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Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 829082 times)

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LondonAngel

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3495 on: July 27, 2017, 05:41:28 PM »
books where the character doesn't do their reserch for simple things.

i was reading this easy live story type of book where the lead character who is scared of the london underground! dicides to visit the pet cemetary in Hyde Park, and just walks in. there is one, but it's 50 to get into it. she also mentions how expensive the natural history museum is...it's free to enter
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Inside-Hyde-Parks-secret-pet-cemetery/

Dawse

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3496 on: July 28, 2017, 02:02:04 PM »
books where the character doesn't do their reserch for simple things.

i was reading this easy live story type of book where the lead character who is scared of the london underground! dicides to visit the pet cemetary in Hyde Park, and just walks in. there is one, but it's 50 to get into it. she also mentions how expensive the natural history museum is...it's free to enter
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Inside-Hyde-Parks-secret-pet-cemetery/

I read a book once where the narrator was trying to find something to entertain two small boys with during the school holidays, and decided on taking them to an exhibition of mummies and such like at the Victoria and Albert museum. Except the V&A doesn't generally have that sort of  exhibition; that would be the British Museum. I was already iffy about the book anyway and when the author completely failed to get anywhere near an accurate tube route for this implausible museum exhibit I gave up.
'A troth, by the way, is a small furry creature with fins, the offspring of a trout and a sloth. I often wonder what they saw in each other, but then I suppose the sloth, being upside down, would tend to have a different slant on things.'

LondonAngel

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3497 on: July 28, 2017, 08:20:14 PM »
books where the character doesn't do their reserch for simple things.

i was reading this easy live story type of book where the lead character who is scared of the london underground! dicides to visit the pet cemetary in Hyde Park, and just walks in. there is one, but it's 50 to get into it. she also mentions how expensive the natural history museum is...it's free to enter
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Inside-Hyde-Parks-secret-pet-cemetery/

I read a book once where the narrator was trying to find something to entertain two small boys with during the school holidays, and decided on taking them to an exhibition of mummies and such like at the Victoria and Albert museum. Except the V&A doesn't generally have that sort of  exhibition; that would be the British Museum. I was already iffy about the book anyway and when the author completely failed to get anywhere near an accurate tube route for this implausible museum exhibit I gave up.

wow that is bad reserch!

another one, i just remembered a book i read years ago, which was set in the Capital of Roman Britian in AD50, and takes place in London, it does refer to the city as Londinium. but in AD50ish Camulodunum aka Colchester was the main Roman capital until AD100. London did exist, but it wasn't that important, at the time. besides that it was a good book.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 10:29:09 PM by LondonAngel »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3498 on: July 28, 2017, 10:13:32 PM »
Honestly, I can almost give a pass for those errors where you wouldn't know it was wrong unless you already knew - things like "95% of the world uses [X term], but in the town you're writing about everyone uses the regionalism [Y term]," or "actually, 'parsonage' is usually for Catholics or Lutherans--your Presbyterian minister character would have a manse instead."

It's the obvious ones that make me  ::) ::) ::) If you're writing about a high school girl in America, and you're not American, learn how the American school system works before you write your book. If your intrepid adventurer is bushwhacking through the jungle, research pictures of what the jungle in that part of the world looks like, or even if they have jungles at all. If your sci-fi novel has a fight on the moon, maybe look up how physics works on the lunar surface before you have your astronauts leaping tall buildings in a single bound. If your character visits a real landmark, *look up that landmark* before you use it in your book!

shadowfox79

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3499 on: July 29, 2017, 03:34:58 AM »
One which I accept is probably just my preference is books which hop about in time.

Specifically, two types. One is the kind where one chapter is historical and the next is a present-day story usually about a person reading about the historical stuff. The other is something like "The Girls", where we have one chapter in a recent past (joining a cult) and then another showing the character in present day dropping ominous hints about What Happened.

In my experience, 99% of the time the past story is much more interesting than the present story and so I spend half my time flicking pages to get to the good parts.

Dawse

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3500 on: July 29, 2017, 12:23:14 PM »
Honestly, I can almost give a pass for those errors where you wouldn't know it was wrong unless you already knew - things like "95% of the world uses [X term], but in the town you're writing about everyone uses the regionalism [Y term]," or "actually, 'parsonage' is usually for Catholics or Lutherans--your Presbyterian minister character would have a manse instead."

It's the obvious ones that make me  ::) ::) ::) If you're writing about a high school girl in America, and you're not American, learn how the American school system works before you write your book. If your intrepid adventurer is bushwhacking through the jungle, research pictures of what the jungle in that part of the world looks like, or even if they have jungles at all. If your sci-fi novel has a fight on the moon, maybe look up how physics works on the lunar surface before you have your astronauts leaping tall buildings in a single bound. If your character visits a real landmark, *look up that landmark* before you use it in your book!

Yeah, that's fair enough. I think if I hadn't already been considering whether I wanted to continue reading I probably could have ignored it, but it tipped me over the edge into 'nope'. Plus it just struck me as really lazy given that the author could have spent two minutes googling where to find an Egyptian exhibit in London; I feel like if you're going to set your book in the real world, it benefits you to get as many details right as possible especially if you choose somewhere like London or New York, where a portion of your potential readers could be put off by errors. I freely admit to being a pedant for detail though, so YMMV  ;D

'A troth, by the way, is a small furry creature with fins, the offspring of a trout and a sloth. I often wonder what they saw in each other, but then I suppose the sloth, being upside down, would tend to have a different slant on things.'

SpottedPony

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3501 on: July 29, 2017, 01:27:53 PM »
Honestly, I can almost give a pass for those errors where you wouldn't know it was wrong unless you already knew - things like "95% of the world uses [X term], but in the town you're writing about everyone uses the regionalism [Y term]," or "actually, 'parsonage' is usually for Catholics or Lutherans--your Presbyterian minister character would have a manse instead."

It's the obvious ones that make me  ::) ::) ::) If you're writing about a high school girl in America, and you're not American, learn how the American school system works before you write your book. If your intrepid adventurer is bushwhacking through the jungle, research pictures of what the jungle in that part of the world looks like, or even if they have jungles at all. If your sci-fi novel has a fight on the moon, maybe look up how physics works on the lunar surface before you have your astronauts leaping tall buildings in a single bound. If your character visits a real landmark, *look up that landmark* before you use it in your book!

Yeah, that's fair enough. I think if I hadn't already been considering whether I wanted to continue reading I probably could have ignored it, but it tipped me over the edge into 'nope'. Plus it just struck me as really lazy given that the author could have spent two minutes googling where to find an Egyptian exhibit in London; I feel like if you're going to set your book in the real world, it benefits you to get as many details right as possible especially if you choose somewhere like London or New York, where a portion of your potential readers could be put off by errors. I freely admit to being a pedant for detail though, so YMMV  ;D

Also know that there are different names for things, even between English speaking countries, like trunk/boot, hood/bonnet for a car for example.  A fanfic set in the U.S. by an Aussie writer had the teenaged male character go to his closet and put on a jumper.  This puzzled me because in the U. S., a jumper is a woman's garment, a sleeveless dress worn over a blouse.  Then I realized the writer meant a sweater.  In Ann McCaffery's The Lady, she used jumper  when the  mother died and the sister-in-law was putting the best jumpers(sweaters)  aside for the daughter.  In this case the use of jumper was correct, the story was set in Ireland where McCaffery was living. 

Spotted Pony

geekette

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3502 on: July 30, 2017, 08:41:24 PM »
Honestly, I can almost give a pass for those errors where you wouldn't know it was wrong unless you already knew - things like "95% of the world uses [X term], but in the town you're writing about everyone uses the regionalism [Y term]," or "actually, 'parsonage' is usually for Catholics or Lutherans--your Presbyterian minister character would have a manse instead."

It's the obvious ones that make me  ::) ::) ::) If you're writing about a high school girl in America, and you're not American, learn how the American school system works before you write your book. If your intrepid adventurer is bushwhacking through the jungle, research pictures of what the jungle in that part of the world looks like, or even if they have jungles at all. If your sci-fi novel has a fight on the moon, maybe look up how physics works on the lunar surface before you have your astronauts leaping tall buildings in a single bound. If your character visits a real landmark, *look up that landmark* before you use it in your book!

Yeah, that's fair enough. I think if I hadn't already been considering whether I wanted to continue reading I probably could have ignored it, but it tipped me over the edge into 'nope'. Plus it just struck me as really lazy given that the author could have spent two minutes googling where to find an Egyptian exhibit in London; I feel like if you're going to set your book in the real world, it benefits you to get as many details right as possible especially if you choose somewhere like London or New York, where a portion of your potential readers could be put off by errors. I freely admit to being a pedant for detail though, so YMMV  ;D

Also know that there are different names for things, even between English speaking countries, like trunk/boot, hood/bonnet for a car for example.  A fanfic set in the U.S. by an Aussie writer had the teenaged male character go to his closet and put on a jumper.  This puzzled me because in the U. S., a jumper is a woman's garment, a sleeveless dress worn over a blouse.  Then I realized the writer meant a sweater.  In Ann McCaffery's The Lady, she used jumper  when the  mother died and the sister-in-law was putting the best jumpers(sweaters)  aside for the daughter.  In this case the use of jumper was correct, the story was set in Ireland where McCaffery was living. 

Spotted Pony

While I see how it might be a peeve, I don't think the complaint's really valid when you're talking about fanfiction. Terminology is different in every country; if she'd used 'sweater', her Australian readers would have been confused, because it means something different there.

One of the effects of fanfiction being informal, and just freely available, is that you end up reading only a single dialect, when that would get edited in a published work depending on which country that copy will be sold in.

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3503 on: July 31, 2017, 09:49:08 AM »
books where the character doesn't do their reserch for simple things.

i was reading this easy live story type of book where the lead character who is scared of the london underground! dicides to visit the pet cemetary in Hyde Park, and just walks in. there is one, but it's 50 to get into it. she also mentions how expensive the natural history museum is...it's free to enter
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Inside-Hyde-Parks-secret-pet-cemetery/

I read a book once where the narrator was trying to find something to entertain two small boys with during the school holidays, and decided on taking them to an exhibition of mummies and such like at the Victoria and Albert museum. Except the V&A doesn't generally have that sort of  exhibition; that would be the British Museum. I was already iffy about the book anyway and when the author completely failed to get anywhere near an accurate tube route for this implausible museum exhibit I gave up.

I could see the V&A doing an exhibit on the effect of Egyptian discoveries on design history (it was quite the fad in certain periods such as Napoleon's occupation of Egypt and later with the discovering of Tutankhamun's tomb). But that wouldn't concentrate on mummies.
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3504 on: August 05, 2017, 06:22:30 PM »
I suspect it's the danger of writing lengthy series. Earlier in the thread there was a mention of Sue Grafton's alphabet series, and they fell into the same trap.

If I ever get published, I think I would maybe do a trilogy or quartet and then rethink the whole thing.
  • What are my characters learning?
    How are they growing (are they growing?)?
    What new experience/danger/love/etc. can they face logically?
    What can be next on the horizon, without either repeating plots or crossing so many lines (gore, s3x, whatever) that it turns off my readers?
    How many plot points have been repeated from one book to the next? How much of the book itself is repeated from one to the next (i.e., repeating the origin story or the relationship story or...)?
Or the short version: is there more to this character's story, sufficient to produce another book?

Some authors are better at this than others - I mentioned Kathy Reichs earlier, and her characters are still growing.

And some authors use the same type of character, even if they're not writing a series. I adore Mary Higgins Clark, but how many of her books have featured a (single/widowed/divorced) woman in her early thirties with collar-length hair and excellent fashion sense, who came from a good family but is in reduced circumstances due to a tragedy or scandal of someone else's making? (Of course part of that is making the character someone the target audience can identify or sympathize with.)

I just had to go back and pull this because of a series of books I recently read.  The author is Alison Gaylin, and the mysteries center around P.I. Brenna Spector.  Brenna was a fascinating character, and there was an overall arc to the books (Brenna trying to resolve a personal issue). 

I finished the third book in the series, and went online to find the next one.  Except there isn't one.  The author has moved onto different characters and different stories.  At first, I was disappointed.  But then I thought about what Writer of Wrongs said and realized that the author was correct to end it.  Brenna's overall arc had been completed, and more books would have been dragging things into stereotypes and schticks.

BTW, I can recommend the books.  The first one in this series is called And She Was.
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Nuku

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3505 on: August 07, 2017, 05:59:37 PM »
[Off topic: does that sort of thing exist in the US?  Can anyone just go and look at a person's mail (as the heroine did in the book)?]

Yes and no. Having a single delivery point with individual boxes is very common now, especially with new development. The carrier only goes to one spot to deliver the mail, rather than to each house/unit. These all have individual keys on the boxes while the carrier has a master key that opens the whole thing. The heroine would have to have a key to read the mail (or be good with a lock pick.)

If you live in an apartment building, then the mail is delivered into locked boxes (this is actually the law in some places). However, I've never seen a letter slot in the US (it seems like a good idea, except for in a few mystery series I've seen where unsavory things are slipped in), and I've only seen the single-delivery point a few times in my live - always for newer development. (I live in the Midwest.) Most mailboxes are just attached to the house - but there are kinds that you can get with a lock.

In rural or unincorporated areas, it's extremely common to have mailboxes directly on the road. If you are somewhere very remote, you are more likely to have to go to the PO to pick up your mail. (This is also common if you live on an island - at least the ones around here.)

Tea Drinker

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3506 on: August 08, 2017, 05:18:10 PM »
[Off topic: does that sort of thing exist in the US?  Can anyone just go and look at a person's mail (as the heroine did in the book)?]

Yes and no. Having a single delivery point with individual boxes is very common now, especially with new development. The carrier only goes to one spot to deliver the mail, rather than to each house/unit. These all have individual keys on the boxes while the carrier has a master key that opens the whole thing. The heroine would have to have a key to read the mail (or be good with a lock pick.)

If you live in an apartment building, then the mail is delivered into locked boxes (this is actually the law in some places). However, I've never seen a letter slot in the US (it seems like a good idea, except for in a few mystery series I've seen where unsavory things are slipped in), and I've only seen the single-delivery point a few times in my live - always for newer development. (I live in the Midwest.) Most mailboxes are just attached to the house - but there are kinds that you can get with a lock.

In rural or unincorporated areas, it's extremely common to have mailboxes directly on the road. If you are somewhere very remote, you are more likely to have to go to the PO to pick up your mail. (This is also common if you live on an island - at least the ones around here.)

Some old houses in the United States have mail slots. The house I grew up in, and the duplex I live in now, both have them: they were both built in the 1920s.

That first house was in New York City, and two blocks from a subway station, so I don't think it's urban/suburban/rural (the town I'm in right now is an inner suburb) but a matter of changing fashions or postal regulations.

Nothing more unsavory than unwanted supermarket circulars has turned up in the last 18 months. We bring the downstairs neighbors' packages in from the porch (to the small locked vestibule), as they do ours.

What I miss, from the two large apartment buildings I've lived in, is a slot for outgoing mail, so I can mail things without walking to a mailbox, or even going outdoors. I suppose you could put something unsavory in there, the same way you could an ordinary mailbox, and with equal risk of annoying the letter carrier.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Nuku

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3507 on: August 09, 2017, 05:26:55 PM »
[Off topic: does that sort of thing exist in the US?  Can anyone just go and look at a person's mail (as the heroine did in the book)?]

Yes and no. Having a single delivery point with individual boxes is very common now, especially with new development. The carrier only goes to one spot to deliver the mail, rather than to each house/unit. These all have individual keys on the boxes while the carrier has a master key that opens the whole thing. The heroine would have to have a key to read the mail (or be good with a lock pick.)

If you live in an apartment building, then the mail is delivered into locked boxes (this is actually the law in some places). However, I've never seen a letter slot in the US (it seems like a good idea, except for in a few mystery series I've seen where unsavory things are slipped in), and I've only seen the single-delivery point a few times in my live - always for newer development. (I live in the Midwest.) Most mailboxes are just attached to the house - but there are kinds that you can get with a lock.

In rural or unincorporated areas, it's extremely common to have mailboxes directly on the road. If you are somewhere very remote, you are more likely to have to go to the PO to pick up your mail. (This is also common if you live on an island - at least the ones around here.)

Some old houses in the United States have mail slots. The house I grew up in, and the duplex I live in now, both have them: they were both built in the 1920s.

That first house was in New York City, and two blocks from a subway station, so I don't think it's urban/suburban/rural (the town I'm in right now is an inner suburb) but a matter of changing fashions or postal regulations.

Nothing more unsavory than unwanted supermarket circulars has turned up in the last 18 months. We bring the downstairs neighbors' packages in from the porch (to the small locked vestibule), as they do ours.

What I miss, from the two large apartment buildings I've lived in, is a slot for outgoing mail, so I can mail things without walking to a mailbox, or even going outdoors. I suppose you could put something unsavory in there, the same way you could an ordinary mailbox, and with equal risk of annoying the letter carrier.

I've always figured that there were mail slots somewhere in the US. I've just never seen them in my region. (And these are old neighborhoods that I'm thinking of - my mother grew up in a house built before 1920 and I live in a neighborhood where most of the houses were built between 1850 and 1940.) Then again, the advantage of the mailbox is that you can fit bigger stuff in it, and many of them have a spot to put a newspaper. (Back in the days when they weren't just thrown at your front walk from a bike or moving car.) But it is handy if you want to leave something in a bag for the residents.

Come to think of it, I have seen them on businesses, though. They generally look like library book drops.

Nikko-chan

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3508 on: August 21, 2017, 05:23:57 PM »
Honestly, I can almost give a pass for those errors where you wouldn't know it was wrong unless you already knew - things like "95% of the world uses [X term], but in the town you're writing about everyone uses the regionalism [Y term]," or "actually, 'parsonage' is usually for Catholics or Lutherans--your Presbyterian minister character would have a manse instead."

It's the obvious ones that make me  ::) ::) ::) If you're writing about a high school girl in America, and you're not American, learn how the American school system works before you write your book. If your intrepid adventurer is bushwhacking through the jungle, research pictures of what the jungle in that part of the world looks like, or even if they have jungles at all. If your sci-fi novel has a fight on the moon, maybe look up how physics works on the lunar surface before you have your astronauts leaping tall buildings in a single bound. If your character visits a real landmark, *look up that landmark* before you use it in your book!

To be fair, that is sometimes hard to do when you have schools using different systems. My high school worked on a trimester system. No other school in the area did, that I knew of.

Nuku

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3509 on: August 21, 2017, 05:58:56 PM »
Honestly, I can almost give a pass for those errors where you wouldn't know it was wrong unless you already knew - things like "95% of the world uses [X term], but in the town you're writing about everyone uses the regionalism [Y term]," or "actually, 'parsonage' is usually for Catholics or Lutherans--your Presbyterian minister character would have a manse instead."

It's the obvious ones that make me  ::) ::) ::) If you're writing about a high school girl in America, and you're not American, learn how the American school system works before you write your book. If your intrepid adventurer is bushwhacking through the jungle, research pictures of what the jungle in that part of the world looks like, or even if they have jungles at all. If your sci-fi novel has a fight on the moon, maybe look up how physics works on the lunar surface before you have your astronauts leaping tall buildings in a single bound. If your character visits a real landmark, *look up that landmark* before you use it in your book!

To be fair, that is sometimes hard to do when you have schools using different systems. My high school worked on a trimester system. No other school in the area did, that I knew of.

U.S. school systems can be difficult, since there's a difference from state to state and district to district. Also, public and private schools can be very different.

I attended a university for two years that had a trimester system. They were converting to a regular semester system when I left. So, that's also something people might not be aware of - that these systems might change, and if your book is set in the past, you might have to look some of this information up.

(Oh, and I was raised Catholic. We didn't use "parsonage"; we called it the "parish house."  :))