The axiom goes something like this: Never anger a writer for he will turn you into a character in his book and give you a painful death. However, I am sad to report, authors ability to accomplish such dastardly deeds is sorely limited

Satisfying an editor is daunting, but it’s not the toughest hurdle in creating a work of fiction. Writing a story worth reading poses far more formidable challenges.

To begin with, one’s protagonist must grow, learn and somehow be transformed by the events of the tale. Bowing to character arc imposes choices a writer may be unhappy to make. Such as killing the young child who is no more than an innocent bystander.

When continuity steps in, the principal characters may begin dictating their dialogue, decisions and responses to the fictional world they live in. This can be a lot of fun — so long as the author has a degree of patience and a sense of humor.

But the support cast can easily be overlooked. And as the final form takes shape, the demands of continuity can force some daunting questions. What happens, for example, when a light romantic rival from chapter 3 must suddenly have a new and shadowy motive in chapter 34? And how much rewrite does the answer to such a question demand?

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