Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 216822 times)

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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1545 on: December 13, 2013, 02:09:27 PM »
I'd like a redefinition of "feminine" that doesn't make the woman of action an outlier, but I suppose we have a while to wait for that.
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Joeschmo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1546 on: December 13, 2013, 02:24:00 PM »
I think that it's a tired stereotype because it seems to be often used to show how much better, less superficial, etc the heroine supposedly is than all those stupid traditional females. It's like the real life women who are proud because they don't have any female friends and can't get along with women, because they're so cool and drama-free and never think what it says about them that they don't get along with half of the population.

And I find reading about that sort of characters kind of boring, even if they exist (tough I would also find someone who thinks that science and art is stupid as boring). I will also avoid romance novels with heroines who are cops or soldiers, unless it seems really interesting, as it usually means that the whole book is about her conflict and power struggle with her male collegues. Or being a journalist means being really feisty, never taking advice from anyone and getting into stupid, dangerous and avoidable situations while chasing a story.

I'm not proud that I don't have many female friends but I'm not sad about it, either; and I generally just don't get along with women.  All that says about me is that I don't have much in common with them.  All it says about them is that they don't have much in common with me.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.



I seem to have read the original post quite different than everyone else.  Petticoats explained it quite well for me and I can see where that would indeed be quite annoying.

I hear women say this way more than men and it always frustrates me.  I have various theories about why this is said/practiced but really people who say this are generally lumping 50% of the worlds people into a group they don't have things in common with because they don't have a Y chromosome.  I think it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because women are written off as having no friend potential by other women because they are women.

cwm

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1547 on: December 13, 2013, 03:03:59 PM »
I'm reading this historical royal novel. I appreciate authors who do a lot of research for those. But I get irritated when the author seems to feel the need to "show off" their research. This one actually had a glossary of terms at the back--different parts of clothing and armor, household equipment, food, etc.. There's a fine line between "details that add atmosphere" and "details that confuse and distract the reader for no good reason, except the author read them somewhere and wanted to use them."

I hate this. I understand that many authors spend a lot of time researching various subjects in order to make their work better, but it doesn't actually make the work better if you shove in details no one cares about, just because you know them. A woman on a forum I frequent refers to this as "I had to suffer for my art, and now it's your turn."

This is why a read-through from an uninterested point of view is necessary. I've had stories that I wrote and did literally hours of research, including the most obscure of details for a brush-off comment. But that's all I left it at, a brush-off comment. If the average reader isn't interested, why would they keep reading my works?

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1548 on: December 13, 2013, 03:06:42 PM »
I find a lot of the time with the Hating Femininity Girl, it ends up being a copout. She's not interested in boys...until the right guy comes along, and then she melts! She's not interested in dresses or makeup, but still has long hair and cleans up really pretty! (Not that there's anything wrong with this, but I'd like to see a legitimately more butch woman who's totally fine with that and doesn't need to be shown the error of her ways.) I think sometimes this is a factor of having only one or two female characters in a whole work, so instead of having a few different characters with an assortment of traits, the author tries to put absolutely everything on one character. I'm also tired of the Popular People are Evil trope. Luckily, that seems to be getting subverted more often.

As for fanfic, I notice that often there'll be a few traits that are present in the main work that gets major overuse. Say a character named Sarah is mentioned as liking blueberry pie. Now in most fics, Sarah is eating blueberry pie, talking about blueberry pie, it's what she wants for her wedding cake and her first word spoken as a child. Same with overuse of jargon or nicknames where it's like the author wants to show their work, but it ends up feeling like a parody.
Unless blueberry pie is somehow her Chekov's Gun, yeah. 

Now I really want to read a book called Chekov's Blueberry Pie
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1549 on: December 13, 2013, 03:41:42 PM »
I think that it's a tired stereotype because it seems to be often used to show how much better, less superficial, etc the heroine supposedly is than all those stupid traditional females. It's like the real life women who are proud because they don't have any female friends and can't get along with women, because they're so cool and drama-free and never think what it says about them that they don't get along with half of the population.

And I find reading about that sort of characters kind of boring, even if they exist (tough I would also find someone who thinks that science and art is stupid as boring). I will also avoid romance novels with heroines who are cops or soldiers, unless it seems really interesting, as it usually means that the whole book is about her conflict and power struggle with her male collegues. Or being a journalist means being really feisty, never taking advice from anyone and getting into stupid, dangerous and avoidable situations while chasing a story.

I'm not proud that I don't have many female friends but I'm not sad about it, either; and I generally just don't get along with women.  All that says about me is that I don't have much in common with them.  All it says about them is that they don't have much in common with me.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.



I seem to have read the original post quite different than everyone else.  Petticoats explained it quite well for me and I can see where that would indeed be quite annoying.

I hear women say this way more than men and it always frustrates me.  I have various theories about why this is said/practiced but really people who say this are generally lumping 50% of the worlds people into a group they don't have things in common with because they don't have a Y chromosome.  I think it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because women are written off as having no friend potential by other women because they are women.

That's not how I work at all, so please don't lump me into any groups.  It is a pattern I have noticed with myself; I tend to get along better with men simply because I have more in common with them as a whole.  I don't write anyone off simply because of their gender.
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1550 on: December 13, 2013, 03:49:45 PM »
I find a lot of the time with the Hating Femininity Girl, it ends up being a copout. She's not interested in boys...until the right guy comes along, and then she melts! She's not interested in dresses or makeup, but still has long hair and cleans up really pretty! (Not that there's anything wrong with this, but I'd like to see a legitimately more butch woman who's totally fine with that and doesn't need to be shown the error of her ways.) I think sometimes this is a factor of having only one or two female characters in a whole work, so instead of having a few different characters with an assortment of traits, the author tries to put absolutely everything on one character. I'm also tired of the Popular People are Evil trope. Luckily, that seems to be getting subverted more often.

As for fanfic, I notice that often there'll be a few traits that are present in the main work that gets major overuse. Say a character named Sarah is mentioned as liking blueberry pie. Now in most fics, Sarah is eating blueberry pie, talking about blueberry pie, it's what she wants for her wedding cake and her first word spoken as a child. Same with overuse of jargon or nicknames where it's like the author wants to show their work, but it ends up feeling like a parody.
Unless blueberry pie is somehow her Chekov's Gun, yeah. 

Now I really want to read a book called Chekov's Blueberry Pie

"Perheps you haff heard of Russian inwention, blueberry pie?"

I know, not the same Chekov, but that's what popped into my head.
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1551 on: December 13, 2013, 04:07:58 PM »
I find a lot of the time with the Hating Femininity Girl, it ends up being a copout. She's not interested in boys...until the right guy comes along, and then she melts! She's not interested in dresses or makeup, but still has long hair and cleans up really pretty! (Not that there's anything wrong with this, but I'd like to see a legitimately more butch woman who's totally fine with that and doesn't need to be shown the error of her ways.) I think sometimes this is a factor of having only one or two female characters in a whole work, so instead of having a few different characters with an assortment of traits, the author tries to put absolutely everything on one character. I'm also tired of the Popular People are Evil trope. Luckily, that seems to be getting subverted more often.

As for fanfic, I notice that often there'll be a few traits that are present in the main work that gets major overuse. Say a character named Sarah is mentioned as liking blueberry pie. Now in most fics, Sarah is eating blueberry pie, talking about blueberry pie, it's what she wants for her wedding cake and her first word spoken as a child. Same with overuse of jargon or nicknames where it's like the author wants to show their work, but it ends up feeling like a parody.
Unless blueberry pie is somehow her Chekov's Gun, yeah. 

Now I really want to read a book called Chekov's Blueberry Pie

"Perheps you haff heard of Russian inwention, blueberry pie?"

I know, not the same Chekov, but that's what popped into my head.

I really want to read that one.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

magicdomino

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1552 on: December 13, 2013, 04:36:18 PM »

*snipped*
.
Unless blueberry pie is somehow her Chekov's Gun, yeah. 

Now I really want to read a book called Chekov's Blueberry Pie

"Perheps you haff heard of Russian inwention, blueberry pie?"

I know, not the same Chekov, but that's what popped into my head.

I really want to read that one.
[/quote]

If it is Anton Chekov (as opposed to Pavel), wouldn't it more likely be cherry pie? 

EllenS

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1553 on: December 13, 2013, 04:40:37 PM »

*snipped*
.
Unless blueberry pie is somehow her Chekov's Gun, yeah. 

Now I really want to read a book called Chekov's Blueberry Pie

"Perheps you haff heard of Russian inwention, blueberry pie?"

I know, not the same Chekov, but that's what popped into my head.

I really want to read that one.

If it is Anton Chekov (as opposed to Pavel), wouldn't it more likely be cherry pie?
[/quote]

*snort*

Allyson

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1554 on: December 13, 2013, 06:33:32 PM »
I've known so many women who say they don't get along with other women due to drama that I wonder why they don't meet up with each other and become friends! :D Conversely, my best guy friend has pretty much no male friends, but lots of female friends. Also, some of the most drama-causing people I know are guys, so I honestly don't know where that stereotype even comes from. I remember a friend telling me about some of her male coworkers who were going on about women being such gossips--then about half an hour later were gossipping themselves, just as badly! Apparently when *they* do it it's not gossip, just sharing information, or something. :D

I am really happy that we are getting more nuanced portrayals of female characters in fiction. It seems like for awhile there was such a backlash against the stereotypical damsel in distress character that women who conformed to gendered expectations of the time (specifically thinking of historical/fantasy novels here) weren't really considered good protagonists.

Though there are certain fans who are just *really* harsh on female characters in general; I've noticed this in some of my fandoms. (Game of Thrones, I'm looking at you...) Male character kills someone? He's awesome and misunderstood! Female character says something mean? She's the worst and deserves to die!

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1555 on: December 13, 2013, 06:44:20 PM »
The instance of this which has particularly become a byword among Turtledove fans, involves a character in one of the author's long series.  Said character is a sailor who has very fair skin, and thus undergoes a miserable time whenever his duties take him to places with hot sun.  It certainly feels as though this issue automatically gets referred to, in every single blessed one of the numerous chapters in which the character features...
I quit reading Tom Clancy because I got tired of his heros observing, in every blessed book, that the bad guys had destroyed their night vision by lighting a cigarette.
Well, actually, I quit reading him when I heard that his new book had a plot device of the bad guys buying up huge amounts of land in Western Kansas, so they could have absolute secrecy to plot and plan. One thing I know about my fellow Kansans, if strangers came into town and started buying up land, SOMEONE would go out there to find out what the heck they were doing out there. Undoubtedly, someone with a gun rack in their pick-up. Plus, this presupposes that large tracts of land are for sale at any given time, so that you wouldn't end up with a gerrymander.  >:D

Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1556 on: December 13, 2013, 08:13:18 PM »
I'm reading this historical royal novel. I appreciate authors who do a lot of research for those. But I get irritated when the author seems to feel the need to "show off" their research. This one actually had a glossary of terms at the back--different parts of clothing and armor, household equipment, food, etc.. There's a fine line between "details that add atmosphere" and "details that confuse and distract the reader for no good reason, except the author read them somewhere and wanted to use them."

I hate this. I understand that many authors spend a lot of time researching various subjects in order to make their work better, but it doesn't actually make the work better if you shove in details no one cares about, just because you know them. A woman on a forum I frequent refers to this as "I had to suffer for my art, and now it's your turn."

See, Auel, Jean.
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1557 on: December 14, 2013, 04:26:06 PM »
The instance of this which has particularly become a byword among Turtledove fans, involves a character in one of the author's long series.  Said character is a sailor who has very fair skin, and thus undergoes a miserable time whenever his duties take him to places with hot sun.  It certainly feels as though this issue automatically gets referred to, in every single blessed one of the numerous chapters in which the character features...
I quit reading Tom Clancy because I got tired of his heros observing, in every blessed book, that the bad guys had destroyed their night vision by lighting a cigarette.
Well, actually, I quit reading him when I heard that his new book had a plot device of the bad guys buying up huge amounts of land in Western Kansas, so they could have absolute secrecy to plot and plan. One thing I know about my fellow Kansans, if strangers came into town and started buying up land, SOMEONE would go out there to find out what the heck they were doing out there. Undoubtedly, someone with a gun rack in their pick-up. Plus, this presupposes that large tracts of land are for sale at any given time, so that you wouldn't end up with a gerrymander.  >:D

I stuck with Clancy for a long time, though reckoning him going progressively downhill -- the bigger a success he became, the more editor-proof he became, and he seemingly wasn't interested in asking for impartial critiquing. "The Teeth of the Tiger" was the end for me -- finished it, then renounced TC  forever after. While I don't share his social and political views, and have found his grasp of the facts of things, quite often dubious; it was his use of language, and endlessly-repeated annoying expressions / phrases, that pushed me over the edge. Felt that if in a Clancy book, I read one more time, "pshrink"; or "he lit up his computer" -- I'd tear the wretched book in half and throw, with extreme violence, the severed halves across the room and against the opposite wall.

Dawse

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1558 on: December 15, 2013, 02:34:48 PM »
Okay, I've been catching up on this thread having left it for a while, and...

I read one book many years ago where there was a heroine who was in love with one guy who was also in love with her.  She was friends with another guy but there was no romantic pull between them.  They had a lot in common and a similar background, so they shared a great friendship.  It was one of the best non-triangles I've ever read.  I wish I remembered what it was.

...you do realise you've pretty much just described Harry, Ron and Hermione, don't you?  ;D

Something I've just read and is annoying me a HUGE amount - has anyone read the Sword in the Storm by David Gemmel? I am about five chapters from the end but I've had to put it down in annoyance - Conn (the protagonist) has just made a REALLY stupid move that's probably the set up for several book's worth of turmoil. I'm trying to decide if my desire to find out what happens is stronger than my urge to take Conn by the scruff of the neck and shout 'what on earth are you thinking??'. It's just such an obvious plot device as a set up for it to come back and bite him in the rear as well, it's so aggravating!
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iridaceae

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1559 on: December 16, 2013, 03:22:17 AM »
F
I hate this. I understand that many authors spend a lot of time researching various subjects in order to make their work better, but it doesn't actually make the work better if you shove in details no one cares about, just because you know them. A woman on a forum I frequent refers to this as "I had to suffer for my art, and now it's your turn."

See, Auel, Jean.
See I greatly enjoyed the descriptions of how things were done and the landscape,  flora, and fauna.

On the other hand I don't ever want to read another book with Noble Elves.