July 15, 2011
In Xmas Carol, it's the year 2030 and there are some new tech toys on the scene. I called one of the inventions "Lasers" at the beginning of the book -- but Annie noticed the name morphed into "Visors" in later chapters. Okay, that's not so weird, right? I'm human, I made a mistake.
But the strange thing is that I've edited this book at least ten times and never noticed this. How could that be? It's not like I'm a sloppy editor; I'm damn good. But it got past me -- again and again. I wondered why and came up with a notion, a strange notion.
My mind couldn't see the mistake because of the trail my brain left on those early chapters when I wrote them. When I returned to the early chapters to edit them, my brain automatically slipped into its former mindset. The reason I couldn't see the error was because when I wrote those lines, that was the proper name for the tech toy. So my mind was effectively blind to the error. Is that weird or what? It's the only explanation I can come up with.
I did this once before in a book, with a character's name. It was one name -- and it magically changed to another, again without me noticing. In both cases, by the way, I kept the morphed (latter) version. In Xmas Carol we have Visors, not Lasers. Anyway, this is one reason why writers need readers. Thanks, Annie!
This ends today's installment of "Brains: Totally Weird".