Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 199020 times)

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BabylonSister

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2013, 03:02:48 PM »
There's also the 'look how much I know' syndrome.  There was a mystery writer I started reading because he often used our neighborhood.  It was fun to see the actual locations in my mind as I read. 

However, into his second book, it became evident that the descriptions of locations were beginning to overwhelm the story.  It got distracting to the point that I stopped reading his stuff.

A woman on a science fiction forum I used to frequent referred to this sort of thing as "I suffered for my art, now it's your turn!" Some authors don't bother to do any research, as has been mentioned already. Some authors do the necessary research but only write about what's necessary for the story, which is the correct approach. Too many others, unfortunately, do a lot of research and then want to make sure the readers know they did a lot of research, so immense amounts of completely unnecessary detail end up in the story. Bleh.



Ha!  I have in the "Worst book ever" thread mentioned how terrible Lilian Jackson Braun's books had become as years passed (or I should say, the books published under her name because there is very strong suspicion that they were ghost-written.)  In the most ludicrous of them all, The Cat Who Saw Stars, there is lengthy talk about goats. It has nothing to do with the plot.



RE: names:  I really hate it when an author tries to include French characters but does not bother to research names.  So writers, take note:
1. there are no intracaps in French names.  It's not "DuPont", it's "Dupont" or, less likely, "Du Pont". 
2. Names like Yvette or Simone might look so daintily French but don't use them for a current French woman.  99% of French women with those names are in their 80s or older.  I hate to break it to you, but a young French woman is likely to be named Jennifer.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2013, 03:19:10 PM »
I'm with others on over description. When the plot comes to a screeching halt for several pages to not only describe the buildings, but to describe the process in which the bricks were made and the politics within the bricklayer's union, to the point where I've forgotten what happened before the author started describing all that, is when I start skipping pages.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

dirtyweasel

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2013, 04:38:09 PM »
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.



pwv

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2013, 05:04:27 PM »
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

BabylonSister

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2013, 05:06:58 PM »
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.




Was it an old or a recent book?  Last summer I read Vanity Fair and I found it peppered with French.  That didn't bother me, but I can imagine that a highschool or college student who has to read it would find that annoying.  Of course, at the time it was written, it was assumed that the readership would comprise highly educated people who all had some knowledge of French.

The TARDIS

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2013, 05:15:28 PM »
When a series author uses a lot of ghostwriters.

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2013, 05:20:38 PM »
When a series author uses a lot of ghostwriters.

Like James Patterson.  Someone suggested I read his "Witch and Wizard" and thinking I'd like it since I like his style of writing, I gave it a shot.  It was a young adult book, which on its own does not matter to me as I've enjoyed other books marketed to that demographic.   But this was one clearly written by a ghostwriter and was not very well written.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Venus193

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2013, 06:48:23 PM »
V.C. Andrews.  There are more ghost-ridden books under that name than the original author wrote in her lifetime.  I think it's time to quit.

DollyPond

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2013, 06:59:01 PM »
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.

Was it an Umberto Eco book?  For an Italian writer he uses an awful lot of French. 

His latest novel The Prague Cemetery uses a lot of French but it is mostly food/menu oriented so I can understand that.  In Foucoult's Pendulum there is a full page letter that is entirely in French.  i assume that there was some important information in the letter but how could I know unless I re-typed the whole thing into a translation program?

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2013, 08:00:56 PM »
I'm working on getting a romance novel published, so I'm seeing this from a writer's point of view as well as a reader:

- Books that shouldn't have been published.  Almost any famous author can tell you about the first book or two they wrote, tried to sell, failed, and subsequently have hidden under the bed and will never see the light of day.  You learn to write by writing, and that means your first book is pretty universally bad.  In bygone days those books stayed under the bed, unless you got really famous and then maybe you heavily edited it and released it once you had a few dozen other books under your belt.  Now aspiring authors try to shop around their first books (which they're convinced will be masterpieces), fail to sell them to major publishers, and decide to self-publish in ebook form instead.

- Related is how some smaller e-presses have sacrificed quality for quantity.  They have a smaller investment in your book than they would in a printed book, so they accept anything halfway readable and hope to make up their money in volume.  As a result, they cut their support for authors to bare bones: editing may be minimal, cover design is often lacking, promotional help is non-existant.  And the employees who do this editing/designing are now "independent contractors" who may or may not be qualified for what they're doing.  The result is a huge variating in quality for ebooks, which makes me (and other readers) hesitant about spending the money for them without first being very, very sure they're worth it.

- Authors who don't take the time to fully edit their work.  This drives me nuts - too many people write "The End" and figure they're good to go.  There's more to editing a book than spell check!  Unfortunately, if you don't know how to check for things like pacing or point of view changes, you probably aren't doing them right.

Morrigan

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2013, 09:02:10 PM »
When a really good paranormal fantasy (I'm looking at you, Anita Blake) series turns into porn halfway through and throws out all plot in the name of sex.

When a book starts repeating the same pattern just with different names (Christine Feehan's Dark series....)

When characters don't age at all, yet go through three summer vacations (I don't care if it's YA, Babysitter's Club & Saddle Club...)

amandaelizabeth

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2013, 09:54:30 PM »
In the Christmas holidays I started a regency romance.  Third paragraph in, the hero saw a picture of himself and bother as children.  He smiled to himself and was glad his mother had insisted on a painting rather than a photograph in spite of the time it took to paint.  I never did get to the fourth paragraph

MerryCat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2013, 10:15:38 PM »
Obnoxious main characters who are snotty and rude for no reason, but we're supposed to excuse and even sympathize with them because of their Dark Past which is, of course, Full of Pain. Meanwhile all the other people around them, who may actually be trying to be nice, deserve to be treated like dirt because they Don't Understand My Pain.

Cami

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2013, 12:03:41 AM »
When a really good paranormal fantasy (I'm looking at you, Anita Blake) series turns into porn halfway through and throws out all plot in the name of sex.


So so true! If I wanted to read porn, I'd just look it up on the internet.

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2013, 12:52:28 AM »
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

In the same vein - books where editors feel they have to be "translated" just because they're moving across the pond.

"The Baby-Sitter's Club" series was "translated" into British English (and the covers were HIDEOUS!)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was "translated" into American English.
"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".
"Outlander" was "translated" when published in the UK, had a lot of scenes cut out of it and was retitled "Cross-Stitch".

... I could keep going.
 
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