This is topic Writer's Inhumanity to Characters in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Robert Nowall (Member # 2764) on :
I was going along swimmingly, revising my current story, when I got to the end of the next-to-last scene. When last I visited it, rough draft, two characters had gone off in search of an exit to the underground complex they found themselves in---and, only on revision, did I realize they had "gone off," leaving behind a third character, who was painfully tied up, arms over the head, and had been in this position for some days before.

I revised it immediately to have them cut the character down first---I even like this revision better---but, my God, why did I write that out without thinking of it in the first place?

Posted by Brad R Torgersen (Member # 8211) on :
I do that sometimes, too. I get so wrapped up in the forward motion of the story, I miss obvious problems with how characters are behaving, or the predicaments I leave them in. Usually I can't spot this stuff until a story has "cooled" for awhile, and I can come back to it a few weeks later with fresh eyes.
Posted by Crystal Stevens (Member # 8006) on :
Sounds like what I did in my first try at a novel. I was so excited about finishing up the first draft and being able to have it all down on paper. I remember later on that day thinking about how well it all came out when it hit me like a bolt out of the blue. But let me explain:

The whole story is about the adventures a young woman has in finding her sister who is presumed dead. Along the way, a young girl enters the story who happened to lose her mom. They agree to combine forces to find both women. The ending is very action packed. They find the sister and escape the bad guys. All is well. And that's when I realize that we never found the girl's mom or what happened to her. I had it all planned out as to what happened to Mom, but just overlooked her in the excitement of wrapping up the story.

Yep, things like that happen, but thank goodness it won't take much to go back and correct mine .

Posted by Robert Nowall (Member # 2764) on :
I hope there aren't any more things like that lurking in my current story...I cringe at some errors of this nature I left in some stuff I've sent out. Worse than continuity errors (and I do a lot of that, too.)
Posted by Lynda (Member # 3574) on :
I've done that before. Sometimes it's a really good idea to have someone who's extremely logical to read your story looking for holes in the logic of the entire story - did you drop a clue here, only to resolve it differently? Did you leave a story line hanging? That kind of thing, as well as leaving your characters tied up with their arms over their heads and forgetting about them. Having someone read it who you haven't even told much about the story can be a huge help to you. I have several people who read for me and point out the illogical places, the plot holes, the out-of-character moments, etc., when they find them. They get the story after it's first revision. Then I revise it again based on their input and then I have another guy who proofreads it as well as doing a really nitpicky read of the story itself (this will be his second reading of it, usually - he's on the team for the first read). After that, I revise it again and it's as done as it's going to get. That method works for me, anyway.


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