Saturday, 27 April 2013

Attention to Detail

I met my fiance on the 23rd of November. Our first kiss was on the 11th of March. We officially became a couple on, well, I cannot actually remember that date. The one that always sticks in my mind is the 23rd of November, because 23 is also Katie's birthday and our "couples" lucky number. For me then, 23rd of November is the most significant date in our shared history. Katie though, she goes for the last one, the one that I can never quite remember.

This year, I decided to make the effort to celebrate on this day that means so much to her. We are currently saving for a holiday, so my budget is slight, but nonetheless it is the thought that counts. On my way home from work I picked up a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. It is not much, but it is rare for us to treat ourselves on a week night and I thought that this would be enough to make the evening that little bit special.

"Mmm chocolate,' remarked Katie, as she came home to see what I had brought her. 'And wine too - what's the occasion?"

"St Georges day of course!" I joked.

"Really?" she replied. "You are not normally this patriotic."

"It's for our anniversary, silly. I bet you thought that I would forget."

She stared back at me, blankly.

"You know, the 23rd of April. That's the day that you followed me to Perth."

She shook her head.

"That was the 25th of April. It is the same day as ANZAC day. I thought that you knew. We discussed it only last weekend."

My heart sank as recollection of that very conversation dawned on me. How could I have been so stupid. I knew that the date was ANZAC day and that it was on the 25th (which is also the day of Kate's aunt's birthday). Somehow, by seeing the "lucky" 23 and knowing that the day was a significant day (St Georges had replaced ANZAC in my head) I had completely screwed the dates up. Still, the chocolates were nice, although I did have to get another box for the 25th too.

Simple mistakes like the one above are all too easy to make and they do not cause any harm since we usually end up laughing about them. When we are writing though, just the simplest error can make or break a story. Forgetting a name, place or date within in a novel can have disastrous consequences as it immediately loses the reader's confidence in the story. That is why, when we are writing we have to keep precise notes and make sure to record every significant event within our work. In life, we always have another anniversary next year, but in our writing, there are no second chances.

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