This is my one hundredth post on this site. So I’ve been bringing you poorly edited stuff for quite a while now! In all seriousness I do edit and proofread but something is always missed. Its a lot easier to notice mistakes made by others than it is ones you’ve made.
My novel, Rolling Shadows, is going well. This novel has been altered to within an inch of its life. If I was writing on paper I would have got through a small forest. Nothing has really been deleted in the processing of the novel but I am confused. I start to wonder if a particular fact was in the current draft or the previous draft.
The common wisdom is that on finishing a novel you should stick it in a draw for a few months. This enables you to forget all the story paths you didn’t take. You also need an editor who can point out all the story flaws. I try to be aware of these flaws because I like to nitpick. I try to think critically about what I’m writing. I want to find the flaws and fix them to deprive a review of saying how stupid I was.
One of the hardest potential flaws to detect is implication. This is when you give your character or star ship some ability and, without realising it, you imply another ability. An example of this would be Star Trek with its transporters and torpedoes. I assume you can see where I’m going with this. Yet it wasn’t until Dark Frontier that that was shown. Even then it didn’t become a standard tactic. It seems to me that that could, even should, be their standard tactic. Weaken the shields enough to beam a torpedo aboard and then boom.
This is even more difficult when dealing with magic. Where are the limits? In the Harry Potter series glasses can be fixed with a spell but not, apparently, eyes. Obviously eyes are far more complicated but couldn’t you conjure up something like contact lens?
There is no answer. My advice to anyone reading over their own work is to pretend its written by someone you don’t like. That way you might be more critical. I know that if Doctor Who does something stupid I’ll forgive it. Doctor Who is British, made in Cardiff no less, so I forgive its foibles. However if its a show I’m ambivalent towards, or even don’t like, I’ll use it as one more reason to hate it. I’m irrational that way.