Mapping Consistency (Editing Tips)

As an editor and beta reader, it’s essential for me to help my authors by tracking inconsistencies for them. Complicated worlds need clear systems. In order to keep track of everything, I make consistency sheets for worlds and characters which include descriptions. 

Whenever I find an inconsistency, I change the text color to red in my sheet and bring it up with the author later. I also make sure to write the page number of all descriptions to make these discussions easier and help me double check my findings. For connecting concepts or affiliations, I highlight them in matching colors. This method helps me keep track of the story’s complexities so that I more clearly see how things influence characters and where those influences could be strengthened. It also helps identify when these connections are inconsistent, unexplained, or unclear.

Example Character Sheet: 


  • Inconsistencies
  • Affiliations: 
    • Forbidden spell books club
    • The Rivera Family
  • Lore relevant descriptions:
    • Related to Magic Town
    • Related to a magical pendant
    • Magical school: The Academy for Magicians. 

Magic Land: 

  • Magic Town: is a dreary place that often rains page 1. | Cobbled roads pg. 2 | tall crooked building page 3 | pleasant atmosphere page 4
  • Magical school: The Academy for Magicians is located in Magic Town. A stone building covered in ivy leaves page 10 | secret door behind Alice’s closet page 22 
  • Another Magic Town
    • Hometown of Bob page. 57

Types of Magic: 

  • Made up magic name: used throughout the Magic Land. page 7 | Bob uses this type of magic. Page 67. | pendant uses this kind of magic. Page 95
  • Another made up magic name: Alice page 14, Rebecca page 15 and Leo page 15 use this type of magic. 

Bob: Brown curly hair, page 2. | Desires, a magical pendant to break a curse, page 3. | Is a teacher’s assistant at The Academy for Magicians. Page. 17 | Grew up in Another Magic Town page 57. 

Alice: Green eyes and dark skin, page 1. | She wears a family pendant  rumored to ward off evil spirits, page 22 | She grew up in Magic Town, page. 27 | Is the leader of the forbidden spell books club, page 60

Rebecca: Has pale skin, page 5. | She trained in Magic Town, page 12. | Traumatized by spiders when she was ten years old and is deathly afraid of them, page 13. | Likes her hair in a ponytail, page 24. | Has a pet spider that she loves and she is not afraid of, page. 27. | Goes to The Academy for Magicians

Leo: Raised by wolves, page 15. | Has a button nose, page. 15. | Childhood friends with Rebecca, page 16. | Has a pointed nose, page 27. | Secretly Rebecca’s brother page 110.

To any editors out there, I hope this will help! Perhaps you already have a different system that you use. Feel free to continue the discussion on mapping consistency in our Discord, or write a followup article on the topic. 

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