On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Series Continuity -- Again, Little and Big

Shoot! I'm currently writing Heart Quest, the fifth book of the Heart series. Since they're fantasy romances and I spin off secondary characters as heroes and heroines, I'm working on Black Ilex Winterberry and Trif Clover. Well, Ilex (who didn't even have a first name until this book) is a Guardsman with searching Flair (psi-magic power). I wanted to make sure I had him using his Flair in the same manner as I'd shown before so I went back to Chapter 2 of my first book, HeartMate where Winterberry first appears, and the only time he's used his Flair on stage.

So there I am, reading the ARC of HeartMate (and it is REALLY cool to be able to "find" the exact words/scene in a book on your computer without having to read the darn thing. I don't think I've ever read HeartMate through since I turned it in)...Winterberry strolls on stage and says "Winterberry of Hazel". SHOOT!

I'd completely forgotten that. And I haven't a clue what I meant by saying that. For HeartMate I wanted Winterberry to be a distant relative of the Hollys (thus the name), so I don't think I meant he was also of the Hazel line. The Hazel family line is as prestigious as the Holly. Worse, I've mentioned the Hazels in Heart Thief and introduced them in Heart Duel. Not only that, but a couple of Hazels are about to come on stage again in this book. I'd completely forgotten that little sentence. What was I thinking of?

Of course me being me, and not having to wonder what was running around in the mind of some other writer as people writing others' series, I'm pretty sure I meant "I'm Winterberry of Quadrant Hazel Guardhouse." Naturally, I can't go back and put that into HeartMate. The book's in print. Also, I realized that I made Winterberry higher status in HeartMate that I really wanted him to be in Heart Quest, but that's ok because his family looks down on him joining the guards and it's another problem/inner conflict for him since he's estranged from them. One way for his character to grow by the end of the book.

But still, when something like this slaps me in the face, I clutch. I try very hard NOT to blow my continuity, especially my magic rules. The worst I've done this was in the online serial, The Song of Marwey, http://www.eharlequin.com/cms/onlinereads/readsIntro.jhtml?pageID=050118rh01001&_requestid=263659 which I wrote as a prequel to Guardian of Honor. There were things demanded in the story that I couldn't change in Guardian because the book was being distributed at the time... And I may be overreacting, because some of the slips in my books that have bothered me either haven't been noticed by my readers, or they haven't been commented upon the errors.

Another problem solved -- or at least written down so I can explain it later when we visit Ilex in his workplace. Speaking of workplace...I'm off to the dayjob.

Love to all,


Blogger moonhart said...

Robin, that sounds like a good cover. I prolly would have thought that Hazel was a certain area of town or perhaps an outlying area.


8:05 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks, Hazel is a lot. It's a Family, it's a month. Now it's a quadrant of the city (which I think of as compass quadrants -- more than 4), but I'll have time to clean up the wording before I turn it in, hopefully.


6:42 PM  
Anonymous a reader said...

Regarding Winterberry of Hazel; people would think that since there are only a few Great Houses there will be connexions between them, so their members would identify with those they liked or admired most, even if the family relationship is very far, far away!

4:19 PM  

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