How do you ensure that you keep the ‘reality’ of your fictional world intact? Here are the pitfalls to avoid:
- Something unusual happening in your fictional world that you haven’t prepared your reader for
- A character that notices something they wouldn’t notice in real life, says something they wouldn’t say, or does something they wouldn’t do
- In fantasy, a character not using a skill that you have given them when they should do so
- Unrealistic dialogue that is used to convey information
- In historical fiction particularly, an object, custom, behaviour that didn’t exist or wouldn’t have happened in the time in which your novel is set
- Continuity. This is as important in fiction as it is in films. For example, if your character has his hands handcuffed behind his back, don’t have them in front of him two minutes later (as in Reservoir Dogs).
Much of writing is about building believable and compelling worlds, but those worlds must follow a logic that the reader can relate to, understand, and around which you can create interesting and dynamic stories.