Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Little Things

Honestly, it's the little things that will kill a book. Or a movie. The new one, 'Gravity,' has been berated for Sandra Bullock's hair. It doesn't float about. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson caught the blooper. You've all seen the movie vids that show the number of bloopers in some movies. Most of these are one little thing that tips us off that someone wasn't paying attention. And - unfortunately - it takes us out of the moment.

I was going over Ch. 4 of 'Blue' tonight and realized I had one such blooper. Kathleen is on the back of a dragon, sitting behind a necromancer, and having a lively conversation with said necromancer. How could Kathleen hear the witch's chatter? Air flying by (you know how hard it is to hear in a car with its windows open) and great wings beating the air. Couldn't hear if she tried. So I had to move her to the front of the bus, so to speak, and let the necromancer talk into her ear with Kathleen shouting her replies. It worked, thankfully.

If you have a good editor, or a good critique group, they should be helping you with things like this. I know I have to rely on myself, but I also rely on others. 

When I began in the work force, I was a legal admin. I was part of a huge national law firm. We were taught by the HR person how to proofread. We did it once ourselves, then we were instructed to use another admin in the 'pool' and read it aloud. These were important contracts and they had to be right. Really right. 

We don't do that anymore, I've noticed. People rely upon themselves and that's a good thing, and a dollar-saver. But it is also a wee bit dangerous.

The same is true for our writing. We really can't trust ourselves, even after the fortieth edit. We will invariably miss something. I think it's human nature. We know what we meant and we wrote it. But did we? Or did we forget that it's really noisy on a flying dragon?

Just a thought for my friends.

Life is full of little things.

No comments:

Post a Comment