Okay, so I'm in that stage of writing where things have to be consistent. Not only plot items, but character relationships, reactions, world-building items, the full monty. And it's not just in a single book, but through an entire series, with one book which is completely unchangeable.
Let's define. Consistency: agreement, harmony, or compatibility, especially correspondence or uniformity among the parts of a complex thing.
I know, you're running scared. You should be. Because novels are COMPLEX THINGS. I think consistency is the hardest part of an author's job. We need our characters to act a certain way in a certain situation, but then we need them to do the opposite later on. That can't really happen, unless the arc the character has gone through is pretty big.
And in my novels, that's not the case. I'm a self-proclaimed "discovery writer" so I often have major consistency issues in my drafts. As I'm editing, I've devised a system to help me organize the chaos and achieve consistency.
The highlighter tool. It may seem lame, but I like all those pretty colors. I pick a color for language of a specific character and I highlight it. It's super-easy to check for overuse and consistency; simply make the zoom 20% and you can see 20 pages at a time to see if the color appears too much or not enough.
I repeat this highlighting process for relationships. Do they start and end the same way? If not, why not? Is the arc sufficient to support the change? If so--and that was the goal--yay!
I use the highlighter for many different aspects, but mainly to alert myself to things that need to stay consistent.
How do you stay consistent?