The Willow Branch has been through several revisions and I thought I was down to the fine tooth comb — looking for misplaced commas and the occasional typo.
Scott Butcher over on Authonomy is going through the book as I head to publication and suddenly he throws on the brakes. “Who the heck is Earnest?” he asks.
Earnest is Padraig’s pack pony. Sort of like Bela in The Wheel of Time, he’ll show up occasionally throughout the series. But here he is, several chapters into the book and Scott can’t recall reading about him before.
So, he reads back and, sure enough, Earnest has sprung up like a dandelion in an untilled field. “Who the heck is Earnest?”
I went back into my old versions and found where I described him and the sentient horse Joy, but that somehow got removed during one of the revisions.
Can you relate?
This is why, as writers who are seeking to self-publish, we really need a second pair of eyes. Make that multiple second pairs of eyes. To my best guess, the revision that removed Earnest and caused the continuity error happened two years ago. People have read the book since then, but nobody mentioned it, probably because nobody noticed it.
Problem solved, the revision has been revised.
So, can you relate?