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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Uhh...Oops...


You might have heard...there's a major continuity error between Uncommon Whore and When I Fall. :) Yeah, I read about it in a review and after saying "WTF?" to myself, I opened my files and looked. Yup. And it is a big one. This was a true head/desk moment.

In Book One, Maia is blonde, Lauren is brunette with an eyepatch. In Book 2, I switched them. Maia is now brunette with the patch and Lauren is blonde. I switched personalities as well.

After writhing in embarrassment for a few hours, I let the publisher know and have been assured that the book/s will be re-formatted and will reflect continuity within the story.

So how did this happen in the first place? After all, when I started the second book, the first thing I did was print and review my style sheet. (the 'bible' that keeps track of people, places and things in the Coalition Universe) I then re-read Belle Starr (there are crossover species and characters) and An Uncommon Whore. After When I Fall was finished, it was edited, line edited and checked for continuity before being formatted. There was an intimidating amount of data to review and cross-reference and every one of us missed that single glaring mistake. We could dive into excuses, but in reality, it was just a mistake.

Going back to Book One, I wrote Griffin's daughters as Maia: blonde and blue eyed, and Lauren: brunette with a maimed eye. A member of my family beta-read the book and pointed out to me that I have a grand-niece named Lauren with a disfigured eye. As I'd met her only twice, using the name and disability was probably coincidence, but still, it seemed insensitive to go forward as it was, so I swapped the names. I noted the change in my style notes but obviously never made the change in the final manuscript.

Moving on to When I Fall, I consulted my style guide and in reviewing the first book, didn't even notice the difference in the names. For the past year and a half, Maia and Lauren had developed distinct appearances and personalities in my mind. Since I was so comfortable with them, I never even considered double checking my portrayal of the girls. I guess I was literally blind to the change in names.

Boy, do I regret that omission.

Anyhow, I comfort myself with the fact that I'm merely human and normal typos and misspellings sometimes slip through. As far as mistakes go, it doesn't hold a candle to some of the horror stories other authors have to tell. For example, the mainstream romance with a typo that read "shitted" in place of "shifted." Or the cover where the hero's rippling pecs had a little something...extra...(a part that should have remained in his pants!) But those are so blatant and over-the-top that they're the stuff of legend. My mistake is just lame.

Still, I do strive to produce the best work possible, as does my publisher. I'm proud of writing for a company that holds its authors and team members to the highest possible standard. None of us are comfortable that this slipped through and there's plenty of chagrin going around. LOL!

So if you want those original, flawed e-files, get yourself to Loose Id as they'll be coming down for reformatting very soon. Who knows...they might end up as collector's items, available only on select pirate sites...

Belinda

6 comments:

diannakay said...

I can't say I noticed (I'm clearly not very observant!)

Does this mean I can download the revised version?

Belinda M. said...

At this point, I don't think the revised version is ready yet. She's usually very quick and will send me the updated files.

I honestly don't think anyone would have noticed, but the reader that brought it to my attention had moved straight from one book to the next. LOL!

As soon as I get a few more answers, I'll post here when the updated book is available. :)

colleen m said...

Your editor is suppose to pick such stuff up! Being an editor I know this ;P

The picture with this entry is too too funny!

Belinda M. said...

That's exactly how I felt when I read the comment about Maia and Lauren! I wanted to bury my head.
Yes, my editor should have caught it, as well as the line editor and the continuity editor and so forth. Buuuttt....I'm the author and I wrote it. And I'm the one with my butt hanging in the wind. LOL!

At least we established how to pluralize all the various alien names!

And LI is so on top of fixing stuff like this. They're an awesome team.

jeayci said...

Oh my, my ears (eyes?) are burning! I love the photo and the post, but am now feeling a bit chagrined myself because I never made the connection that I was the one to point it out to you. I thought you'd seen it on your own and were just being polite to me for mentioning it aloud (aview?). Like I was pointing out your fly was open after you'd already noticed and were trying subtly to zip back up.

The reviewer said she'd just re-read An Uncommon Whore right before too, but hadn't noticed. I can so easily see how you could have made the mistake, and how no one caught it. I think most readers didn't either, so my doing so was probably just a fluke. (Or an indication that I'm going to be an awesome beta reader! *g*)

It seems to be a rather common sort of error, though one that doesn't seem to attract much attention. I can't begin to count the number of romances I've read where characters are suddenly much older or younger, or taller or shorter (even than they were earlier in the same book! Sometimes they even fluctuate). And then there are the mis-name errors, when someone is talking to themselves and/or looking into their own eyes. Humans simply can't catch everything, and really, it's far more important to tell a good story. :)

I think the fact that you and your publisher care so much and are correcting it says wonderful things about you. And I really am eager for that next book...any estimated timeline for it?

Belinda M. said...

Jeaci, I believe you were the one with the eagle eyes! LOL! You would certainly be an awesome beta-reader! You don't have to be embarrassed, it keeps us from getting too casual.

I think once I decided to change the names of the Hawke girls, the characters were absolutely set in my mind, so when I reviewed, I saw what I expected to see.

In fact, I was toying with the idea of a YA story featuring the girls, they're going to be amazing characters in the future.

The future book...I was going to give it a break since I've got a couple other books due, but I have some really strong ideas coming on it so I'll be outlining it soon. Have to grab those when they come!