A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Reading/Book Pet Peeves

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TexasRanger:
What are some things you can't stand about plots, characters, or just the author's writing style?

1. Mary Sue / Larry Stu Characters: These are the "perfect" characters. No physical/character flaws, never have a hair out of place and always right about everything they say. Expect them to look like super models.
2. Too much detail: The "I must write a three page description of a lamp" type.

So what are yours?

Garden Goblin:
When the 14 book series could have been a trilogy if the characters weren't so stupid and didn't keep making the same stupid mistakes because they were too stupid to talk to each other because each had the stupid notion that they were the only stupid person qualified to deal with the stupid plot.

atirial:
Deus Ex Machina. If you're going to write characters into a corner, then get them out of it with things that are already established. Don't invent the magical superpower of dealing-specifically-with-problem-x that has never been mentioned before and will never be used again.

It drives me up the wall in certain series, where characters' abilities vary from book to book. When it happens in the same book, it is even worse.

cicero:
1. when author's styles change from 'interesting and different' to 'ewww get me out of here'. like stephen king for one.

so, i end up picking up one of that author's latest books, thinking it will be just as good if not better than the previous one, and it gets... gory.

2. and i know this is my issue but typos and incorrect word choices drive me crazy. it's a book, it's published by this big publishing house, i'm sure they have plenty of editors and proof readers on staff. Use them! I know it's not possible to always find every mistake, but sometimes books are just sloppy and it's annoying.

faithlessone:
I think my biggest pet peeve (of fiction in general, tbh) is "Didn't Do The Research". Books that have Ancient Romans eating potatoes, or a person driving from Sydney to Perth in a matter of hours.

For books in particular, it has to be inconsistency in their writing style. I've read too many books that veered from "formal" style to a more colloquial feel and back again. A subset of that is books clearly written in a posh/formal/literary style, but including lots of slang that isn't appropriate to that style.

Ooh, and while I'm on the subject, character dialogue written with the phonetic accent. It can work, but often it's just bad.

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