Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 222895 times)

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rose red

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #225 on: February 05, 2013, 12:07:28 PM »
Authors do love and focus on one thing.  My sister and I usually read the same books and we have an inside joke that whenever we hear the word "Uzi" we both say "Dean Koontz."

When I was younger, I read Christopher Pike and hunt the phase "starlight crystal" like Easter eggs.  Finally, he just went for it and wrote a book with that title.

Shea

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #226 on: February 05, 2013, 05:59:09 PM »
When authors attempt to write dialogue or some lines of text in a language that they plainly do not speak. Especially if it's a language with tons of speakers, so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to locate someone who could proofread your text to make sure you haven't made mistakes.

I remember one book where a character occasionally spoke in Spanish. Which was fine, except the author apparently wrote said character's dialogue by running sentences in English through Google translate or something. Seriously, Spanish is a major world language! It's the first language of millions of people, and millions more (such as yours truly) can read it well enough to tell that in the space of 3 sentences, you have assigned the wrong gender to three nouns, put an adjective in the wrong place relative to its noun, and had the character using a distinctly Spanish-from-Spain verb form that the character, being Guatemalan, would not use.


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ica171

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #227 on: February 05, 2013, 07:13:40 PM »
So agree about King.  Carrie was one of the first true horror novels I read and it was so unusual in its style (the magazine and newspaper articles interspersed with the prose) that it kept you reading just to see what magazine he would include next.  Ditto Salems Lot and The Shining.

And then, somewhere down the line, I want to say the book was IT, things went from being horrific love letters to Maine and New England and turned into ruminations on people's bowel movements, gore and gore and gore, and all kinds of references to bodily fluids.  Instead of the compelling, irresistable feeling of "what happens next" I remember being treated to one character's thinking about his constipation for several pages in IT but delivered, not in that character's tone of voice (which would have been more circumspect, I think) but in King's very snotty tone, as if he was mocking the character who would ultimately prove the real hero of the story.

I haven't been able to read his new books since then.

In his defense, Stephen King was very addicted to drugs around the time that he wrote It and I think Cujo (maybe some others) and you can definitely tell. He's had some great stuff since then, although he had another rough period around the time Dreamcatcher came out (poop monsters, anyone?) and he was recovering from being hit by a van.

My pet peeves are, as someone else stated, first person, especially when it starts bleeding over into knowledge that only a third person omniscient narrator can have. If you want to write in first person you can't have the narrator know things they haven't been told and couldn't possibly have found out because it's easier for the story.

The other that comes to mind is when characters want to be lauded for having decent morals that would be expected of basically all human beings. This happens a lot in older (and some newer) romances, where the hero and heroine are not married yet but are sharing some degree of a passionate embrace. The heroine stops the hero before things go too far and the hero makes some sort of comment about how another man might not have stopped. So...good for you that you didn't s*e*x*ually assault someone? Pretty sure that's one of those things that you're just supposed to do and not point out how awesome it is that you did it.

BabylonSister

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #228 on: February 05, 2013, 08:13:50 PM »
Let me add this about Stephen King: his recent novel 11/22/63 is absolutely excellent, it does not involve gross out factors and it does not have excessive verbiage.  It's, in my opinion, his best novel in a long time.


Sorry, I don't have any new pet peeve to contribute but I'm enjoying this thread. :D

PeterM

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #229 on: February 05, 2013, 09:05:26 PM »
The other that comes to mind is when characters want to be lauded for having decent morals that would be expected of basically all human beings.

One of my favorite subversions of this is in the movie "The Replacement Killers." Chow Yun Fat has been forced to work as a hitman for an Asian crime lord in order to protect his own family. He's mostly sent after vicious criminals, so he has no particular qualms about what he's doing. Then he's ordered to kill the young son of a cop who's causing trouble for the gang. He can't do it, and is planning to go home, grab his family, and take them into hiding. He's working with Mira Sorvino, who points out that the gang leader will just send someone else, the replacement killers of the title.

"You're not willing to kill a little kid," she says. "Welcome to the human race." Then she convinces him they have to save the kid before he can save his own family. Then he says the best line in the whole movie.

"I'll need guns..."

Shortly afterwards, of course, all hell breaks loose. Great movie.

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #230 on: February 05, 2013, 11:13:21 PM »

In his defense, Stephen King was very addicted to drugs around the time that he wrote It and I think Cujo 
King also had a traumatic childhood, and some of his early books contain scenes that relate to the trauma he suffered. It's like he was trying for trauma mastery by putting them into his books. Doesn't make it any easier to read, though. (at least for me).

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #231 on: February 06, 2013, 12:41:35 AM »
When authors attempt to write dialogue or some lines of text in a language that they plainly do not speak. Especially if it's a language with tons of speakers, so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to locate someone who could proofread your text to make sure you haven't made mistakes.

I've read more than one book where a character is revealed to be Danish... And promptly goes on to speak either Swedish or Dutch.

*sigh*
 
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Leafy

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #232 on: February 06, 2013, 03:14:26 AM »
Excessively descriptive - Dan Brown I'm looking at you!

No quotation marks. Makes it extremely hard to read. I had to read half the book twice to work out when someone was speaking.

When two characters have quite similar names, say Mark and Mike. I have bad habit of skimming names and often only really look at the first letter. When you have endless options for names how hard is it to come up with dissimilar ones?

staceym

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #233 on: February 06, 2013, 08:36:06 AM »
   
Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

That's Stephen King's The Mist, isn't it?

It is.  It might also be another author's book, but it's definitely the Mist.  The ending of the movie was vastly different (superior) to me, though, since it had an actual ending.

Most of SK's have regular endings, though.

Except for The Cell - ready to throw the book across the room with it's "not an ending" - you have to imagine how it ended ending; because up until then I really enjoyed the book and couldn't stop reading it as I had to find out how it ended.


I love this thread - so many of my pet peeves have been mention:

excessive descriptors - I really don't need to know what the sky looked like, the exact fabric or color of someone's clothes...

books that sum up the story/ending in the last two paragraphs..wham, bam

looking at the amount of pages you have left to read and the come to find out that that the last 20 are "previews" from the author's next book.

BabyMama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #234 on: February 06, 2013, 08:41:56 AM »
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

Shea

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #235 on: February 06, 2013, 08:56:15 AM »
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

On the other hand, the excessive descriptions of food in A Song of Ice and Fire (aka the Game of Thrones books) are, in my opinion, a bonus. They led some people to write a food blog and a cookbook based on all the food described, and they're both amazing!


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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #236 on: February 06, 2013, 10:28:02 AM »
Note to self: if I ever write contemporary fiction, there will be at least one drawn out description of a cheesesteak.  They need some love.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #237 on: February 06, 2013, 10:38:53 AM »
When two characters have quite similar names, say Mark and Mike. I have bad habit of skimming names and often only really look at the first letter. When you have endless options for names how hard is it to come up with dissimilar ones?

This bugs me, too. When I'm writing I usually try to have all my characters' names start with different letters and not rhyme or anything like that (unless there's a reason for it, like someone named their twins Jenny and Jason, or Jenny and Penny). It's really not that hard to do. Otherwise even I (as the author) get confused.
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MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #238 on: February 06, 2013, 10:43:51 AM »
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

The funny thing is that I never noticed because people in Scandinavia really do drink that much coffee ;)

On the other hand, reading "Farmer Boy" or any of the "Famous Five" books always makes me soooo hungry :)
 
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Shea

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #239 on: February 06, 2013, 10:46:47 AM »
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

The funny thing is that I never noticed because people in Scandinavia really do drink that much coffee ;)

On the other hand, reading "Farmer Boy" or any of the "Famous Five" books always makes me soooo hungry :)

Haha, I have a friend who's Swedish, and she was just like, "Yeah, that's pretty much how we eat in Sweden. Sandwiches and coffee. All the time."


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