Most boys and girls can't sit down and write a book from start to finish in a single day. Some boys and girls wish they could. So how do said boys and girls maintain a consistent voice and writing style through a project that might take six months to finish?
A girl recently started editing a novel she started writing in November of last year. She finished it at the end of April, with a long break (2 months) in between. She deleted 95 pages of this novel and rewrote it. As she started going over the beginning notes from her critique group, she realized that the style of writing was way different than how she finished the book. Of course the main character has a huge arc, but that doesn't mean the actual writing should.
So what's a girl to do?
This girl put it aside and started working on something else. *snarf* But really, in the back of her mind, she knows she has to address this issue. When she worked at Pepperidge Farm, she had to check the goldfish for proper baking consistencies. Burnt fish were not packaged and sold to the general public. Thus, in her writing life, her quality control must be flawless as well. Half-baked beginnings are no good. They must be thrown out or packaged and sold as seconds.
And she is not satisfied with second. And so the girl will rewrite. Revise. Edit. She's not entirely sure what the difference is, but Scott said it so well, and she has to do all three so *shrugs*. She's working on making the beginning consistent with the ending in the style of writing. And she's revising the story, making needed improvements and clarifications. And then she's going to edit those rewritten sections and revisions. Maybe not in that order. She's learned that she is not like other girls, and what works for them doesn't always work for her. She's open to new ideas, she tries new things, she's willing to learn, so don't get her wrong. She just knows she is sort of on her own personal death march (see "motivational" poster above) as she reworks said inconsistent novel.
How do you maintain consistency? In the voice? The narrative style? Your blog posts? (*rolling on the floor snarfing*)
This girl wants to know.