Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 256605 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #75 on: January 28, 2013, 11:30:17 AM »
Cabbageweevil, I am on the side of historical accuracy, or at least time-neutral language in books and other entertainment in period costume.  I can't stand overly contemporary language coming from characters who are wearing hoopskirts, trunk hose, or togas.  I think it encourages ignorance of history, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This is the reason I shut off Moulin Rouge! after ten minutes and refused to watch Marie Antoinette.  There are other examples coming with the wrong music for the period and I don't want to know what they're doing with the dialogue.

Interesting! My understanding is that Moulin Rouge, Marie Antoinette, A Knight's Tale, etc. were deliberately mixing historical and modern elements as part of their unorthodox style, their way of helping modern audiences relate to what the characters were going through. Of course not everyone has to like that style; but to me it doesn't fall in the same category as someone who Did Not Do the Research and thus has Charlemagne firing handguns or something. I wouldn't even really call those historical movies, more like fantasies.

This is a great thread! One thing that bugs me is the "series syndrome." It seems like, in the genres I like such as fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, people can't just write a single, self-contained story anymore. Everyone wants to have the next big series where people hotly anticipate every volume coming out. I feel like authors deliberately string the storyline out, introduce way more characters and complications than are necessary, and never resolve anything so that readers feel compelled to pick up the next book. If you've got a long story to tell and you know where it's going and you'd just rather release three medium-sized books instead of one huge book, that's fine, because actually I don't like huge books; but I get the sense in a lot of series that they're just trying to milk it for as long as possible and don't really know what the endgame is.
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rose red

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #76 on: January 28, 2013, 11:56:53 AM »
I don't remember the exact titles, but there were a few times that the main character of a book is reading a book by the author.  I find that conceited, not cute, and pulls me out of the story.

Venus193

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #77 on: January 28, 2013, 12:15:53 PM »

Interesting! My understanding is that Moulin Rouge, Marie Antoinette, A Knight's Tale, etc. were deliberately mixing historical and modern elements as part of their unorthodox style, their way of helping modern audiences relate to what the characters were going through. Of course not everyone has to like that style; but to me it doesn't fall in the same category as someone who Did Not Do the Research and thus has Charlemagne firing handguns or something. I wouldn't even really call those historical movies, more like fantasies.


I don't care how the producers justify these decisions; it's not only unnecessary, it leads the less educated to believe the revisionism.  Remember all those people in Jay Leno's audiences who can't name the last four presidents?

Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #78 on: January 28, 2013, 12:18:11 PM »
I absolutely agree with those who have mentioned unnecessarily long descritpions of things that are not important to the story. Pat Conroy's Beach Music: beautiful and interesting story, but he would go on for pages and PAGES describing the food he was cooking. We get it - the olive oil is GREEN!! It not only didn't add to the story at all - it actually took me out of the story. That book could have easily been 200 pages shorter.

When the author decides to use funky fonts and other artistic choices in the way the words appear on the page. The most recent offender I can think of is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. There would be several lines of text that were struck through, then a couple normal paragraphs, then more text struck through, then a couple of normal lines, then an entire paragraph struck through. It was distracting and just plain annoying. After about 20 pages, I flipped ahead to see if it ever stopped. Nope, that "style" went on for the entire book. I stopped reading at that point.

SpottedPony

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #79 on: January 28, 2013, 12:26:55 PM »
I write and read Bonanza fanfic and I find there are authors who suffer from what I call, 'As it is now, so it was then.'  They wouldn't allow any of their children under 18 to even touch a gun or insist that their children must complete all 12 years of school and never miss a day for any reason other than sickness. 

Back on the frontier in the 1800's, and in the 1800's in general, children had more responsibilities than children today.  In town, little kids could be running errands and such.  Children also worked in dangerous conditions such as in mines and in factories.

In rural and wilderness areas, children learned about guns early and went hunting on their own.  The family's lives depended on every member of the family being able to defend themselves.  Also schooling wasn't universally available, nor was it required.  Eight years was about as far as any one went.  Only larger towns/cities offered grades 9-12.  Also farm/ranch children were often pulled out of school to help with seasonal work. 

Things back then were very, very different from today.

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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #80 on: January 28, 2013, 12:28:43 PM »
Now I'll be thinking of these all day! :D People mentioned not liking Deus ex machina. One thing I dislike is arbitrary limits on a character's powers. Based on what the author has decided the character can do, the problem would be solved and the story would be over in 100 pages if those powers were deployed intelligently. So instead they use an excuse like, "doing magic makes me tired," but inconsistently, only when it's convenient for the author to prolong the story. Or, "we can't interfere with your quest," except for, you know, when we do... Or the character can do X and Y, but not Z, even though they all seem pretty similar, and no real reason is given why Z isn't doable.
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mechtilde

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #81 on: January 28, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
Also farm/ranch children were often pulled out of school to help with seasonal work. 
Spotted Pony

Did school vacations take this into account? I know there were some places where schools were closed during harvest time.
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Kiara

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #82 on: January 28, 2013, 12:37:24 PM »
The most recent I can think of is "I love the character, therefore he has to suffer."  Used to just happen in fanfic.  (Most commonly to Clint Barton in Avengers fanfic, with Tony Stark a close second.  Thank goodness AO3 labels angst fics so I can avoid them if I'm not in the mood.)

However, it's now happening in one of my former favorite series.  I used to love the Dresden Files.  I actually bought the paperbacks to keep.  However, for about the past...3 or 4 books, it's "Let's see how much we can dump on Harry."  After a while it gets to be too much - there has to be some happiness in the guy's life, you know?  So I quit reading.

NestHolder

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #83 on: January 28, 2013, 12:38:23 PM »
I very much dislike stories with quick-fire point of view changes. 

It's perfectly fine to follow one story-line for a chapter or so and then switch, but I (tried to) read a book a few months back in which the story stayed in one POV for, at most, three pages, often less.  And there were lots of 'characters', few of which had any individuality.  The story never allowed me to develop any interest in them, and I gave up.  I've never even wondered what happened...

stargazer

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #84 on: January 28, 2013, 12:54:02 PM »
This is most common with romance novels - I REALLY find it dishonest when authors re-release a previous book with a new title, or a new book that "contains" two or three of their previous books.  You think you are getting a brand new book and it's the same thing you already read!

I got a book for Christmas that started out really well and was quite interesting, and then about half to three quarters of the way through it was like the author lost her way and wasn't sure where to go with the plots she had introduced, so basically just threw them away with things like the reporter just "went away to write a book" (even though the reporter had just introduced a HUGE secret that she was a part of and affected all members of the book) and actually used the words "who would have thought" in the epilogue where everything got tied up neatly even though there were holes you could drive a truck through.   

I found out later reading reviews on Amazon - it was one of her first books she ever wrote that just got released as a new book.  It should have stayed under the bed.

BabyMama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #85 on: January 28, 2013, 12:56:58 PM »
Stories where the characters are in luuuuuurve (or one character is in obsessed love with the other) and the reader has to hear over and over and over how handsome/beautiful/perfect the other character is (I'm thinking along the lines of Jondalar/Ayla, Richard/Kahlan, Bella/Edward.) You love them and they're awesome. Got it.
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Trogdor

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #86 on: January 28, 2013, 01:05:59 PM »
Two pet peeves of mine:

1) Including huge amounts padding in a series to stretch it out from two or three books to seven or ten, be it extra long descriptions of places/things, or half a chapter devoted to the point of view of a marginal character mentioned in passing four chapters earlier.

2) Using a plot device over and over and over because it caused a huge sensation in the first book. 

RebeccainGA

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #87 on: January 28, 2013, 01:39:10 PM »
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!

alkira6

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #88 on: January 28, 2013, 01:58:54 PM »
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #89 on: January 28, 2013, 02:05:58 PM »
Cabbageweevil, I am on the side of historical accuracy, or at least time-neutral language in books and other entertainment in period costume.  I can't stand overly contemporary language coming from characters who are wearing hoopskirts, trunk hose, or togas.  I think it encourages ignorance of history, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This is the reason I shut off Moulin Rouge! after ten minutes and refused to watch Marie Antoinette.  There are other examples coming with the wrong music for the period and I don't want to know what they're doing with the dialogue.

Time-neutral language is fine by me. It's just that I have a great (probably excessive, unfair, and not very rational) allergy to anything in language which smacks even slightly to me, of what detractors call "pishery-tushery"-- which tends for me, toward giving an impression that humans in the past, were a "species" more different from present-day ones, than is actually the case.  I'd  rather have glaring modern-anachronistic language, than "p-t" as above.  I "see with my head" your point about historical accuracy; but "feel with my gut", that I'd rather be spared archaic language of a sort that makes me (individually) cringe, and forfeit some historical accuracy. I feel that nobody is right or wrong here; it's just down to tastes, and how they differ.