Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Background Checks

Day 2 and it took me a moment to figure my B topic when considering editing and technical focus but I found something and that deals with keeping background information available to double check in edits. There are many things to check when doing edits, like character details but today we will focus on just background.
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Background Checks
There are many factors that one could need to check to make sure everything in the background is kept in check between different novel drafts.
Setting - this is an obvious aspect of background. It makes sense because setting is often refered to as background, which makes it something one would often check during a background check in edits. There are different aspects to check from desired levels of detail, consistencies and keeping from falling into white room syndrome (another topic previously posted about on this blog). Edits are where we see what needs cropped or embellished, depending on your writing style.
Character information - not every detail is necessary but it does help to keep the background information on the characters in check. While we don't need to show every aspect of every character in the story, there are details that exist within the background of the story that needs to be checked during edits in order to maintain consistency.
One minor character note I have had to keep track in my edits of the current novel had to do with the math teacher. It took a couple drafts for me to notice that halfway through the story, the math teacher switches from male to female. Ooops. Have to check the limited scenes throughout the story in relation to all teachers to make sure they don't have minor things changing at random.
Pre-edit checking - one thing I did before this final set of edits was to take a series of notes, chapter by chapter, in preparation for the task at hand. That way I knew the background information available, what my be lacking and having that check beforehand did help me prepare for the daunting edit tasks that I am still wading through this month.
What parts of the background do you check during edits? What do you consider the background of your story?


MV said...

I hate editing. But when writing I try to keep a running tab of what I placed into the story. i have also tried the character sheets, which have questions about the past of the character. Great post!