I work on consistency. And keep in mind where technology is concerned, I’m a Neanderthal. Note on the right, the photograph of page one of Black Hills Blessing as I sent it to Barbour. So feel free to tell me your streamlined high tech version of this.

And if you read very carefully, you will find way to get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Black Hills Blessing.
For a synopsis of this 3 – in – 1 collection of sweet romances, go here.

Consistency. I do most of my brainstorming at night, while I lay awake in an insomniac fugue state. (I don’t know what fugue state means but I’ve been trying to work it into a blog and think this is a good spot.)

So, I brainstorm ‘what’s next for tomorrow.’ I have this image of myself flipping ideas over and over, tossing stuff out, trying things out, moving on, going back. I’m a sort of slow-motion juggler or acrobat twisting my mind around ‘what if.’

Actually I know I’m going to have a good night’s sleep when this works for me. When my mind is rabbitting around bickering with my husband over something he said sixteen years ago or nagging the children or arguing with something someone said on TV, then I’m in trouble. When I can brainstorm, I’m going to get to sleep soon. The fact that my plotting puts me to sleep is a matter best left to professional psychologist and fiction editors.

But it’s at night when I have these brain flashes like-- “I had her head bleeding at the beginning but I never had her wash blood off her face. Where did Adam get a rifle? I didn’t include Betsy in the scene with all the kids. Where is Betsy?

So, this is continuity as I define it. Writing a book, well, there are just a SCAD of words. You just write for pages and pages and pages. And usually the big stuff is there, pretty much laid out. You remember that. It’s the LITTLE STUFF that gets messed up. The fact that Adam, a secondary character, pulls a gun on the bad guys, when I have very clearly said (on the three occasions he’s come up for a few sentences) that he had no gun.

That’s in Petticoat Ranch and that book had been done for YEARS with that scene of Adam and his gun before I finally, one night in bed thought, “Where did Adam get a rifle?”

So, if I have those moments, well, I try not to get out bed. My chances of sleeping go way, way down if I start writing because I find writing to be caffeinated. But I do sometimes get up and write a sticky note and glue it on my computer monitor.
Then, the next time I get the computer turned on, if I’m not at a point in my life where I can deal with Adam and his rifle. . .or the lack there of. . .I type a message to myself across the top of page one.

Across the top of a some of my books right now are these messages:

That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger (I have a joke I'm planning to tell using this line)
It is May
Emmy’s slightly younger brother Marcus And Ahway(Doba's son) come. She’s good on a trail.
Or not
Rope around Gabe’s waist? Belt/Lasso?
Pet name for Shannon.
Tyra had three older brothers who had struck out on their only after they realized Pa was too stubborn to move aside and let one of his sons be a real partner. But now Pa was aching in his joints and he got tired a lot faster. He’d lost a lot of his love of the ranch when Ma had died. She was buried in a quiet grave along with two little sisters. Pa was ready to let a son-in-law in, Tyra just knew it.
Bucky, brown hair, blue eyes. After his mother.
Seven sons; Abraham, Bartholomew, Canaan, Darius, Ephraim, Felix, Gabriel
He wants a woman like his mother and to prove himself to be dependable to her.
Shannon is exact opposite of his mother, not a ranch wife. City girl.
Hosteen Tsosi, wife Hozhò Tsosi (I’ve left off the dash`)
Gabe left home at seventeen. Ten years in the cavalry. Cowboy Christmas set in 1880. Gabe is 29 in this book.
Describe Shannon better. Dimple in chin. . .dent that looks like God had rested his finger lightly on her chin when he created her. Give Gabe the quirk of touching her chin.
Her quirk?
Get to scene with brothers and Bucky. Maybe Bucky before they get to Kinlichee
Rework villain’s motives from 37 on. . .done to there.
Shannon’s mother--Giselle Campbell Fontaine Father--Dysart Professor Delmer Dysart. The Delmer had been twisted into Delusional
Create brothers for Gabe.
Would be fiancée for him. Tough Texas rancher daughter for Gabe. Sets out with several of her brothers to find Gabe and drag him home. She likes the idea so she’s in but NOBODY pushes her around. Ruthless, tough, but not stupid, not evil. Perfect woman for Bucky. Tyra Morgan. Lucas Morgan-Tyra’s pa
What does Tyra look like? Tyra shook her head so hard she whipped herself in the face with her single long dark braid. Blue eyes, same color as Maddy’s.
Go on about families
Bucky-Chatillon- He was a guide and hunter for the American Fur Company of St. Louis in the 1840's before settling permanently in the area with his second wife, Odile Delor Lux. Chatillon served as a guide for Francis Parkman, Jr. in 1846. Parkman wrote about their trip in his book "The Oregon Trail."

I will often have up to two pages of these notes at the top of a book document and when I feel like I've fully solved whatever issue the note is a reminder of, I delete the note. And also cry quietly with joy for a brief time to have one more thing perfected in my work. (joke)

One of the reasons I’ve battled consistency issues is because I wrote books that weren’t connected, then I rewrote them into a series. So, I may have needed to age a child but forgotten to because it's now book #2 in a series and I made that child have some small part in book #1.
I may have had one girl acting like a 12 year old, then a 16 year old, then a 12 year old again. This is partially because this character, very minor, was written with years between her creation and the finished book and I simply don’t remember how old I made her.

So, that’s my hint for consistency. Make notes to yourself at the top of the manuscript. I’m keeping a character chart now, I stole Myra’s from HERE. Buy her book Autumn Rains HERE.

But I still have details, like 'are the bad guys after a gold mine or lost treasure', and I need to remember I changed my mind about that and need to commit to that detail as I revise.

That's it. That's my hint.

One better drawn on the cave wall, but it’s my system.

Now for the book drawing. To get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Black Hills Blessing, please leave a comment about the biggest goof up you’ve ever found in a book. It sets my teeth on edge, that part where Scarlett was in Atlanta in one chapter, then in Chicago making pizza, then back in Atlanta, stuff like that. Have any of you got any? Uh, might be best not to name names.

I found one in Calico Canyon where Grace is eating a biscuit made into a sandwich by putting an egg in it. Then the egg is gone. Then it’s back, then it’s gone. Very odd, really. Follow the bouncing egg. I think we’ve got them all fixed now for the re-release of Calico Canyon in a big ol’ book containing all three books from the Lassoed in Texas series. That’s coming in September. We’ll talk more about it then.

Again, no names. Unless it’s Ruthy, you can make all the fun of her you want. She likes that and always thanks me privately when I do it to her. (that’s a joke, there are no mistakes in Ruthy’s book, it is perfect. Buy it HERE)


Dianna Shuford said...

I've run into several books where a character has blue eyes in one chapter, then a couple of chapters later their eyes are green. Every time the book is by a popular author. Cracks me up and makes me wonder if the character secretly got contacts!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that you can make total sensibility out of something so amazingly insensible.


I understand it.


And yes, feel free to have your little friends pick on my work because they'll be HARD PRESSED TO FIND MISTAKES IN WINTER'S END!!!!

(note how I'm using subliminal messagery to prod people, innocent civilians, mind you, into going out and buying WINTER'S END to hunt for non-existent errors. Clever, huh?)

Mary, I get this. And yes, that worries me.

I keep a name chart as I start a book because I change names. I jot down their age, sometimes. Hair, if they're incidental. Maybe eyes.

But names are huge.

And now that I'm writing new novels for Steeple Hill, I can create the people as I go. It's hard incorporating existing books into existing series. Makes it easy to mess up.

BTW, I LOVE the hypothermia series.


And I said I do a chart, didn't I?

I lied. I don't do charts. I don't know how to do charts. My Excel key cringes and cries if I attempt to pull it up. And then it hides.

And I don't read how-to-write books either. That explains so much.


BUT... I do make a LIST of names for books so that I keep them straight. I can do lists on a simple word doc and then just keep it in the book file. I just had to change a dead guy's name because I made him bad and I might want to use that name later... It's a good name... So I hunted up cowboy names and came up with Vaughn...

Vaughn works.

I would NEVER use Vaughn as a hero's name. Not ever. (those of you named Vaughn who I've just offended, let me apologize now. So sorry)...

So it's okay to use it because this guy is dead, he's fictional, he won't 'bleed' into any other works because I won't use that name as a lead character.

Okay, obvious mistakes I've noted over the years:

A woman having a seven year old girl when she got pregnant nine years ago. And she was NOT an elephant.

Cooking a lemon meringue pie in a microwave. Only a man (mind you a man worth MILLIONS) could make this mistake.

Using an unusual name for different characters in back-to-back series MULTIPLE TIMES...

Like people don't know you wrote other books? Won't go looking if they like your stuff?

Those are a few. Note that I'm not talking typos. We all have those. AND I'm the queen of messing up timelines.

Beth generally helps me there. Now Melissa does. Have I mentioned how nice Melissa is??? And how hard I make her work? Can we all just face east and salute Melissa Endlich right now????


I brought coffee but this comment is so long that someone probably beat me to it.

Shame on me.

And sausage/biscuit/egg sandwiches in honor of Grace's disappearing egg trick.

And btw, Mare, how are the LaVeques (spelling is probably BAD)doing????

Okay, children coming, must work day job and be nice to small people. I've got a stash of Kleenex, toilet paper and diapers.

And cookies.

We're good to go.


Lee Smith said...

I think some of those consistency mistakes might also come from when we edit things and then forget to adjust.

Once I read a book with a timing error. A character comes in celebrating the birth of his child - under 30 min old (to another one). Someone else comes in asks a couple questions and then the character tells them the baby is an hour old. I thought time was really flying for those parents!

Maybe that's a consistency thing, maybe something had been cut, or maybe they talked much longer than I imagined.

This was a great post and I really appreciate the hints. I used to be so bad that in one class I took I had to write a short story and I changed the name of my character halfway through. :o(

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Oh Lord, I am exhausted just reading Ruthy's comments. I have to go lie down.

I actually don't notice those things. I skim read too much. Or I am like the Pope and way forgiving. Yes. Let's go with that.

Jennifer said...

No books come to mind with blatant errors, but I sure do notice them in movies. In one scene, the glass is almost empty, in the next it's full, stuff like that! :)

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

I remember one where the grandma's nursing home room was on the third floor with a balcony and later on the second floor without a balcony.

I just giggle and go on. Oddly these moments reassure me that I am not alone in the world.

Debra E Marvin said...

So, Ruthy. You're suggesting people buy your book if for no other reason than to find a boo boo.

Brilliant marketing! Or not?

I like the idea of Mary sitting straight up in bed saying "Where'd he get that rifle?" or "Where'd that stupid egg go?"

Those little things are everywhere. We need clever critique partners, fresh eyes and perhaps such riveting writing that no one seven bang bangs from a six shooter!

I've noticed that people get horrific injuries and the next day have received a miraculous healing. Can't they at least flinch in pain? And this was before tv evangelists, even.

Audra Harders said...

Well, aren't we just full of info this morning, Mary? You hit on my problem when it comes to tackling revisions. Taking portions of text to entire scenes and moving them someplace else in the book.

Messes up my mojo something fierce.

Gotta go over the story time and time and TIME again to make sure he doesn't ask her marry him before their first date, LOL!

I'm with Tina. Ruthy wore me out. We all know she's perfect. Why does she feel she has to remind up all the time?

Great stuff, Mary. And typing comments of the things you need to fix at the top of Chapter One is brillant. Sure beats the collage of stickies I have all over my desk : )

Rose said...

Morning, Mary,

A mistake that stands out for me was in a book where the heroine went into her home town and impatiently followed a certain kind of farm truck through town. At the end of the book, the hero & heroine leave town and impatiently drive behind a slow vehicle. The heroine thinks about her trip into town following this same person/vehicle HOWEVER it was an entirely different type of farm truck.

Now,perhaps I caught this because I've lived in rural areas my entire life.

Don't enter me in the drawing, I want to buy this book and have it signed in person on the 12th!


Kerri C at CK Farm said...

I'm not that observant when it comes down to the nitty gritty (unless I'm writing). I did just finish a book where a trench coat disappeared and like magic it was back in the next scene. Just a coat, eh. It was obvious for this particular character and the only reason I noticed lol. It was a REALLY good book though so I don't mind magic.

Julie Lessman said...

Mornin' Mare -- realllly fun post!

Ahhh ... those nasty inconsistencies that come back to bite you in the butt!! Yes, I have had my fair share of those, like all the times I kept mispelling Collin McGuire's name (my hero from A Passion Most Pure) because I loved Mark McGwire at the time. Sigh. Fortunately, I believe I caught most of those before it went to print ... I hope! A $100 gift card to the first person who finds one. :)

Or the time I have Faith and Mitch (my Irish-Catholic heroine and her boss) eating chicken on Friday ... which was forbidden by the Catholic Church back then -- no meat on Fridays. That one actually got printed that way. :(

My biggest printed gaffe, however, is Mitch's age ... over and above the time frame of the books, he turns up two years older in book 2 than specified in book 1, which also went to print. I like to explain this one by saying Charity is such a handful that she aged him beyond his years. Trust me, an age chart came into play after THAT one!

Ah ... the perils of publishing!


Melanie Dickerson said...

I've had a character change eye color before. Also, I am forever changing names, especially of secondary characters, and I once entered a contest in which the character's name was one thing in the synopsis and another in the ms. The judges were confused and that's not a good thing.

Can't think of any in books I've read. I usually don't read carefully enough to remember things like eye color! Sad but true.

And if I don't win Black Hills Blessing I'm going to have to buy it. I think these are the only books of yours that I don't have.

Patty said...

Great timing, Mary! I'm slap dab in the middle of revisions and have a list like yours that's feels like a mile long.

One thing I love about Microsoft 7 is this little 'sticky note' application--you can actually write a little note right beside the passage that needs work and save it there. I love it!

As far as book bloopers, I've found quite a few. The one that stands out was in a novella grouping where not one, but TWO of the stories had oopsies. In the first story, the heroine had a younger brother she was going to share an inheritance with but by page ten, she was an only child.

So I go the the next story only to discover that there's not one but two weeks between Christmas and New Years. I found out later that that book had gone through four editors before it was published.


Julie Lessman said...

Mary ... I just remembered something that I wanted to ask you because you had me CRAZY for several seconds after I read The Husband Tree (no "crazy" comments here, Ruthy, please!), WHICH is my VERY FAVORITE of all of the books you've written so far, and that's saying something since you've written a gazillion, keepers all!

I'm reading one of the scenes with Wade and Glowing Sun, glued to the pages and lo and behold, at the top of the next page, you have Silas thinking or saying something. I blinked ... reread again and backtracked to see if I had missed Silas being in the scene, but he wasn't. That's when I realized that YES, there is a God because Mary Connealy is not perfect. Almost, but not quite. :) Do you know the scene I'm talking about, or do you need me to go hunt it up?

Also, one last question. On the jacket blurb on the back of The Husband Tree, the following sentence appears: "When a group of cowpokes, along with a white woman raised by the Shoshone, show up along the drive, Belle has her hands full. Can she keep her oldest daughter and Glowing Sun away from no-good cowhands ...?"

In the book I read, Glowing Sun never meets Belle or goes on the cattle drive ... did you change the story before it went to print and the blurb stayed the same, or what happened?

The biggest gaffe I have ever seen on the part of the publisher is a book by a wonderful ACFW author whom we all know and whose books are VERY popular -- her name was BLATANTLY MISSPELLED on the first page of the inside of the book ... and I just saw this a month ago at a Borders ... Now, Mare, didn't this happen to you too at some point, except not in a book? I seem to remember you talking about it.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pope Tina.

It works. :)

Take a nap honey. I have that effect on lots of people. It isn't just you, LOL!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kerri, a disappearing trench coat was how a friend of mine ended up as a mother on a visit to London years ago.

Tricky thing, those London Fogs.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And Patty (yes, I know it's Mary's post, but I'm being intrusive and invasive, two great "in" words)

We can pretend the two weeks was between an regular Christmas and Orthodox New Year...

It's all in the imagination, right?

Janet Dean said...

Fun post, Mary! It's hard to imagine that your night time brainstorming coulld put you to sleep, especially with all the action in your books!

I write notes to myself too. I put them in caps, usually in the body of the manuscript. CHECK THIS being my way to remember to verify eye color or whatever I've just described. I use CHECK AGE to remember to check the time a word came into usage. Can't use words or idioms that didn't exist. :-) I print a list of my characters with a brief physical description and keep it on my desk so I can check.

I haven't had time to read my The Substitute Bride in stores now to see if there's inconsistencies. Ruthy, we're shameless! LOL

Wonderful breakfast sandwiches! Thanks Ruthy!


TerryLynnJohnson said...

important post. Nothing makes me put down a book faster than the character's appearance changing.

Tina Pinson said...

Aha Mary
I wondered when Wade and Miss glowing were going to meet up with Belle too

iused to have the whole eye thing but fixed by giving all my charaters green eyes. Lol. Nah but work with mood eyes now

Julie -- I found Mark on page 52

Just kidding

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Mary, I love it. We all have these consistancy issues right?

The funniest I did was had a scene where heroine confronts an angry bear and I refer to 'him' but then she notices the mammary glands and cubs. So funny.

I think Tina nailed it. I hardly notice those things as I'm skim reading too.

Pope Tina? hmmmmm.

You guys are full of laughs this morning. Get me some coffee.

Mary Connealy said...

There is definitely an entire paragraph on the back cover of The Husband Tree that not only didn't happen...but they're Flathead Indians.

We're working on proof reading back cover copy. And, on Amazon, the blurb for Wildflower Bride has the words Shoshone and Flathead in the one paragraph blurb. They have it both ways.

I probably filled it in on the back ground sheet wrong BECAUSE in my very next series, Sophie's Daughters, in Book TWO, which I might well have been working on when I filled out that background sheet, there is a very promenent secondary character who is a Shoshone Indian. So I probably had that on my brain.

I had someone else tell me about the Wade/Silas mistake too. I'm keeping track, hoping I have a chance to revise those books.

Mary Connealy said...

I read a book once, I will NOT name names but a very famous author writing for a successful publisher, and I swear it was like they dropped the manuscript and just picked it back up and slapped it together. A big bunch of it was all out of order.

The thing I remember is this big scene where they reveal all to a grandmother and then, a chapter later, they talk about 'whatever you do, don't let grandma know.'

Very confusing.

Abi said...

biggest goof I ever found was like 20 pages were repeated and the 20 pages of repeated found 20 pages missing. opps! someone goofed.

I'd love to be put in the book drawing. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Mary Connealy said...

I'm easing away from hypothermia for my 'emergency medical condition du jour' and going more and more with the 'dislocated shoulder' emergency.

I'm throwing in a trachiotomy, too.

Mary Connealy said...

I also have heard...Melanie was it from you?...where my book was like...printed upside down inside the covers?

And I've got two copies of Golden Days that are upside down. Open the book, read...The End...
But that's just accidental printing stuff, not substantive errors.


Mary Connealy said...

ROSE!!! I'm looking so forward to seeing you.

We are gonna have fun. I just talked to Erica again too. She is still coming. I keep waiting for her to come to her senses...but no sign of that yet. Erica Vetsch and I are going to do a book signing in Sioux Falls South Dakota on March 12th and we're having LUNCH WITH ROSE!!!!!!!!!

I love getting together with writers.

Holly said...

I think the one that sticks out in my memory most was in a book I read where the daughter's name was spelled one way through most of the book, except one about halfway through where it changed. Then 50 pages later the spelling flipped back. I've also found randomly inserted numbers in the middle of words or improper uses of there/they're/their and other misspellings also. I'm always finding the little nitty-gritty mistakes in books, which drive me nuts. My mom who's read many of the same books never catches them, but she says I need to be a copy editor or proofreader so I can make sure it doesn't happen again.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Yes, that was me, Mary. I bought a copy of Calico Canyon and pages 129-160 were upside down in the book. But it barely slowed me down. Great book!

I got Mary to autograph it for me. It'll no doubt be worth a fortune some day. My kids will have to keep it in a safe. :-)

Mary Connealy said...

For some reason I mess up eye color a lot. I just don't GIVE THEM AN EYE COLOR. So I'll be four or five chapters in and want to refer to his eyes as black as midnight, but think, "What color were his eyes?" So I go back and can't find it. Then I have to decide am I just not finding it or have I never set a color? Which would be stupid not to set a color, so of course I've picked one but I can't find it.
Which usually means I AM stupid.
I do a FIND for the usual suspect colors, blue, brown, green, hazel. But of course colors like blue and brown come up a lot in other contexts, hair, the sky, grass, so it can take some work.
I use hazel a lot because my husband's eyes are hazel. A really pretty color. One of my daughters has hazel eyes like his.
I called them 'speckled eyes' in Gingham Mountain. Grant's eye color.
I haven't really stared deeply into my husband's eyes lately.
When I do that he gets the whole wrong idea. Then I say, "Hey, buddy, this is research for a book."
And he disagrees.

Mary Connealy said...

I have written a very stern letter to the Vatican telling them we expect Tina to be named the next pope. I think she's earned it.

Mary Connealy said...

There's a scene in Petticoat Ranch where Sophie gets down off her horse then, two paragraph's later, gets down off her horse again.

Mary Connealy said...

And one my my favorite authors has a scene where a cowboy takes off his hat and drops it behing the seat of his truck, then takes it off again soon after.

Lorna said...

Mary, loved your post, and I've never heard of anyone putting insomnia to better use. I brainstorm at night, too, and sometimes find holes/problems even when I'm sleeping. I wake up and think, "That won't work there." I never imagined having those eye-opening moments for books after they've gone to print.

The biggest error I've read was where a character was deaf and jumped at noise. I think someone dropped something behind her or a car backfired.

Have fun in South Dakota with Rose and Erica!

Buukluvr81 said...

I have read about 3 or 4 different books over the years where the heroine or hero will start of in the beginning of the book with one set name and by the last chapter of the book they have a completely new name, and not one where it's a spelling mistake either...I'm talking from like Elizabeth to Katie or Ralph to Jack! LoL! But I always over look the mistakes in books that are really really good!

Please enter me!
Blessings and hugs,
Mollydawn1981 AT aol DOT com

Mary Connealy said...

LORNA!!!!!!! You should be coming with us.
Lorna Seilstad has a book releasing in September.

Making Waves

YAY! I can't wait for it. Very cool premise, historical romance (the best genre ever)

Renee said...

Question, do you put your notes on your pages after you've printed them out or do you put them in a header type of format? I keep a notebook, or index cards (only I tend to lose those) at my side and make notes for consistency. I think I like your idea way better.

As for mistakes, the biggest one I remember finding was when a NYT author used a different name for her heroine. I had to read it over and over again and finally discovered that it should have been the heroine's name.

Mary Connealy said...

I had a book that very, very late in the process I realized I called a character Homer for half the book and Horace the other half. No idea how that happened.
I caught it though. Mostly. I hope.

Bethany said...

The one goof up I remember - and mainly because I live in Michigan - is that an author put Bay City on the wrong Great Lake! I don't live that far from Bay City, and I happen to know that it lies on the bay of Lake Huron, NOT Lake Michigan, which is on the opposite side of the state! Oops.
But, hey, we're all human, right? (I assume!) I just would like to be made a proofreader for some of these books. Well, maybe not.....then everyone would blame ME for the errors I miss! lol

Casey said...

The biggest goof I ever found in a book- I mean it was BAD (and no it was NOT a seeker book, because you all are perfect. :P)

The author put horses in the Yukon during the gold rush. Well, what would they eat for one thing?? DOGS were the only animals used in the Yukon for transportation. Just ask my dad, he lived in Alaska and that book REALLY set his teeth on edge. :)

Great post- I'm going to have to remember the "character/book to-do list."


Erica Vetsch said...

I'll tell one of my own. In The Bartered Bride, the hero's parents' portraits are hanging in the drawing room in chapter one, and then they are hanging in the dining room in another scene. Forget about the eyes following you around the room, the entire, lifesized, gilt-framed canvases traipse about the mansion!

Lovely post, Mary!

Mary Connealy said...

Casey, I set my first book, Golden Days, against the backdrop of the Yukon Gold Rush, NOT to be confused with the Alaska Gold Rush.

And you are absolutely right. No horses. They couldn't live. THere was nothing to eat.

Why do you think they have dog sleds in Alaska??? Huh??? Cuz puppies are CUTE?


Well, puppies are cute.

But that's not why they have dog sleds.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Good post, Mary!

Julie outed you, LOL. I found that mistake, too, (Wade becoming Silas) but being the polite Canadian that I am, I wasn't going to mention it!

I know I've found other more glaring mistakes, but I can't remember the specifics. In my own work, tons of inconsistencies. Thank goodness for critique partners to catch these!

Ahem! Now for my not-so-polite moment! I have to gloat just a teensy bit about our GREAT HOCKEY WIN last night! Woo-hoo! Canada has rocked these Olympics!

Okay, back to being calm and polite!

Btw Mary, I loved the Husband Tree! The first book of yours I've read and I'd love to win your newest one!

Have a great day everyone. It's March - winter is on its way out!

sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Mary Connealy said...

LOL, Erica, let's go ahead and say they had their pictures painted twice. As I recall, these were powerful, important people. Surely they just had a portrait painted yearly.

They had to hang them all somewhere.

And I read Marriage Masquerade. Love it, girl. I loved Noah so much. I loved Annie. I did NOT want that book to end.

Erica Vetsch said...

Come to MY senses? I keep waiting for someone to say, "Who do you think you are signing books with Mary Connealy???"

Can't wait to meet Rose too. And don't enter me in the drawing, I'm buying a copy and getting it signed too. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Bethany's assuming we're all human.

Sandra, set her straight on that, won't you, dear????

And the Vatican called and said some Nebraskan woman was talking heresy about a woman Pope.

They said we can make her a SAINT (hahahahahahahahahahaha) but the Pope job's taken.

Benedict says we're smart chicas, we should have KNOWN that.

I changed a guy named "Casey" to "Clancy" half-way through the book.

At least he wasn't the hero. :)

And that's the GOOD thing about taking forever to get published. I had YEARS to find it, LOL!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And Ummm... Bethany????

I heard they moved Bay City, honey. I saw it on Wikipedia and they're ALWAYS right.


If Erika's pictures can move, then why can't Bethany's city????

Makes sense to me. I think Bay City actually looks BETTER on Lake Michigan. Do we get to vote???? :)

Lisa Jordan said...

I can't think of anything specific in a book that's inconsistent, but in the TV comedy Cougar Town on ABC, Jules' character is in her early forties. She keeps saying she had Travis at 19, but he's one of the writers needs a calculator. It wouldn't bug me if it was a one time thing, but they mention it over and over...gah!!


LaTawnia said...

Though I have noticed inconsistencies in many books, none come directly to mind, other than perhaps spelling errors, or printing marks still left on a page. I think it is somewhat humorous to find spelling errors with all of the spell-check helps that are available today. There is even spell check help with this comment box!

LaTawnia Kintz

KC Frantzen said...

Again with the timely comments Seekers... Mary, thank you. Just what I'm needing to do.

Woke up the other night (next to the real live heroine who fights me for the pillow each night and wants to drink from my water glass...) *ahem*

Woke up the other night thinking - did I have those files and photos in the briefcase or the travel bag. And if it's the briefcase, which is logical, it's locked so how does she get into it?

Thank goodness it popped into the mind ahead of submission time. Your post today means yet another run through to review all these things.

Thank you so much.

Please know that this blog is my fave of all - so much practical useful food, I mean information and fun fun fun. Just what we need on these grey dreary days... though the silly crocus are trying to bloom.

Don't know about books either, other than a few things in Last of the Mohicans. ksf895 at citlink dot net

But movies - yeah movies - like the bandaid on Richard Burton in Cleopatra. Too much fun to find.

Young Frankenstein had a lot of fun with that too. Eye-gor says, Hump? What hump?

Then later Gene W's character asks: Eye-gor, wasn't your hump on the other side?

Speaking of consistency, there's this "fun" theme running through my pitiful post today. Maybe I should get back to work. Y'all have a great day!

KC Frantzen said...

So she can find her way around, saint or otherwise:

A friend sent that a few minutes ago. So when you need to make a trip somewhere in a hurry... Sure helps with the jet lag.

Wanda said...

I don't easily notice errors because I'm usually so engrossed in the story itself, but I do remember once reading a book where the description of a particular gun was completely wrong. That was about 15 years ago and I no longer remember the name of the book.

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy's right, Bethany. When Bay City is on the other lake it does look better. It's butt looks smaller.

Mary Connealy said...

I had a gun in a book, a weird, very specific gun. I was revising and came across this gun reference. Can't remember it now but it was like a Sharps fifty calibre doublebarrel repeating blah, blah, blah. Well, I changed the date of my book...probably to make it part of a series, so I had to check to make sure that gun existed five years earlier. I could NOT find it anywhere. No reference to that gun at all.

Now come on. I had to have found it to begin with because all that stuff isn't something I know. I'm not up on 1880 weapons. I know Winchester and I know colt. That's pretty much it. Everything else, I research and save somewhere.

The gun had to go. It still bugs me. Where did I find such a gun. That, what I have typed up there, isn't right. I can't remember what I had.

Cara Lynn James said...

I sometimes have trouble with consistency. In Love on Assignment it's because it's had 3 locations in 5 different versions and 2 time frames. Lots of name changes, too. It all gets really confusing.

Tina Pinson said...

Isn't that how life goes, you check your book over and over till you see the words jumping fences in your sleep, send it off to the editors to comb through, get it back to check somemore for yourself and finally, finally after a few more rounds you're pretty sure you have all the kinks worked out and low and behold.

You go and call Wade--Silas

Mercy, Mary, what were you thinking?

I actually thougth of having a contest where people by my book and send in a page with some of those misstakes.

But since I have so few I decided it wouldn't be worth it.


I can take care of seeing that Tina gets her saint hood. I was just crowned queen for a day so I will talk to the Vatican on her behalf.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

ROFL! Mary...I am DYING laughing about the disappearing egg.

Oh my. Too funny.


Mary Connealy said...

Black Hills Blessing releases today.

There's already a copy of it used on Amazon.

That seems very strange.

Patty said...

Wow, Julie, I didn't catch all that stuff in Mary's book. But then again, I was being rolled into surgery when I was reading that one.

Pepper Basham said...

Hey Mary,
A delight and usual.
I've fixed the eye color problem. all of my characters have the same eye ;-)

I love how open and honest you are - and I can completely follow your line of reasoning because I do the same thing - even to the point of brainstorming at night, except I leave a notebook by the bed.

I have a word document for each novel that are 'phrases to use later' and lots of times will be little hints for scenes or clues to dialogue that I want to see later in the story.

Okay, this probably sounds horrible, but unless there is a really bad problem in a book, i don't notice it. I get so 'into' the story, the finer details escape me (unless really obvious).

As for Ruthy - Winter's End was...well...pretty perfect. GREAT BOOK! Wonderful story and quite a few nice kisses too ;-)

Cathy Richmond said...

Insomnia - blessing or curse? A blessing in Mary's case!

An ABA writer had a heroine stomping right after she sprained her ankle. Ouch.

A CBA all-star wrote the character pressed the button for the garage door opener and parked in the carport.

So where was her critique group? Or worse yet, her editor?

Ausjenny said...

I dont aways tend to see the errors. I have read a few where the name of a charactor is changed my mind just puts the right one in but I have read a few where the one speaking is given the wrong name or the one they are talking too.
the other I have read is the wrong person is talking (ie sally is suppose be talking but it says sam)
The biggest one I do get annoyed at is places. Like australia. I dont mind some poetic license but when you put a town in the top of Queensland and state its in northern Queensland but say its a 2 hour drive to Sydney I get annoyed. It is at least 2 - 3 hours flight to get there. The fact it was in australia was good but the relationship was so wrong it really annoyed me. but the rest of the book was good.

Oh dont enter me I Loved these books.

Ausjenny said...

Abi I got one of those books too mine was a earlier heartsong presents but it was about the second in a series and it was really annoying.

Wendy said...

I only have noticed spelling errors - I guess I am not too observant.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, I just finished wrapping duct tape around my head to keep it from exploding while I finished my newsletter.

Always an adventure.

Let me know if any of you get it.

I mean get the newsletter, not get the jokes, that's pretty much hopeless. You can sign up for it at my blog.
My Blog

Mary Connealy said...

I think maybe, as writers here, we're all a little more forgiving, just because we get it, that it's hard not to mess up once in a while. Like I said, just SCADS of words. Many, many words. Words, morning noon and night, daylight and dark, good and evil, up and down, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, they won't stop they just keep coming and coming, typos and thought and though and through and threw and thorough and throw and.....

Ruthy just reached through the computer monitor and slapped me.
Thank you.

I'm better now.

And the duct tape is all shiny so I'm distracted by it, all sprarkley and pretty. I'm feeling peaceful.

Mary Connealy said...


Ausjenny said...

I remember when I use to do the church newsletter there was a little quote (and I wont get it right)
something about consider the errors there for your benefit.
we had so many people who would point out every error but would never offer to do the newsletter and when we found this snippet to add it was so cool.
So I remember that when reading newsletters etc. Cos some people will look for errors where ever they are while alot of us just pass right over them and not notice at all.

Virginia said...

Hi Mary, your post make me laugh! I love reading them, brainstorming when your trying to sleep! I don't think i would get any sleeping done that way! Your books sound awesome and I have been looking for them. I think I am going to have to start throwing a stomping fit in the stores so they will get your books in! Thanks for sharing!


Mary Connealy said...

We have a standing policy for anyone who points out errors in our church newsletter...done by a volunteer. Don't complain if you aren't willing to take over the job.

Mary Connealy said...

Stomping fit, yes, Virginia, I comp[letely endorse the method of getting my books in a store.

Call the TV station first.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

First, Connealy, if you're going to correct your spelling typos, could you do it CORRECTLY?????


As in having sparkle. Mesmerizing with glow... :)

Oh my stars, and I DIDN'T SLAP YOU HARD, so no whining. None. I mean, look at all the action you got over here today. Not as much as when Julie says SEX but when Julie's like the EF Hutton of passion...

When she talks SEX...

People listen.

Did you all note that Pepper LOVED Winter's End?????



Thanks, Pepster. Seriously, a gentle and heartfelt thanks from one writer to another. It's hard to impress people who are WAY smarter than me.

But not as hard to admit that as it used to be. ;)

Kids are all gone home. Beth is cooking for me tonight because I'm starving.

And I'm finishing up my proposal for book one for Melissa at Steeple Hill. Went over it today and after head smacks from JANET AND SANDRA.....

I got a clue and tossed the first chapter (TOO SLOW, TOO MUCH TELLING even though it all SEEMED IMPORTANT when I wrote it.)

But it wasn't and I love the opening now.

And the story. It's like dripping off my fingers. I can't type fast enough because Trent and Lyssa want their story told THAT badly.

We are a certifiably insane bunch of people. I'm happy to be a part of that!

Kitchen needs clean up first.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, I did get your newsletter. I liked the lasagna recipe, but you advised us to cook it at 3500 degrees. My oven doesn't go that high.

Mary Connealy said...

wow. 3500 Well, just turn it up as far as you can. Broil, and add a blow torch, surely it'll get cooked eventually.

I hate doing a newsletter.

Mary Connealy said...

Great illustrations of errors in writing though. Wait, now that I think of it, I did that on purpose. Yeah, that's the ticket. I PLANNED that typo.

All done just as I'd hoped. good for me. Now excuse me while I go hose down my lasagna with a fire extinquisher and get the table set.

Pam Hillman said...

Hey, Seekers, it's pouring cats and dogs here, but I'm snug as a bug inside. Yay!

And I'm grinning from ear to ear reading Mary's blog post and all the funny, interesting, INSANE comments.

My word verification looks like "it's illegal"


WriterGirl said...

I found some books where the character's name will change for a couple of paragraphs then back to the original name. It makes me laugh because I think we all do this sometimes.

Mary Connealy said...

Hey, gang if you want a second chance to win. I'm giving away a book over on Lena Nelson Dooley's blog, too.
Click Here to Enter

Linda said...

I've read one where a guy was Tom on one page, Tim in the next chapter, then back to Tom, as I think the Author caught the mistake. Made me wonder if I missed a character in the book somewhere, but figured it out!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Debby Giusti said...

Love your system. But no wonder you don't sleep, girlfriend. You've got to quiet your mind, not make it work at night!!! Read someone else's book. Count sheep. Hum a song...quietly so Ivan can sleep.

I write notes at the bottom of each chapter or at the end of the entire manuscript. And I love sticky labels. My best time for inspiration is in the shower. The ideas seem to flow with the water. Go figure.

Biggest error in a book? Hmmm? Not an error, but Andrew Gross made a character/the heroine, in Red Tide, be a fantastic swimmer. For the entire book, I thought that ability would play into the ending, but he never used it. I felt cheated and still haven't forgiven him! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Mary, I'm so late reading your post. I'm sorry I missed it on Monday. It was fun and made me laugh! (like usual) But it was also very helpful! Thanks for sharing your tips.

Edna said...

Oh my gosh Mary, I read so much I find all kind of mistakes, but hey we are human, there was only one perfect person ever to live in this world and that was Jesus.

I would really love to win this book,

I follow you on goggle