Coincidentally my blog post this week mirrors last weeks. I guess you could say “the more things stay the same, the more things stay the same.”
Pause for uncontrollable shudder……
The statement I just penned (by my way of thinking) makes sense. It shouldn’t and that scares me.
I’ll force myself to man up and plow through.
Have you ever tried to maintain continuity throughout a long novel with many characters in different situations? Your ultimate goal is to bring them together in a glorious climax rivaling the works of Tolstoy, Hemingway, and Whitman.
After reading through your first draft, you realize that the poor dead tree you hold in your hand wouldn’t give Jughead, Archie and Veronica a decent run for their money.
A lot of this is due to continuity. You can’t murder your heroine in the middle of the book, then forgetting she’s dead, have her reappear as a cage dancer in the final chapter.
Think of the disasters this one unfortunate event might set into motion. The protagonists (we’ll call him Bob) heartbroken from the death of his main squeeze (we’ll call her giblet) who is still very much alive.
Bob falling into the depths of despair begins to drink heavily. He takes notice of Penelope, the kingdom’s fairest maiden. In actuality Penelope is covered in bumps and bruises due to being poked and prodded with ten foot poles by the townsfolk. to
Looking through beer goggles Bob takes Penelope for his wife. Unbeknownst to either party, Bob’s father is Penelope’s mother’s brother, which makes Bob and Penelope first cousins.
This becomes evident when their first offspring is a three headed baby. They are forced to move to the land of three headed babies, where Bob continues to drinks heavily and Penelope designs armor with triple neck openings.
Giblet not understanding Bob’s shenanigans falls for Bob’s head scribe and pedicurist, Leon. They inherit the kingdom, birth nine single headed babies and start the first medieval baseball team.
See how easy it is to turn what began as a romantic comedy into a work of stupid, all because of continuity or the lack thereof.
It’s similar to climbing Mt. Everest….Okay it’s a stretch but hear me out. Sir Edmund Hillary probably took months if not years planning his attempt to climb the highest peak in the world. He would have to hand pick his fellow climbers and Sherpa’s.
Be certain there were adequate supplies to meet nutritional needs for the entire team. Portable shelter, ropes, oxygen and a multitude of items I could not begin to speculate.
They would begin at base camp and methodically worked their way up the mountain.
Then came that fateful day, the assault on the summit. It was for this very day that all their plans and months of work had come down to.
They bravely made their way upward after a breakfast of dirt soup. They donned the latest in woolen Bermuda shorts, tank tops instead of oxygen tanks, flip-flops and the cutest little beanies with propellers removed to avoid an unplanned takeoff.
Making the summit they planted their flags in a teary-eyed celebration and were promptly arrested for trespassing on old man Crowley’s property. A second charge for destroying a large mound of topsoil was later dropped.
The defense argued that dirt was dirt and since no precedent had ever been set, now is not the time to begin such foolishness. The prosecution was awarded punitive damages in the amount of eight dollars and forty six cents to cover the cost of several trampled lilac plants.
So you see whether you’re climbing a pile of dirt or writing a book on the subject of climbing a pile of dirt.
It’s continuity… Continuity… Continuity.
And just to set the record straight, it wasn’t Sir Edmund Hillary but Ed Bugmeyer and his three rat terriers. It seems Pauley over to the general store bet an already inebriated Ed a six pack that he couldn’t shave his dog’s slick as a baby’s bottom and climb that pile of dirt.
So now you know…