I would like to introduce you to Zane Dowling, my friend, editor, and mentor. He passes on some sage advice. Read below and when you’re done, why not go buy one of his superb books, you won’t regret it. P.s. my favorite is “Brother’s Keeper. Link below.
The one thing I want you to take away from my time in this little spotlight is to consider as your utmost goal the idea of bringing the best possible story to your readers. Imagine presenting a puzzle for others to see. If you haven’t put that puzzle together in the best possible way they will not enjoy it as much as they could. Suppose you have just stuffed the pieces of the puzzle together without making sure the pieces fit, or you jammed a few pieces in because they fit but didn’t make sure they matched the surrounding parts of the picture, you will have given the viewer an incomplete picture.
Does this mean you have to strive for perfection? Of course it does. You have to be diligent for your readers; it’s not about you it’s about them. You must check, recheck, have someone else check, check again and then you will need to step back and see what the finished puzzle looks like one more time.
I understand that no one is perfect. I have found typos in various published works where you would not expect them. I don’t consider typos a problem. They are like that one piece of the puzzle where the picture has come away from the cardboard and there is nothing above due diligence and care that can be done about them. I am talking about the author getting into their own story, to see the picture, to become the character in the situation and not let them do, say, wear, think, be, react, reflect, move, smell, look, or any other possible way of being other than what that character would do, etcetera. Don’t make characters or situations fit the story; let the characters be in the story in the only way they can be – who they are. – Zane.