D. F. Krieger

Friday, February 11, 2011

Death In the Details

Gentle reader, as a forewarning, I shall advise you that this post may be erratic and convey a sense of extreme happiness despite the 'sobering subject'. This is not my intention, but an influence from my own environment. (I just got a beautiful new PURPLE PT Cruiser as an early birthday gift!!!)  That being said, let's begin, shall we?

I love my husband. He has the most gorgeous brown eyes. I could just fall into his hazel gaze for-

Wait, what? Brown eyes do not a hazel gaze make. What's going on here?

Hush and let the crazy lady make a point. Ever read a novel where the heroine is wearing a white silk shirt, changes into a crimson corset, but is described later still wearing the silk shirt? I had a crit partner once who caught me doing that very thing. Ouch! Didn't I feel stupid.

The problem is, it's an easy mistake to make. We're writers, we have hearts to break, murders/thieves/evil overlords to motivate, hearts to mend, chance meetings to arrange: we can't be bothered with remembering the small stuff. Oh, but I guarantee you that if you don't, your readers will bring it to attention.

Details are hard to keep in check and remember. I know we all have enough on our plates with grammar checks, spelling checks, show versus tell checks, blah blah blah. We know the dance. But not everyone may think to make sure their hero/ine (or villain, sidekick, store clerk) are sporting the same eye color throughout the book, not to mention wearing what their suppose to be. Please, for the sanity of your reader, make sure your heroine is not staring into the hazel gaze of her brown-eyed lover. ~ D. F. Krieger


Angelina Rain said...

Great post. I don’t have my characters change clothes but I admit I forget to mention it when a character goes to a different room so often times it seems like they have a full stocked bar, a fridge, and a shower in their bedroom. Also, usually halfway through the book, I decide to change some of the characters names, and I go back and fix it but I usually forget in one scene and all of the sudden it seems like this unknown character just came out of nowhere.

N.M. Martinez said...

lol! Thanks for the reminder! This is why I actually stay away from details unless they're important in some way. Usually this means "interesting to me," but sometimes they're clues for the reader and so they do stick out to me and are easy to remember.

D. F. Krieger said...

@Angelina- I wish I had all those things in my bedroom! LOL. Fortunately I'm not bad about changing character names, though I've been known to change spelling (Lilly versus Lily)

@N.M.- I'm not so bad about detailing what my character is wearing, so much as hair color or eye color. I wish my memory was better :) I have to use Character Bibles.