Factual Continuity

As my time with Bandit’s Moon grows short, (second runthrough is done, 96,431 words – I’ll be doing a final readthrough once I get it into ebook format tomorrow or Saturday, since the random missing comma, quotes, or other things like that tend to jump out in that version – and then it hits the street next week) I’m running into a slight problem.

Factual continuity within the Night and Day series.

In the series, I have a lot of things that are thrown in there to enhance the reality of the world. Most of it is meaningless, on the face of it.

Welles drives two blocks west on Fowler, turns left on 47th Street, then after a couple of blocks makes the left turn onto Tuxedo. Do I expect the reader to be following along with some kind of mental map? Not really. Street names, locations of things, characters you hear about in conversation but never meet…they’re not there to be cataloged in the reader’s mind. They’re there to make the city and the world seem real.

Let’s face it, it’s an unnamed city. You’re never going to visit it, or stand at Hennessy and Second Street, looking up at the Triangle Building where Night and Day Investigations is located. But Welles lives there. The other characters live or visit there. For them it has to be real, and through their perceived reality, the reader’s acceptance of the realness of it all.

But for me, the man behind the curtain, I must say that it can be a real pain in the ass to keep it all straight.

What’s the address of the Triangle Building? Well, I know it’s 198 Hennessy. The last address on Hennessy before Second Street. I know that now. I made it up and wrote it down in the latter part of Bandit’s Moon. I believe that’s the only place I mentioned the address. It’s not mentioned in Night and Day or Bleeding Sky. But there’s something in my head that says I mentioned it earlier in Bandit’s Moon and I used the address 201 Hennessy.

I’ll be able to easily check once I combine the 26 chapters and epilogue into one file, rather than 27 separate files, and I will. And fix it.

But that’s just an example. All these little facts. Character names. Places. Addresses. In Night and Day, the Uptown District police station was formerly the Liberty Avenue station. In Bandit’s Moon, I want it to have been the Tremont Avenue station, where Welles worked when he worked as a uniform officer uptown. I put some stuff in Bandit’s Moon based on the idea that it already WAS the Tremont Avenue station. So since it’s only mentioned once in Night and Day, just in passing, I’ll probably go and make the change there tomorrow or over the weekend. It matters in Bandit’s Moon, not so much in Night and Day.

But that’s the problem. If I’d known that it was formerly Liberty Avenue station, I could have worked with that. But I thought it was Tremont Avenue (and btw, Tremont Avenue is a street in the Bronx where my parents lived, and I lived after I was born…so that’s where THAT came from…).

I find myself going back, to earlier books or hunting through random chapters of the work in progress, looking for that kind of thing. And I need to change that.

So I’m thinking of making a new Evernote notebook just for that kind of thing. Specifics. Facts. Addresses. Characters. Who’s the Police Commissioner? What are the former names of the city police stations? It’ll be my Encyclopedia NightandDayica.

And with God as my witness, I’ll never be factless again!

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