Common Writing Mistake: Spacial Awareness

I brought up in a previous post the idea that writing is like an RPG game.  For me, I like the Role Playing Game comparison because it uses numbers and strict rules.  Numbers and rules are not ambiguous like plot.

This idea of strict rules continues when it comes to spacial awareness.  If a character can only move three spaces per turn then it would take two turns to move six spaces.  This is a limit to movement and actions.

The same is true for characters in a book.  Unless a character has magical abilities or super powers, there is a limit to what the standard human can do.  If the character is on one side of the planet in one chapter, that same character cannot suddenly appear on the other side of the planet that same day.  Enough story time must pass that allows for the character to travel that journey.

This is a trap that I see authors fall into quite a bit while beta reading.  All too often I see the movement and actions of characters dictated by the plot because it's convenient.  The easiest way to solve a conflict is have a particular character present so the logic of movement is ignored.  While this is convenient for the author, it's jarring for the reader.


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