Series Incongruities

I’ve been reading books by Scott Westerfeld: Uglies, Pretties, and now halfway through Specials. I like the world he’s created for Tally Youngblood and her friends, and it shows her character changing throughout the three books.

But I also noticed the little bit about SpagBol, his word for Spaghetti Bolognaise dehydrated, then re-created with a purifier.

In Uglies, Tally runs out into the wild with a bag created by [evil] Dr. Cable, and every single packet of food in her bag was SpagBol. After that, she’s had trouble looking at it. Can’t blame her, since that’s all she ate for three meals a day for a few weeks.

In Specials, Tally reacts to another character eating SpagBol with some revulsion. Months have passed since Uglies, but this is still a strong reaction.

So why does Tally have SpagBol in her own hand-packed bag when she escapes to the wild in Pretties? And why doesn’t she react when, admittedly another character, eats it?

Those kinds of questions sometimes keep me up at night. I found the little inconsistencies even toward the end of editing The Art of Science, and I hope to find them all with my current projects.

I’m only human, though. I must take into account that I will not fix everything, even if I have help.

Scott Westerfeld couldn’t find all the tiny details with all of Simon Pulse behind him. It wasn’t a pivotal point. It was just part of the minutiae.

I’m sure a series bible would help, but it’s also difficult to accept that as a writer I might not be able to create a perfect story. I suppose I’ll just hope enough people read it to discern the things I missed.

We all do the best we can. I’m loving the books in spite of that – extremely small – detail.

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4 Comments

  1. Jamie said,

    4 June 2010 at 09:55

    I think that is something that all writers hope to avoid. I know I am struggling with it in my current manuscript but i have a lot of things going on. it is hard to keep it all straight.

  2. ransomnoble said,

    4 June 2010 at 12:30

    Good luck. It isn’t easy to find them.

  3. Dawn Embers said,

    4 June 2010 at 15:16

    Very interesting. It’s true that not all minute aspects will be noticed. Goal is just to make the book the best that you can make it. I have the first book of the series Uglies but haven’t read it yet. Sounds like it will be an interesting read at least.

  4. ransomnoble said,

    4 June 2010 at 17:31

    I enjoyed it, and I hope you do, too, Dawn.


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