I did that thing we all do when we’re writing and the scene gets exciting and the more we write, the better it gets, but we blew one tiny little detail and never realized it. In my case, it was a fight scene in my epic fantasy. I wrote it a month ago or something. In the interim, and for fun, I put the novel on my Kindle and I’ve been using it to proof the whole thing from start to…where I am now. Not quite finish, but close.
The other night, I was reading through it and came across this fight scene I’d written. Reading it, I started really getting into it, which is great and what you hope a reader does – even if that reader is you. I’ve probably read it a half dozen times by now. I do that. I write it, then I go back over it, add some details, change a word here or there, or entire sentences get redone. I go back again. Repeat. This night, though, something was bothering me. I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I hit the back button a few times until I was back at the beginning of the scene and I went through it, eyes scanning to find whatever it was that was bugging me. Hero chases after friends who are in turn being chased by bad guys. Intersection, which way does he go? He makes the choice and runs. Finds some bad guys fighting somebody, does a quick head count, wades in. Fight. More fight. More fight.
What the heck is wrong? I have to go back again. Read through it. Shake my head. I don’t know why I’m bothered. I focus in on the fighting. Hero takes out 1st baddie, moves to 2nd, then 3rd & 4th. Breath. 5th and 6th each in turn. Other people are also fight- wait a second.
I go back to the head count. Huh. Our hero counts 7 bad guys, then goes on to fight 6 himself while other people are also fighting ‘some’.
Somewhere between headcount and actual fighting, I forgot the headcount and gave the hero a whole bunch of bad guys to fight.