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Distilled Notes: The Number 58, Story Continuity, Editing, and a Peek at Episode 3

September 14, 2013
Incoming character header images.  Who could this prototype image represent?

Incoming character header images. Who could this prototype image represent?

If I could tell past-me that I successfully hinted at the Season ending for 3 of my 4 characters in the very first chapter, I think he would be happy.  If I showed past-me a breakdown of the 58 errors I made in the first episode, he would be overjoyed.  Because he thought there would be much more.

Before Episode 3 begins, I decided to go through the first four chapters of Distilled Spirits and determine how well they stood up.  And I may do the same for Episode 2 before Monday.  The nature of the errors were not surprising, and though I don’t have a statistical breakdown on their type (maybe next time), I have a rough idea:

•  The majority were stylistic decisions that I made at the start of the web serial that I thought would work.  They didn’t.

•  The next largest group was formatting errors.  Why did that sentence deserve three spaces?  Why did a new paragraph begin there?  Why italics in that spot?

•  Finally–the smallest group comprised overlooked errors, both typing and grammatical.  Essentially, editing mistakes.  And it would be arrogant to think I caught ‘em all, but I like where Episode 1 stands.

Actually, there’s one more problem subset that involves:

Continuity / World Cohesion

           We are now 8 chapters deep—each of the four characters has explored unique places in New Portsmouth, and each has secondary or tertiary characters splitting off from them.  The amount of both will only grow.  The story is roughly where I wanted it to be at this point, yet with every added chapter, the odds of contradictions and forgetfulness increases.

How I stay organized.  Within each folder, is cheater chapter along with individual notes.

How I stay organized. Within each folder are individual character chapters along with their notes notes.

This time, continuity errors were rather inconsequential.  For example: the Inner Harbor neighborhood in New Portsmouth uses the definite article ‘the’, while South Harbor will always be referred to as just that–in a couple of places, they were reversed.  If you’ve lived in a city in the United States, the importance of this might make a lot more sense, but it’s slightly harder to keep track of when everything is fictional.

The more a certain setting is visited—the more any given character speaks, even, the harder and yet more vital it becomes to keep everything straight.

          Episode 3

          The image at the top of this post, while not the final photo, is a hint at one particular character’s header image.  If all goes according to plan–all four will have their own unique image starting in Episode 3.

The title for the next Episode will be:  Drought at the Fountain of Youth

This is likely enough to figure out what I’ve been doing with the episode titles for anyone curious, and It also points toward the source for this web serial’s name.  In the coming episode, you can expect a focus on age and time, as well as the immutable clock that ticks away something different in everyone’s life, real or fictional.

A few notes:

•  I thought about asking a design-oriented friend to do map work for New Portsmouth when I decided, for better or likely worse, to do it myself.  I plan to reveal it in stages as it’s finished, starting soon.  A lot of the rudimentary details can be articulated without much skill, and I’ll go from there.

•  I will soon be updating the Distilled Spirits hub page to include brief character descriptions for the primary four, and I will be creating a more centralized navigational system for the web serial

Look for Episode 3 to begin no later than Monday!

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