Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 254523 times)

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Redwing

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #975 on: June 27, 2013, 11:49:10 AM »
Here's one I've been noticing lately. Hopefully I can explain it well.


Bob smirked at her. "I can't help it if I have weird cravings! I'm pregnant!"

Bonnie pouted impressively at his mockery. "Fine, I'll go out and look for the ice cream, but I can't promise anything."

Bob grabbed his coat and headed for the door. "Don't come back without it!"


The blue dialogue (first and third lines) has to be Bonnie, because Bob can't be pregnant (okay, non-sci-fi, conventional story ;) ), while the red dialogue (second line) must therefore be Bob. But from the way the narration is positioned in the same paragraph as the dialogue, you might at first think it was the other way around. Bob smirks and then complains about his pregnancy cravings? Bonnie feels mocked by this and pouts, but agrees to go get ice cream for him? It gets confusing very quickly.

With dialogue like this, I can figure out from context who's supposed to be speaking, but I've been reading lots of conversations where it wasn't that obvious, and I find it really annoying. Has anyone else seen this? Mostly I've noticed it in some fanfics lately (which are not always the best examples of formatting, granted), but it's been multiple authors, so I was afraid it was becoming a Thing...

I'm finding this to be true on Kindle editions, in which I've actually had to go back and say, Ok, this is him, this is her, etc.  But I figured it was due to formatting errors on Kindle.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #976 on: June 27, 2013, 12:44:20 PM »
Here's one I've been noticing lately. Hopefully I can explain it well.


Bob smirked at her. "I can't help it if I have weird cravings! I'm pregnant!"

Bonnie pouted impressively at his mockery. "Fine, I'll go out and look for the ice cream, but I can't promise anything."

Bob grabbed his coat and headed for the door. "Don't come back without it!"


The blue dialogue (first and third lines) has to be Bonnie, because Bob can't be pregnant (okay, non-sci-fi, conventional story ;) ), while the red dialogue (second line) must therefore be Bob. But from the way the narration is positioned in the same paragraph as the dialogue, you might at first think it was the other way around. Bob smirks and then complains about his pregnancy cravings? Bonnie feels mocked by this and pouts, but agrees to go get ice cream for him? It gets confusing very quickly.

With dialogue like this, I can figure out from context who's supposed to be speaking, but I've been reading lots of conversations where it wasn't that obvious, and I find it really annoying. Has anyone else seen this? Mostly I've noticed it in some fanfics lately (which are not always the best examples of formatting, granted), but it's been multiple authors, so I was afraid it was becoming a Thing...

I'm not surprised to see this in fanfic, but it's something any halfway-decent editor would flag and fix.

Kariachi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #977 on: June 27, 2013, 04:27:00 PM »
Here's one I've been noticing lately. Hopefully I can explain it well.


Bob smirked at her. "I can't help it if I have weird cravings! I'm pregnant!"

Bonnie pouted impressively at his mockery. "Fine, I'll go out and look for the ice cream, but I can't promise anything."

Bob grabbed his coat and headed for the door. "Don't come back without it!"


The blue dialogue (first and third lines) has to be Bonnie, because Bob can't be pregnant (okay, non-sci-fi, conventional story ;) ), while the red dialogue (second line) must therefore be Bob. But from the way the narration is positioned in the same paragraph as the dialogue, you might at first think it was the other way around. Bob smirks and then complains about his pregnancy cravings? Bonnie feels mocked by this and pouts, but agrees to go get ice cream for him? It gets confusing very quickly.

With dialogue like this, I can figure out from context who's supposed to be speaking, but I've been reading lots of conversations where it wasn't that obvious, and I find it really annoying. Has anyone else seen this? Mostly I've noticed it in some fanfics lately (which are not always the best examples of formatting, granted), but it's been multiple authors, so I was afraid it was becoming a Thing...

I'm not surprised to see this in fanfic, but it's something any halfway-decent editor would flag and fix.

I am! I've seen some poorly done fanfics in my time, but that certainly takes the cake!
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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #978 on: June 27, 2013, 05:01:18 PM »
The blue dialogue (first and third lines) has to be Bonnie, because Bob can't be pregnant (okay, non-sci-fi, conventional story ;) ), while the red dialogue (second line) must therefore be Bob. But from the way the narration is positioned in the same paragraph as the dialogue, you might at first think it was the other way around. Bob smirks and then complains about his pregnancy cravings? Bonnie feels mocked by this and pouts, but agrees to go get ice cream for him? It gets confusing very quickly.

Oh, yes, I've seen that too!  Also, when there's a stretch of just dialogue (quotes only, no speech tags, but it's just the two characters so it's easy to keep the speakers straight) but suddenly the author gives the same character two lines in a row, one quote followed by another on the next line, and suddenly the conversation has taken a weird left turn until you backtrack.

Yes, exactly, I've seen that, too. I thought of it during the "George said" discussion--like maybe people were trying to avoid using "said," so they would use a line of narrative to suggest who was speaking instead, which is fine... as long as the line of narrative names the person who is actually speaking! Or people are going to all-dialogue and just trusting the reader to follow along--which can work well, as long as you aren't mean and throw in an extra line to the same person.  ::) I just don't think reading for fun should be so much work...
~Lynn2000

Barney girl

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #979 on: June 27, 2013, 07:15:13 PM »
In one of Jasper fForde's Thursday Next books this is used as a way of confusing a Bookworld character as, when the "real" characters were speaking without the text saying who was talking, the Bookworld character, who was standing with them, could not tell which of them was speaking. (I assure you that makes perfect sense in context)  ;D

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #980 on: June 27, 2013, 09:32:04 PM »
E-books that have been OCR'ed, a spellchecker has been run to eliminate nonsense things like "reoiuc", but then have not been proofread further.  All the words are real words, but not the right word to use in that sentence.  "Not the right work" instead of "not the right word" or "red" instead of "real" and things like that.  The one I'm reading now has that kind of error on almost every page.
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Morticia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #981 on: June 28, 2013, 08:57:22 AM »
I just finished reading an e-book that had 20 lines between each paragraph.
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Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #982 on: June 28, 2013, 09:06:33 AM »
I just finished reading an e-book that had 20 lines between each paragraph.

Ew. I've deleted ebooks from my Nook for less.

Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #983 on: June 28, 2013, 09:45:00 AM »
I just finished reading an e-book that had 20 lines between each paragraph.

Ew. I've deleted ebooks from my Nook for less.

Same here. And I don't know about the Nook, but I know Amazon has a program that'll let you format you e-book for the Kindle so you avoid things like that.

jmarvellous

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #984 on: June 28, 2013, 09:48:52 AM »
I just finished reading an e-book that had 20 lines between each paragraph.

Ew. I've deleted ebooks from my Nook for less.

Try living with a man who works at an ebook company! He'll read the most terribly typeset paperback (I won't), but if OCR and flow are even slightly off on his Kindle,  he is DONE! It would be funny if it weren't so frustrating.

My newest pet peeve is a peculiar,  specific one: Writers who list editors in their credits who did not actually edit the book, as a way to add credibility.
I had to get very stern with a writer of a piece of unreadable tripe about taking my name off their Amazon listing when all I did was copy edit it, only to find that they had passed on a good 50% of my vital corrections,  questions or suggestions. I do not want my name associated with the text, even as a joke.  I would look like an incompetent twit. (If you want to read the listing,  which no longer has my name on it, please PM me. I wouldn't dare suggest going further than the text preview, though.)

Miss Misery

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #985 on: June 28, 2013, 01:05:52 PM »
The book I'm reading has an entire sentence that runstogetherlikethiswithnospaces.  Gah! ::)

RebeccainGA

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #986 on: June 28, 2013, 01:15:22 PM »
The book I'm reading has an entire sentence that runstogetherlikethiswithnospaces.  Gah! ::)
Gah is right! I hope it's a typo, at least - that would drive me mad!

SpottedPony

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #987 on: June 28, 2013, 03:39:02 PM »
I've been reading a series of books set in a tiny European country.  The country is in something of an upheaval because of distant and foreign relatives of the royal family tried to take over the country.  The problem is, these criminals seem to know the country better than the people who have lived there all their lives.  They are able to get in and out of the royal palace before the royal guard even knows they are there, even with upto date security equipment.  In the most recent story, the bad guys, force the male and female leads to get them into the very well protected crown jewels vaults and get away.  They then hide in caves that they wouldn't know very much about, yet they are able to take captive two members of the royal army who know the caves very well.  They get caught only because the good guys keep on coming and who finally get a luck break. 

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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #988 on: July 08, 2013, 02:25:59 PM »
I had to post a review on Amazon.  I ordered a book which contained 3 books of Mary Roberts Rinehart, an old favorite of mine.  One of the included books was The Case of Jennie Brice, one of her best.

I don't know how it happened, but there were so many odd errors in it.  I almost had the impression that they had gotten ahold of the original galley proofs and published it as is.  There were a lot of odd punctuation glitches: where_the_words were separated by an underscore.  There should also a small illustration that shows the shape of a scar on a corpse.  The shape of the scar is an important plot point.  In the text, you see: [insert illustration here] instead of the actual illustration.

The worst error is on the last page, where the beginning of one paragraph switches abruptly mid-sentence to the end of the next paragraph, eliminating what should be the denoument of the book.  And this happens twice on the last page!  There is no publishing information on the book at all, or I would also have written a letter to the publisher.

In my review, I recommend the books themselves, but warn people away from this edition.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #989 on: July 08, 2013, 05:12:28 PM »
I had to post a review on Amazon.  I ordered a book which contained 3 books of Mary Roberts Rinehart, an old favorite of mine.  One of the included books was The Case of Jennie Brice, one of her best.

I don't know how it happened, but there were so many odd errors in it.  I almost had the impression that they had gotten ahold of the original galley proofs and published it as is.  There were a lot of odd punctuation glitches: where_the_words were separated by an underscore.  There should also a small illustration that shows the shape of a scar on a corpse.  The shape of the scar is an important plot point.  In the text, you see: [insert illustration here] instead of the actual illustration.

The worst error is on the last page, where the beginning of one paragraph switches abruptly mid-sentence to the end of the next paragraph, eliminating what should be the denoument of the book.  And this happens twice on the last page!  There is no publishing information on the book at all, or I would also have written a letter to the publisher.

In my review, I recommend the books themselves, but warn people away from this edition.

Something similar happened to me once, only it was a paper book I checked out of the library. It had a note printed in it saying it was an "advance reading copy" of the book from "uncorrected proofs." There were several typos, but nothing major like giant chunks of text missing (at least not that I noticed).

Though, if I recall correctly, I found the book itself unsatisfying, kind of half-baked, when I'd enjoyed other books by the same author--it was The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. It's a fairytale-type magical quest story, with a timid heroine who has to become stronger and overcome obstacles. There were a lot of objects and plotlines that appeared, seemed interesting, and then were abandoned, never to be seen again; and missed opportunities to use the heroine's natural strengths. Part of me kind of hopes it was a super-rough draft that somehow found its way to my library, and that the real book is actually much better.

I've been reading a series of books set in a tiny European country.  The country is in something of an upheaval because of distant and foreign relatives of the royal family tried to take over the country.  The problem is, these criminals seem to know the country better than the people who have lived there all their lives.  They are able to get in and out of the royal palace before the royal guard even knows they are there, even with upto date security equipment.  In the most recent story, the bad guys, force the male and female leads to get them into the very well protected crown jewels vaults and get away.  They then hide in caves that they wouldn't know very much about, yet they are able to take captive two members of the royal army who know the caves very well.  They get caught only because the good guys keep on coming and who finally get a luck break. 

Oh, that's so irritating! I really dislike stories that hinge on that kind of thing. It's the Secret Service or the highly-trained royal ninja guards or something, and a bunch of bad guys completely cut them down, anticipate every move, know all about the secret tunnels and door codes and passwords, etc.. I think the only way that's acceptable is if the bad guys have someone highly placed on the inside helping them, who gave them all that information. Or, you know, someone who's a mind-reader or whatever. At least throw the audience a bone of plausibility.
~Lynn2000