Created By: MegapteraFebruary 14, 2012 Last Edited By: MegapteraFebruary 17, 2012
Nuked

Author Inconsistency

The author forgets what s/he has written before and retroactively changes details.

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Trope
This is the one where the author, typically an author of many many books in a given continuity, is a tad bit disorganized to the point where points of canon contradict each other.

All of these examples are from literature; this may be because a book or a series of books can be written by one author and one or no editors, while television shows and mass-produced comics tend to have a lot more creative types looking over each other's shoulders and catching such things.

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never seemed to be sure how many times Dr. Watson was married, whether or not he was married at any given moment, and to whom he was married. Come to think of it, Watson's first name was in question, as he's officially John but was called James by his wife in "The Man with the Twisted Lip".
  • Brian Jacques' Redwall books followed a pattern where the adults in the current book were children or babies in the previous one. In The Pearls of Lutra a young mole girl named Diggum is introduced; in the next book, The Long Patrol, Diggum has grown up to be a fine young man.
  • In the first book of The Elric Saga, Elric of Melniboné, we're told that Elric's mother died giving birth to him. In The Sailor on the Seas of Fate he reminisces about his childhood and his mother and father, implying that they were both alive when he was old enough to retain memories of them.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • February 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The location of Watson's wound also moved around - sometimes it was his leg, sometimes his foot, sometimes his side. And the Moriarity brothers, both named James.

    • The Land Of Oz has pretty loose continuity sometimes.
      • In the first book The Wizard of Oz Glinda the Good Witch is supportive of the Scarecrow taking over as ruler of Oz when the Wizard leaves, but in the next book she says that he was a userper; and then when he returns to Oz in a later book he's an OK guy again.
      • Toto doesn't talk in his first several apperances even though all the other animals from the real world who go to Oz can talk; in the 8th book it's revealed that he can talk, he just prefers not to.
      • In the early books death is a possibility, but later it's stated definitively that nobody can age or die in Oz. One wonders how they eat, and those who are old are old forever (likewise babies).
    • Early in Marvel Comics Stan Lee was writing almost all the titles and got some of his facts mixed up, leading to , among other things, Bruce Banner being called Bob and Peter Parker being called Peter Palmer.
  • February 14, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • Happens many, many times with the Warrior Cats series[[hottip:*:A full list of inconsistencies and typos can be seen here]]: characters often change pelt colors and occasionally flip genders, sometimes they'll forget what certain characters know and don't know, time passage will be inaccurate, and some details about Clan life and the history of the Clans have gotten changed around. Seeing as there's over 40 books, graphic novels, and guidebooks, over 700 characters, and four people writing the series, it's only natural that things get mixed up once in a while.
  • February 15, 2012
    Damr1990
    see also Shrug Of God
  • February 15, 2012
    KJMackley
    This looks to be Ret Con only more specific. I get the "only one author" thing but that doesn't change anything.
  • February 15, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^ Ret Con seems to be intentional, however, I wonder if this might be Series Continuity Error. The Sherlock Holmes examples are listed there.
  • February 15, 2012
    X2X
    But a retcon is usually deliberate, done in order to smooth out a current need in the story. Isn't this more unintentional?
  • February 15, 2012
    Megaptera
    Series Continuity Error is it. Funny, I searched for Continuity and got a lot of crap in the first few pages rather than a relevant post. Okay, it's done already, thanks folks.
  • February 15, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Series Continuity Error itself Needs A Better Description. Nothing major, just some expansion and polish.
  • February 16, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    Another Oz example would be the state of money: does it exist or doesn't it? See the appropriate page at the Oz wiki. To summarize, it clearly exists in the first book but by the fifth:
    Tin Toodman: Money! Money in Oz!...What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?
  • February 17, 2012
    Catbert
    Can this be discarded?
  • February 17, 2012
    Tambov333
    Move the examples to Series Continuity Error first.
  • February 17, 2012
    Cider
    We already have Consistency. Yes, I think this can be discarded.

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