September 04, 2011

Battered Barbies

I was on GoodReads recently talking about "Pet Peeves" and one of the things that came up was how jarring it is to find continuity errors while immersed in a good story. I mentioned that one of the ways I keep up with characters' clothes, positions and injuries while writing or editing is with Barbie and Ken dolls. 

When a character sits, stands up, lies down or turns their back -- so does their doll. Clothing is removed/replaced as needed. Injuries are painted on with highlight markers and removed with alcohol wipes. 

Here's a shot of Channie and Josh's dolls after a rather violent scene in "Finding Valor" I'm not going to say too much about the injuries, except that Channie and Josh did NOT do this to each other! I don't want to give anything away, but I thought you might get a kick out of seeing the lengths I go to just to keep things straight.


I'd love to know how other writers maintain continuity with their characters. 

11 comments:

  1. That is really cool! I wouldn't recommend it to any epic fantasy writers though or they would have a whole fleet of Barbie and Ken dolls lol! I might have to give that a try in future. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That would be awesome! I once resorted to using different colored Skittles to keep track of the main combatants in a small battle scene. I'll have to start scoping out garage sales for old fashion dolls, action figures and GI Joes before I get to the third book in this series!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha still think this is a genius plan!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'll have to take a photo of the aftermath of the dolls after the final battle scene!

    I do lots of weird things when I'm writing. You should see the timeline I created for "Enchantment" out of adding machine paper rolls! It goes halfway around the perimeter of my office, but it helps me see the "big picture" much better than a regular calendar.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This cracks me up, but it's such a good idea. I hate continuity errors too. They throw you right out of the story.

    My big question is are you deducting the money spent on barbie dolls from your taxes as a business-related expense?

    ReplyDelete
  6. lol, neat idea but I think I'll stick with my notes. I never played with/owned Barbies, and my two young boys think I'm eccentric enough with having a stuffed mythical creature army--many complete with pink ribbons on their necks--on my desk. =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Jared, I'm not deducting the dolls as a business expense. For some reason, I think the IRS might not believe me ;-) I don't want to send up any red flags. Audits are NOT fun!

    Hi S.J. I'd love to see your mythical creature army! Post a pic?

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's pretty weak now, as my kids will tatter anything--armies included--and I took the pink ribbons off just in case this photo goes viral, lol. Left to right: Pegasus, Griffin (shhh--he doesn't like being called an Angry Bird!) Dragon and a Bear Shifter that is due to make an experience in my book's sequel. ^ ^

    http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/m616/infinitydreamt/Other/photo1.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  9. The pegasus is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  10. His other wing is torn though =( I really have to get around to sewing it up one day so he can fly again.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That reminds me of a scene I cut from Enchantment. I'm going to go search for it and use it as an entry in Channie's Diary. THANKS! **Big Hug!**

    ReplyDelete