Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 216501 times)

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poundcake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1230 on: September 01, 2013, 05:23:56 AM »
Quote
I know FF isn't like original works, and intellectual property can't be claimed (except in *some* very morally grey cases...), but the nerve of the request staggered me.

I don't think it's too uncommon for a fan or another author of fanfic to offer to "finish" or pick up a story you've dropped. I've seen it a few times. It's like one step past adopting a "plot bunny"! And it can be a fun way to collaborate, too. Don't be too offended by the request (and obviously, say no if you want), but it's not as "nervy" as you might think.

My current peeve is an author reusing the exact same trope, especially in the same series. I picked up several historical bodice-rippers for summer reading (about as far away from my usual stuff as you can get), and in every single one, the heroine ends up being kidnapped and sold into a Middle Eastern harem. It's a multi-generational story, so the initial heroine, two of her daughters, her brother's wife, and a granddaughter all end up as some raj/sultan/bey's treasured paramour and learn the exotic arts of love before returning home. Something tells me that if your family is that prone to being kidnapped into sexual servitude, you might consider staying away from ships.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1231 on: September 01, 2013, 05:48:48 AM »
My current peeve is an author reusing the exact same trope, especially in the same series. I picked up several historical bodice-rippers for summer reading (about as far away from my usual stuff as you can get), and in every single one, the heroine ends up being kidnapped and sold into a Middle Eastern harem. It's a multi-generational story, so the initial heroine, two of her daughters, her brother's wife, and a granddaughter all end up as some raj/sultan/bey's treasured paramour and learn the exotic arts of love before returning home. Something tells me that if your family is that prone to being kidnapped into sexual servitude, you might consider staying away from ships.

I almost feel that this might be a "trademark" device which worked, for this novel sequence -- especially if it were handled in an at least somewhat humorous / self-mocking way. The kidnapping-into-a-harem thing as a kind of rite of passage for the women of this family; something which they actually liked, and sought ways for it to happen...?

There are modern-ish historical-fiction series by relatively reputable authors, which contain happenings pretty well as far-fetched and repetitious, as this. For instance, the "Flashman" novels by George MacDonald Fraser (which I love), are not entirely free of this trait.

poundcake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1232 on: September 01, 2013, 06:04:39 AM »
My current peeve is an author reusing the exact same trope, especially in the same series. I picked up several historical bodice-rippers for summer reading (about as far away from my usual stuff as you can get), and in every single one, the heroine ends up being kidnapped and sold into a Middle Eastern harem. It's a multi-generational story, so the initial heroine, two of her daughters, her brother's wife, and a granddaughter all end up as some raj/sultan/bey's treasured paramour and learn the exotic arts of love before returning home. Something tells me that if your family is that prone to being kidnapped into sexual servitude, you might consider staying away from ships.

I almost feel that this might be a "trademark" device which worked, for this novel sequence -- especially if it were handled in an at least somewhat humorous / self-mocking way. The kidnapping-into-a-harem thing as a kind of rite of passage for the women of this family; something which they actually liked, and sought ways for it to happen...?

There are modern-ish historical-fiction series by relatively reputable authors, which contain happenings pretty well as far-fetched and repetitious, as this. For instance, the "Flashman" novels by George MacDonald Fraser (which I love), are not entirely free of this trait.

It totally wasn't! In fact, usually the harem time is the "dark secret" that is never mentioned again when the women return. It would be so much better if it were used as a rite of passage in-joke. "Darling, you're seventeen now, and you know what that means?" "Oh, mummy, am I finally of age to be shipped to a harem just like Aunt Sophie and Big Sister Kate? Yay! I'll pack my kit!"

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1233 on: September 01, 2013, 06:31:45 AM »
Hey -- author-type notions are coming to mind: trying one's hand at a historical novel (or series of novels) -- tongue-in-cheek -- set in the one-time Ottoman Empire. The central characters would be a Christian family in the Balkans, who actually LIKE the treatment handed out to them by their Ottoman overlords. The boys all want to be taken as Janissaries: compelled from late childhood on, to decades of service in the Ottoman army. The girls all look forward to their harem stint...

Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1234 on: September 01, 2013, 10:25:13 AM »
Harem as finishing school--I like it!

Morticia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1235 on: September 01, 2013, 11:00:04 AM »
I am currently reading a novel where a witness for the prosecution in a murder is being allowed to defend the person charged in said murder. IANAL, but I am pretty sure there is no place where that is allowed.
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KenveeB

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1236 on: September 01, 2013, 11:05:57 AM »
I am currently reading a novel where a witness for the prosecution in a murder is being allowed to defend the person charged in said murder. IANAL, but I am pretty sure there is no place where that is allowed.

Speaking as an appellate prosecutor... NO! <shudder> I get nightmares just thinking about how to preserve that one on appeal. ;)

Snowy Owl

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1237 on: September 01, 2013, 11:12:43 AM »
Hey -- author-type notions are coming to mind: trying one's hand at a historical novel (or series of novels) -- tongue-in-cheek -- set in the one-time Ottoman Empire. The central characters would be a Christian family in the Balkans, who actually LIKE the treatment handed out to them by their Ottoman overlords. The boys all want to be taken as Janissaries: compelled from late childhood on, to decades of service in the Ottoman army. The girls all look forward to their harem stint...

I'd so read that.  Please write it and you might have a bestseller on your hanrd.   :)

Poundcake, I know what you mean about authors (often romance authors) re-using the same themes.  Sometimes they write such similar things that I've thought I've read something and found out that I hadn't but I had read 2 practically identifical books by the same author.  Stephanie Laurens is particularly bad for this with her endless series.  I liked the original two or three but she's now written so many books, all with practically identical heroes that I have given up reading them. 

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Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1238 on: September 01, 2013, 11:46:09 AM »
Quote
I know FF isn't like original works, and intellectual property can't be claimed (except in *some* very morally grey cases...), but the nerve of the request staggered me.

I don't think it's too uncommon for a fan or another author of fanfic to offer to "finish" or pick up a story you've dropped. I've seen it a few times. It's like one step past adopting a "plot bunny"! And it can be a fun way to collaborate, too. Don't be too offended by the request (and obviously, say no if you want), but it's not as "nervy" as you might think.

My current peeve is an author reusing the exact same trope, especially in the same series. I picked up several historical bodice-rippers for summer reading (about as far away from my usual stuff as you can get), and in every single one, the heroine ends up being kidnapped and sold into a Middle Eastern harem. It's a multi-generational story, so the initial heroine, two of her daughters, her brother's wife, and a granddaughter all end up as some raj/sultan/bey's treasured paramour and learn the exotic arts of love before returning home. Something tells me that if your family is that prone to being kidnapped into sexual servitude, you might consider staying away from ships.

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Kiara

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1239 on: September 03, 2013, 10:28:15 AM »
Winterlight, I was wondering the same thing.....LOL.

wolfie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1240 on: September 03, 2013, 10:32:07 AM »
What about a historically important actress that almost everybody will know? I read a book about someone who wanted to be a model, and she was compared to a young Audrey Hepburn. I accepted that, because her movies were classics, and I can't think of anypne who hasn't seen my fair lady, or breakfest at Tiffanys or Roman Holiday.

Now you have - I haven't seen any of them. But I have seen a picture of a young Audrey Hepburn. I think those descriptions are problematic because you are going to run into people who have no idea what that person looks like, or who know they have seen that person but can't recall offhand what they looked like at that point. It is better to just do a short description instead of trying to do a short cut and comparing them to someone else.

Luci

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1241 on: September 03, 2013, 10:53:57 AM »
What about a historically important actress that almost everybody will know? I read a book about someone who wanted to be a model, and she was compared to a young Audrey Hepburn. I accepted that, because her movies were classics, and I can't think of anypne who hasn't seen my fair lady, or breakfest at Tiffanys or Roman Holiday.

Now you have - I haven't seen any of them. But I have seen a picture of a young Audrey Hepburn. I think those descriptions are problematic because you are going to run into people who have no idea what that person looks like, or who know they have seen that person but can't recall offhand what they looked like at that point. It is better to just do a short description instead of trying to do a short cut and comparing them to someone else.

Another problem with this is that if the reader really doesn't like the celebrity mentioned, it will shade the way the reader looks at the character, which may be entirely different from what the author intends.

For me, I don't know many of the younger actors and actresses as I don't go to movies. For example, I dont know what Sean Penn looks like, and he has been around a long time. Tell me Peter Lawford or Henry Fonda, and I'm going to get the picture.

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1242 on: September 03, 2013, 11:05:08 AM »
I was reading Eddings again (the Elenium) and I just realized that he never named Queen Elahna's mother. Every character refers to her as "Queen Elahna's mother", even though the woman had been their queen before her death. Talk about weird!

cwm

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1243 on: September 03, 2013, 01:44:21 PM »
Okay, maybe all y'all literary types can help me out. There's this novel I read within the past few years, and I can remember enough about it to know that it's a historical type novel that's not to horribly inaccurate.

This family gets dropped off in Canada on an island, they're going to be working on the island fishing and such. And there's another family there already. They have to get by with not enough food for anyone, the fishing boat only comes back once in a while. There's natives there, and in the end some of the people end up moving to a nearby city. I think one of the characters is a priest?

Yeah, I've really got nothing else, and I can't figure out who else to ask at this point. I can't get to a library for at least another week or so and it's bothering me now.

That would be Random Passage by Bernice Morgan - awesome book!

That's it! You're my hero now. Officially adding it to the list so hopefully I don't forget it again.

What about a historically important actress that almost everybody will know? I read a book about someone who wanted to be a model, and she was compared to a young Audrey Hepburn. I accepted that, because her movies were classics, and I can't think of anypne who hasn't seen my fair lady, or breakfest at Tiffanys or Roman Holiday.

Now you have - I haven't seen any of them. But I have seen a picture of a young Audrey Hepburn. I think those descriptions are problematic because you are going to run into people who have no idea what that person looks like, or who know they have seen that person but can't recall offhand what they looked like at that point. It is better to just do a short description instead of trying to do a short cut and comparing them to someone else.

I'm the same way. I don't watch movies. Some blockbusters here and there, and a few franchises I follow regularly, but the running joke with my family and friends is that if you want to ask if CWM's seen *insert classic movie title here* the answer is probably going to be no. And I just don't follow celebrities too much, so saying that someone looks like "a young Ben Affleck" means just about nothing to me. I'm not going to get online and do a google search just so I can have some sort of idea of the character I'm reading about.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1244 on: September 03, 2013, 01:44:51 PM »
Quote
I know FF isn't like original works, and intellectual property can't be claimed (except in *some* very morally grey cases...), but the nerve of the request staggered me.

I don't think it's too uncommon for a fan or another author of fanfic to offer to "finish" or pick up a story you've dropped. I've seen it a few times. It's like one step past adopting a "plot bunny"! And it can be a fun way to collaborate, too. Don't be too offended by the request (and obviously, say no if you want), but it's not as "nervy" as you might think.

My current peeve is an author reusing the exact same trope, especially in the same series. I picked up several historical bodice-rippers for summer reading (about as far away from my usual stuff as you can get), and in every single one, the heroine ends up being kidnapped and sold into a Middle Eastern harem. It's a multi-generational story, so the initial heroine, two of her daughters, her brother's wife, and a granddaughter all end up as some raj/sultan/bey's treasured paramour and learn the exotic arts of love before returning home. Something tells me that if your family is that prone to being kidnapped into sexual servitude, you might consider staying away from ships.

Going out on a limb and guessing this is Sky O'Malley and her happy entourage.  The author also wrote a bunch of stand alone titles where the heroines can't seem to avoid the Middle Eastern Mail Order Bride by Kidnap route.  Instead of being completely caught up in the heroine's "exciting" adventures I usually fall down and laugh hysterically.  Because, seriously?  The deadly grim way in which the various heroes go about seducing their prey is fodder for parody.