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  1. Damage718

    Damage718 Active Member

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    Continuity error? Or nitpicking? Please help!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Damage718, Sep 24, 2020.

    Bear with me on this question, please. I'm at the paranoid/nervous stage of final proofing :p

    I'm going through my 2nd and hopefully final proof copy (yay!) and noticed a small continuity error...but I KIND OF cover it in a previous page. Here's the situation...

    Two characters are talking on the phone on a Tuesday about setting up a business meeting out of town. They agree to meet the following Monday, six days later. Prior to hanging up, the female character says she'd "check in when she was on her way." Then the male character says "if you have any questions in the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out."

    Standard business call stuff.

    So, six days later on that Monday in the story, I narrate that the woman was set to meet the man who was the voice on the phone two days' prior. Now, we know they spoke SIX days prior, but we DON'T know if they spoke again after that. I left that door open with the "reach out with any questions" line. So they COULD have spoken two days prior, but we aren't sure...

    I don't know if most readers will catch this? Is it a big enough continuity error to fix, or is it okay to leave some speculation that they may have spoken again two days earlier?

    There's no further mention of this conversation between the two characters again in the story. I'm obviously trying to avoid making further changes & re-upload manuscripts & delay things further at this stage...but I will if this is an obvious hole...
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  2. Urocyon

    Urocyon Member

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    It may be catch-able, but also easily reasoned away, as you've done in the quote. You've given yourself a nice backdoor here, and it's great for little things like this in writing. Depending on what kind of a story you've got, it might even lend a hint of suspense, as the readers who notice will wonder at the little detail, but if going this route I would suggest making it relevant that another discussion did occur.

    I will ask though, why not change "two days" to "six days" if it actually is an error?
     
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  3. Damage718

    Damage718 Active Member

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    As it turns out, I will change it to "the week prior" or something. I've noticed a couple other minor errors in the copy in other parts of the book so I'm obviously going to fix them all. At the time I made this thread, I thought (wishfully) that this was the only little error in the copy. But, *sigh* it never is lol
     
  4. Thom

    Thom Active Member

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    It never is.:D
    And 'the week prior,' 'the last time they spoke,' 'a few days ago,' fixes it pretty nicely.
     
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  5. Damage718

    Damage718 Active Member

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    I fixed it, and just went with "the week prior."

    To answer this question: It was originally two days because the two characters were set to have this meeting two days after the initial phone call. But when I was working on the second draft, I changed the dialogue of the phone call to have the meeting be the following Monday, and included the "reach out with any questions in the meantime" bit. So looking back, this was both a continuity issue AND me nitpicking :D I probably could've left it, and the readers might have speculated they did speak in-between, but I'd rather err on the side of caution here.

    It's also really interesting how these things always become more obvious on the physical, printed copy and easily overlooked on the screen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020

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