Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 180607 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4286
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #105 on: January 28, 2013, 05:13:16 PM »
So many heroines in cozy mysteries are nosy amateurs, whose expertise is based solely on "I just know So-and-So didn't do it!" and maybe reading cosy mysteries.  The police are always wrong, if not downright obstructionist -- and who could blame them with an idiot bumbling around.  Die Buying was a pleasant break because the heroine had both expertise and some motive for being nosy -- she was a former military police investigator who loved crime investigation, but hadn't yet found a job with a police department because of a war injury.  So, she became a mall cop.   :)

Which brings me to another peeve:  how are all of these perfect little stores and cafes surviving so well?  One machine embroidery series has the store owner getting Internet orders, but so many of these stores seem to survive very nicely on locals and the occasional busload of tourists.  Can a store be a Mary Sue?   :)

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4286
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2013, 05:16:21 PM »
Contemporary Romances:  Every female, no matter what her career (VP, baker, truck driver) appears to be wearing a silk shirt, skirt and high heels. I once asked my friends (who are VP's, tv camera crew people, SAHM, accountants )and none of them own a silk shirt.    ENOUGH WITH THE SILK SHIRTS!  Also, every bra is a "scrap of lace" and unhooks in the front.  I swear, too many books lose my interest because they are like mad libs with the same scenes over and over.

*scratches head*  I used to have silk shirts.  I don't think I have any now because the only ones that could handle machine washing weren't very silky, and the handwash and drycleaning ones just weren't getting cleaned.  Annoying things.

lilfox

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1709
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2013, 05:30:06 PM »
Don't forget all the buttons you keep having to replace after the shirt is torn in the heat of passion!  Silk shirts, so overrated.   ;)

Biggest pet peeves?  Typos and incorrect word choice.  Series that go stale.  Descriptions that are obliquely written so you are supposed to be impressed by the stylistic word choices, but no actual information is conveyed.  And cliff hangers at every chapter's end.  Constantly trying to build suspense just leave me agitated, not engaged.

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #108 on: January 28, 2013, 05:42:23 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?

Ok. You don't like it. Gotcha. But that doesn't make it somehow an evil act of trickery designed to lead poor, feeble-minded souls to believe that Bowie's "Golden Years" was the smash hit of medieval Europe.

Going down that slippery slope, we really ought to ban Opera, lest people get it into their heads that people went around spouting arias left and right. ;)
Utah

snowflake

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1812
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #109 on: January 28, 2013, 05:46:58 PM »
Which brings me to another peeve:  how are all of these perfect little stores and cafes surviving so well?  One machine embroidery series has the store owner getting Internet orders, but so many of these stores seem to survive very nicely on locals and the occasional busload of tourists.  Can a store be a Mary Sue?   :)

Along these lines - the improbable business that takes off and makes the owner fabulously wealthy within weeks.  Eye roll.

Also, increasingly more common failed attempts at writing a non-Mary Sue.  For instance:

The impossibly beautiful heroine who whines all the time that she is just sooooo ugly and doesn't think anyone could possibly love her (but they do)

The bitter mage eating worms in the corner without any friends who (because he is the product of some prophecy or parentage or whatever) just happens to be all-powerful

The woman who broke a nail when she was eight, hasn't had any problems since, and conveniently the whole world bends over backwards to allow her to mourn. 

No!  Those are not lovable flaws, those are not Achilles heels, that is not real interesting conflict.  The characters come off as dull and annoying whiners.

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3851
    • My blog!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #110 on: January 28, 2013, 06:22:28 PM »
I just finished reading a *fantastic* book today!  I absolutely loved it.  But near the end, there were two major things that I was waiting for.  One was that the heroine had told the hero she loved him, and he was definitely *showing* her he loved her, but he hadn't reciprocated with words.  She'd mentioned at one point feeling vulnerable that she'd declared her love and he hadn't.  So there was definitely an implication that we were waiting for that.  The other was that, some time ago, she'd screwed something up majorly and made him look really bad.  He had thought she'd done it on purpose and wanted her to tell him the truth about it.  She *hadn't* done it on purpose and had already told him the truth, although I never felt that she fully explained the lead-up to what happened.  But there was definitely conflict over whether she'd been telling the truth, because he didn't really believe the truth.  The book ended with *neither* of these things resolved!  I was very puzzled and disappointed.  Furthermore, there was an author's note which ended mid-sentence.  (It was a Kindle book).  So I don't know if something was missing, or if the book really ended that way (but the author's note definitely should have had an ending of some sort!

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4152
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2013, 06:56:27 PM »
I dislike stories that depend on a lot of miscommunication among the characters--I read fiction for escapism, not to experience the things that irritate me in real life! :) I always liked how, in Harry Potter, the first thing Harry, Ron, or Hermione did upon learning a new bit of information was to tell the other two, so they could all try to figure it out as a group. (At least that's how I remember it.)

I also dislike (non-romance) series that rely heavily on "will they or won't they" with a couple, or flip-flopping the main character between two different love interests. I know some people really love that romantic tension and having a "team" that they root for, but it just makes me... tense. And I feel like it's often artificially dragged out to pad the story and create cliff-hangers, when what I really want is more of the sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy stuff they promised me earlier.
~Lynn2000

Tabby Uprising

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 451
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2013, 08:08:34 PM »
So many heroines in cozy mysteries are nosy amateurs, whose expertise is based solely on "I just know So-and-So didn't do it!" and maybe reading cosy mysteries.  The police are always wrong, if not downright obstructionist -- and who could blame them with an idiot bumbling around.  Die Buying was a pleasant break because the heroine had both expertise and some motive for being nosy -- she was a former military police investigator who loved crime investigation, but hadn't yet found a job with a police department because of a war injury.  So, she became a mall cop.   :)

Which brings me to another peeve:  how are all of these perfect little stores and cafes surviving so well?  One machine embroidery series has the store owner getting Internet orders, but so many of these stores seem to survive very nicely on locals and the occasional busload of tourists.  Can a store be a Mary Sue?   :)

YES!  Thank you!  I feel better :)

I love cozy mysteries - really, I'm a cozy addict and I do appreciate the charm aspect of some of these businesses.  However, there was one series I couldn't fall in love with where the heroine owned a cookie store and it was always packed.  Morning, noon and night people were demanding cookies.  She was toting a big ol' oatmeal cookie order to a school for breakfast.  Cookies for kids at 9:00 am?  Men sitting around the cafe with coffee and cookies?

I love cookies as much as I like cozies, but that was so implausible to me I couldn't get back into the story. 

snowflake

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1812
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2013, 11:13:58 PM »
I dislike stories that depend on a lot of miscommunication among the characters--I read fiction for escapism, not to experience the things that irritate me in real life! :) I always liked how, in Harry Potter, the first thing Harry, Ron, or Hermione did upon learning a new bit of information was to tell the other two, so they could all try to figure it out as a group. (At least that's how I remember it.)

Yep!  That was what bothered me most about the direction of the Anita Blake stories.  The constant Scrabble was annoying, but I swear there were whole chapters of nothing but her bickering with the men she didn't want to Scrabble.  (And then she Scrabbled them anyways.) 

I have a good friend who just got into the world of writing romance.  At first I wanted to be supportive and bought/read many books that she and her friends wrote.  I stopped because too many of them are about major feuds hinging on simple misunderstandings.  In real life, I have found that the people who misunderstand very easily make the worst partners.  So when the story ends happily with two such people getting married, I don't actually feel happy for them.  I feel sorry for whoever will have to hear them complain about each other.

Allyson

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1745
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #114 on: January 29, 2013, 12:02:55 AM »
That 'intuition' is always right, even against all logic. This is fine sometimes, but all the time? It gets tedious, and sometimes a little insulting. Highly trained scientists say that X will happen, but a plucky kid insists it's Y! I'd like to see, just sometimes, the plucky kid be wrong. Just sometimes, see the rebel cop going against his superiors be wrong about the suspect's guilt.

Another peeve is all happy endings looking the same. This is really bad in fanfic, but I see it other places too. You'll get a really interesting, nontraditional character or couple, and most of the fanfic that shows them together will always have her taking his name, them having kids and being great parents etc etc. Even if a large part of the character appeal was their differences and variation from that script.

Giggity

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8622
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #115 on: January 29, 2013, 08:01:05 AM »
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?
Words mean things.

Tabby Uprising

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 451
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #116 on: January 29, 2013, 08:53:33 AM »
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?

It's a sub-genre of mystery. They often have female amateur sleuths, take place in a small town or village and are "lighter".  You typically won't have a dark, gory, serial killer type of plot in a cozy!  The reader gets to know not only the village setting very well, but the assortment of characters who live there as well.  I'd say the old "Murder She Wrote" series is a decent example of what a cozy is.  Very different style from "Law and Order: SVU"  :)

(I know - tv examples in a book thread! Agatha Raisin series - cozy, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo - not cozy)

Luci45

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5787
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #117 on: January 29, 2013, 10:39:35 AM »
I once read an essay years ago about a type of writing that was popular in Science Fiction in the early years: the story is written in first person, there is suspence about something tying to attack the writer and ends, "Feel the hot breath on my neck and the fetid smell............................AHHHHH!" The critic thought it was so illogical that it was humorous.

Now I just finished a book in which the early part of the woman's life is written in third person and the present day in first. She dies about half way through the book, but keeps writing. I really had to laugh, but the story was so good I had to finish the novel. (She never does 'go to the light', so it wasn't Ghost Whisperer style.)

I got it free on ebooks, but I will look for more from this author to buy, but really hope she drops this particular device.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11474
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #118 on: January 29, 2013, 10:40:01 AM »
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?

Cozies are, as Tabby Uprising described, a quieter type of mystery.  The general formula is you have a small-town protagonist who somehow stumbles across a mystery in each book for various (usually implausible) reasons, who also has some unique hook that readers might relate to.  The main character owns a bakery, for example, or plays bunko, or knits, or owns cats, or works at a ski shop, or does DIY home renovations - something hobby-like, usually.  The mystery is not always murder - it's often a robbery or something less violent.  There's almost never any gore or sex explicitly described, and although the main character may have one (or many) love interests over the course of the series, it's usually not anything serious.  The plot includes following the process of solving the mystery, but usually includes major side-plots dealing with other characters doing small-town things like putting on a town play or trying not to lose their shop or whatever.  Examples are Miss Marple and The Cat Who [whatever].

Procedural mysteries are the other type, and they often are much grittier and darker.  The protagonist is somehow involved in law enforcement (detective, police officer, police psychic, bounty hunter, etc.) and the book primarily follows law enforcement's efforts to catch the criminal.  The initial crime is usually murder and is usually shown/described in gory detail.  The stories involve more immediate danger, gore, sometimes sex, and more "adult" situations (such as the inner workings of a strip club or a drug ring).  Good procedurals try to at least get the details correct about how a case is solved, but there's a wide variety of artistic license from series to series  :)  Examples are Hercule Poirot, CSI, or Law & Order.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 10:41:54 AM by Slartibartfast »

Betelnut

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3577
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #119 on: January 29, 2013, 10:54:42 AM »
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?

To me, the primary difference is that the cozy mystery has a non-police person as the detective (although sometimes he/she can be ex-police).  Plus, there is definitely more of an emphasis on the "place" as a character as well as recurring characters throughout the series.
"And thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges." -- Feste, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

Native Texan, Marylander currently