You know when you’re reading a passage of dialog, and the characters just got in the car so of course that’s where they are, except a waiter walks up to offer dessert… Or the author’s detailed every item in a woman’s purse, only to have her pull out a gun that missed the inventory… Or the school on the West side of the street suddenly appears on the East… or… etc… You know… those odd inconsistencies that an editor tries to eradicate before the book goes to print, and an author knows made perfect sense at the time…
Well, those same inconsistencies can drive a poor builder of flat pack furniture crazy. I’ve learned this to my cost, ’cause I’ve just been building cupboards, chests of drawers, and chairs for my son. Connect A to B using C, D, and E said the instructions. But a leftover item, labeled F, turned out to be essential. It was in the diagram, just not in the text. Then the writing demanded I attach drawer sliders with arrows pointing outwards. But one slider worked backwards and slid the wrong way. Tighten A, B and C, said the rules, and repeat. But why didn’t they tell me to leave the screws loose until I’d added D?
Ah, flat pack furniture is such fun. And so is editing. So next time you wonder where the waiter (and dessert) came from, pity the poor editor and author who forgot they’d removed the main course paragraph.
And yes please, I’ll have the chocolate mousse–I need it! But the furniture looks great.
Sheila Deeth is the author of Divide by Zero, Infinite Sum, and Imaginary Numbers, coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.