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Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 898445 times)

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Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3510 on: August 21, 2017, 07:21:13 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.

I think that's the kind of thing you can work around by dropping in something like, "The school hasn't updated the trimester system because we're in a farming area and the breaks take planting/harvest into account" or whatever. As long as you can provide a logical reason, it's workable. But if you have Ashley America chatting on her mobile with her mum while walking along the High Street, I'm going to put the book down because you've clearly not got a clue.
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Nikko-chan

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3511 on: August 21, 2017, 07:26:37 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.

I think that's the kind of thing you can work around by dropping in something like, "The school hasn't updated the trimester system because we're in a farming area and the breaks take planting/harvest into account" or whatever. As long as you can provide a logical reason, it's workable. But if you have Ashley America chatting on her mobile with her mum while walking along the High Street, I'm going to put the book down because you've clearly not got a clue.

Yeah... I just.... that is just shoddy writing. I can write better than that and I am not even a professional. >.< My inner writer is crying at that scene lol

VorFemme

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3512 on: August 22, 2017, 10:37:37 AM »
I recently read a "romance" that I rather liked.

This was one of the slightly more explicit 21st century version with bedroom scenes that went into a bit more detail than "his kisses set her reeling in delight" - a la Barbara Cartland or the various Harlequin Romances from my teenaged years, when an entire wedding night of no sleep might be described as "for the rest of her life, the scent of jasmine would make her smile with fond memories" or something like that - it's been 47 years or so since I read that scene!  I do remember a reference to the scent of night blooming jasmine that filled the room...but not much after a mention that he untied the sash of her white satin night robe and it "pooled at her feet"...

The Counterfeit Bride (ah - Barnes & Noble, #1 in a series) was okay - slightly more detail was given than just kissing...but the book was written to be a "romance" instead of an instruction manual and it didn't need a plain brown wrapper...it seemed well written for the genre (slightly lower expectations).  The young woman was raised by Grandma and given lessons in her father's language, but the parts that I read set in Texas were fairly well done...well, maybe the rain & sleet in winter near Lubbock, Texas were a little off.  I grew up in that area for several years, the land is flat, more semi-arid than the winter sleet storm suggested, but at least there were drifts of snow off to the sides of the road...

It might snow there, and it would be dangerous to be on the road only because there is no budget for salt, sand, or snow removal equipment - since the sun & warmer weather usually take care of snow within half a day, two days at the most.  At least, that was the way it was 50 years ago when we lived in the area and the climate has not changed enough for the vegetation to have changed (drove through the area last summer on the way to Colorado & back - still hot, dry, flat, and windy).  The wind turbines were new, since the late 1960s...

But it was nice to see even a "romance" with a bit of a "formula" going on could be well written enough not to send me straight out of "enjoying the story" into "critical of grammar, characterization, or stupidity about geography or culture that sends me into *critical* mode" and makes me want to lower their grade from a solid A (enjoyable, even if it is relatively light "fluff") to a D (get real or at least consult some geography books - because "tumbleweeds are botanically called 'Russian thistles' and the first known occurrence of them in the USA has been tracked to a particular ship bringing flax seed in XXXX year - they were not present in Mesoamerica some 900 or a thousand earlier"*. 

* I did not finish that book.  It lives in my memory a great example of relatively good writing and good idea that died at the hands of bad or incomplete research on plants & animals of the region at that time.  Because it was just too jarring when that tumbleweed scudded across the path of the protagonist.
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atirial

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3513 on: August 22, 2017, 12:22:33 PM »


I think that's the kind of thing you can work around by dropping in something like, "The school hasn't updated the trimester system because we're in a farming area and the breaks take planting/harvest into account" or whatever. As long as you can provide a logical reason, it's workable. But if you have Ashley America chatting on her mobile with her mum while walking along the High Street, I'm going to put the book down because you've clearly not got a clue.

Yeah... I just.... that is just shoddy writing. I can write better than that and I am not even a professional. >.< My inner writer is crying at that scene lol
Regional rules matter. I don't know if I mentioned this one, but it was set in Scotland with a group of American hunters off to kill the Loch Ness monster, and a huge gun battle on the Loch shores... The American reviewers loved it. The Scots pointed out that if the monster didn't kill the people with all those guns, in the current climate the armed police certainly would, and that there are a lot of towns nearby and a thriving tourist trade, all of whom would be phoning them...

I stopped reading when they pulled out their backup weapon - an assembled law rocket that they had apparently brought into the country from the US. Via Heathrow. No. Just No. 

Harriet Jones

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3514 on: August 23, 2017, 05:49:42 PM »
Was there a reason the Loch Ness monster needed to be killed?  Just curious. ???

MommyPenguin

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3515 on: August 23, 2017, 09:11:47 PM »
Was there a reason the Loch Ness monster needed to be killed?  Just curious. ???

Probably their hunting lodge needed a new head to mount on the wall.
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atirial

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3516 on: August 24, 2017, 03:58:15 AM »
Was there a reason the Loch Ness monster needed to be killed?  Just curious. ???

Probably their hunting lodge needed a new head to mount on the wall.
I think the rational went "it's called a monster, so it is obviously an ancient evil that needs to die". They were meant to be the heroes :-\ . I think the RSPCA's reaction to an unprovoked planned attack on a critically endangered species would have been more interesting to read, assuming the Scottish Tourist Board didn't react like the village council in "Hot Fuzz".

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3517 on: August 24, 2017, 05:35:01 AM »
Was there a reason the Loch Ness monster needed to be killed?  Just curious. ???

Probably their hunting lodge needed a new head to mount on the wall.
I think the rational went "it's called a monster, so it is obviously an ancient evil that needs to die". They were meant to be the heroes :-\ . I think the RSPCA's reaction to an unprovoked planned attack on a critically endangered species would have been more interesting to read, assuming the Scottish Tourist Board didn't react like the village council in "Hot Fuzz".

(My bolding above) -- there have indeed been people who held opinions about the Loch Ness Monster, similar to this; but I think the standard view would be that if it's a supernatural evil entity, guns and heavier ordnance will be ineffective against it !  I gather that in 1973 the Reverend Dr. Donald Omand, a colourful and eccentric Church of England clergyman who was a keen exorciser of evil things; went to Loch Ness and performed there, by the shore and from a boat out on the loch, rites of exorcism meant to put paid to the Monster.  Also per legend, very many centuries ago Saint Columba, when travelling in those parts, witnessed the Monster trying to drag away a hapless man to devour him. The saint admonished the Monster; which let the man go, and quietly swam off and submerged.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 07:55:01 AM by cabbageweevil »

Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3518 on: August 24, 2017, 08:20:17 AM »
This isn't really a book pet peeve, but I recently visited one of my favorite authors' website to check on that date for her next release, and discovered she has a PayPal link on there... for people to send her money. Not for a book or anything, but just to give her extra money. Just left a bad taste in my mouth. :P

Chez Miriam

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3519 on: August 24, 2017, 09:43:36 AM »
Long gap between visits, but a (belated) Thank You! to all who answered my question about US mailboxes.  I really appreciate reading the different scenarios; it's fascinating to learn more about the differences between our countries (and moreso about the huge regional variations that exist within the US itself).

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

I can forgive a lot [the lakes/thick woods/forests in Brockwell Park (and a search helicopter barely being able to see the other side of a park I used to walk around* in about 25 minutes), the diving boards and shallower-than-knees shallow end in the pool at Brixtion Rec, Effra Road being parallel to Brixton Hill, etc, etc, etc], but you're setting yourself up for failure when you allow your publisher to write on the very first page inside the cover: "Mo's books are 100% authentic..."!

I don't mind people changing a town/area/names for the sake of a good story.  I prefer that they state that they have done so [so my mind isn't constantly going "but walking up Effra Road isn't really going uphill"], but I get all critical when someone is boasting about their research/authenticity (or allowing it to be done on their behalf) when it seems like they didn't even visit the area, let alone do any basic fact-checking.

And when was the last time anyone swam in a pool with a shallow end less than 18" deep?  [There's a "babies" bit around the corner that is that shallow (if I remember correctly), but if the detective was chasing a suspect swimming in the pool, he would be unlikely to start by heading in completely the wrong direction, surely?]

* If the park was closed, I would follow the roads around the perimeter, and that only took about 30 minutes.  Walking across was about 6 or 7 minutes at the apex, and that was following the paths**, so not in a direct line.

** It may be better now, but back when I lived there following the paths was essential as >95% of dog owners didn't think poop-scooping (bye?) laws applied to them.
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3520 on: August 24, 2017, 12:43:34 PM »
Chez Miriam -- whimsical and basically irrelevant spin-off from your post; but I've spent time in south-east London in decades past, and been acquainted with Effra Road.  That name has always been "ruined" for me since first hearing it, by its resemblance to that in Watership Down, borne by the totalitarian-dictatorship rabbit warren under the ruthless heel of the mad warlord General Woundwort -- have always found it hard not to think of it as "Efrafa Road".

o_gal

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3521 on: August 24, 2017, 02:02:12 PM »
And when was the last time anyone swam in a pool with a shallow end less than 18" deep?

You ready for another round of regional differences, like the mailboxes?  ;D

Many public pools in the US are now being built with what are called "zero depth entry". It's a standard set by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Basically, think cement ocean instead of cement pond. So yep, some people go swimming now in pools that have a shallow end that is effectively < 1" deep (there are at least 6 of them near me.)

Chez Miriam

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3522 on: August 25, 2017, 12:05:04 PM »
Chez Miriam -- whimsical and basically irrelevant spin-off from your post; but I've spent time in south-east London in decades past, and been acquainted with Effra Road.  That name has always been "ruined" for me since first hearing it, by its resemblance to that in Watership Down, borne by the totalitarian-dictatorship rabbit warren under the ruthless heel of the mad warlord General Woundwort -- have always found it hard not to think of it as "Efrafa Road".

Oh, no!  I had forgotten that [last read Watership Down long before moving to Brixton] - I hope I forget it again soon. ;D

And when was the last time anyone swam in a pool with a shallow end less than 18" deep?

You ready for another round of regional differences, like the mailboxes?  ;D

Many public pools in the US are now being built with what are called "zero depth entry". It's a standard set by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Basically, think cement ocean instead of cement pond. So yep, some people go swimming now in pools that have a shallow end that is effectively < 1" deep (there are at least 6 of them near me.)

I can't bang on about how I love the differences in culture that I learn about on eHell and then go "no, leave my preconceptions alone!", can I? ;D ;D ;D

I think that's a brilliant idea [and saves people having to use the hoist (which I suspect could be embarrassing and may feel shaming)], as long as I could still swim lengths properly.  One of my recurring bad dreams [not really a nightmare] is where I'm scraping along the bottom of a swimming pool that is too shallow, bumping knees and elbows but refusing to admit defeat.

Is the sloping/shallow bit at right-angles to the rest of the pool?  Or is it just one long slope from walk-in to deep end?
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

GreenHall

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3523 on: August 25, 2017, 12:38:48 PM »
Chez Miriam -- whimsical and basically irrelevant spin-off from your post; but I've spent time in south-east London in decades past, and been acquainted with Effra Road.  That name has always been "ruined" for me since first hearing it, by its resemblance to that in Watership Down, borne by the totalitarian-dictatorship rabbit warren under the ruthless heel of the mad warlord General Woundwort -- have always found it hard not to think of it as "Efrafa Road".

Oh, no!  I had forgotten that [last read Watership Down long before moving to Brixton] - I hope I forget it again soon. ;D

And when was the last time anyone swam in a pool with a shallow end less than 18" deep?

You ready for another round of regional differences, like the mailboxes?  ;D

Many public pools in the US are now being built with what are called "zero depth entry". It's a standard set by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Basically, think cement ocean instead of cement pond. So yep, some people go swimming now in pools that have a shallow end that is effectively < 1" deep (there are at least 6 of them near me.)

I can't bang on about how I love the differences in culture that I learn about on eHell and then go "no, leave my preconceptions alone!", can I? ;D ;D ;D

I think that's a brilliant idea [and saves people having to use the hoist (which I suspect could be embarrassing and may feel shaming)], as long as I could still swim lengths properly.  One of my recurring bad dreams [not really a nightmare] is where I'm scraping along the bottom of a swimming pool that is too shallow, bumping knees and elbows but refusing to admit defeat.

Is the sloping/shallow bit at right-angles to the rest of the pool?  Or is it just one long slope from walk-in to deep end?
While I admit have not been around new pools recently, I have never seen a zero entry pool myself.  (we might already be at full saturation level for public pools, and my guess would be that generally private/personal pools wouldnt want to use the extra space involve.)

MommyPenguin

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3524 on: August 25, 2017, 12:44:03 PM »
Chez Miriam -- whimsical and basically irrelevant spin-off from your post; but I've spent time in south-east London in decades past, and been acquainted with Effra Road.  That name has always been "ruined" for me since first hearing it, by its resemblance to that in Watership Down, borne by the totalitarian-dictatorship rabbit warren under the ruthless heel of the mad warlord General Woundwort -- have always found it hard not to think of it as "Efrafa Road".

Oh, no!  I had forgotten that [last read Watership Down long before moving to Brixton] - I hope I forget it again soon. ;D

And when was the last time anyone swam in a pool with a shallow end less than 18" deep?

You ready for another round of regional differences, like the mailboxes?  ;D

Many public pools in the US are now being built with what are called "zero depth entry". It's a standard set by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Basically, think cement ocean instead of cement pond. So yep, some people go swimming now in pools that have a shallow end that is effectively < 1" deep (there are at least 6 of them near me.)

I can't bang on about how I love the differences in culture that I learn about on eHell and then go "no, leave my preconceptions alone!", can I? ;D ;D ;D

I think that's a brilliant idea [and saves people having to use the hoist (which I suspect could be embarrassing and may feel shaming)], as long as I could still swim lengths properly.  One of my recurring bad dreams [not really a nightmare] is where I'm scraping along the bottom of a swimming pool that is too shallow, bumping knees and elbows but refusing to admit defeat.

Is the sloping/shallow bit at right-angles to the rest of the pool?  Or is it just one long slope from walk-in to deep end?

It depends.  Some places intend it to be a good toddler/child entry area, and they'll often have it at a right angle.  You'll enter at the zero-depth entry and that area is often cordoned off at a depth of maybe 18", possibly as much as 3 ft.  That makes it sort of a shallow area where children can play (an adult who needed to use it for entry would simply unhook the floating line thing to pass through to the adult section).  I like those, because my husband managed a pool when he was a teenager and told me about some of the health issues with baby pools (the shallow pool is often very heavily chlorinated because it's so shallow that the hot sun burns stuff off too quickly, so it's hard to manage the chlorine levels, etc.  Having the "baby pool" just a part of the larger pool keeps the chlorine levels more stable.  However, it depends on the pool layout and size, and probably on how much they were thinking of it being a kid area and how much it was intended for adults who need zero-depth entry.  I've definitely seen it both ways (right-angle or not, with or without the floating rope to cordon it off).
Emily is 10 years old!  1/07
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