Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 178204 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9436
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1035 on: July 11, 2013, 01:08:33 PM »
I suppose this is one reason why I can't read many romances. 

So many of them end without a good reason for falling in love.  Well, besides being horny.  In fact, most of them are, "Well, I really hate you BUT, I want to pork you so I will stay with you anyway."  It always makes me close the book thinking, "Six weeks after her wedding, Ambriella woke up besides Chesty, her husband, and said, "Oh dingdangity.  It's worn off."


I will admit, there's one romance eBook I have on my laptop that I will forever love simply BECAUSE of how bad it is. Our heroine gets taken back in time to the...um...not sure when, which is sad, because I'm great with time periods. The dashing knight (head of the castle, no less) is a time traveler, and he brings back women to keep in his harem. She hates him for imprisoning her, has never done anything outside of boring scrabble, and sets herself up to be the best in, erm, some more graphic pursuits. Including the woodwork to make some of the set pieces herself. Which makes no sense with her character's history, if a person with her background really tried to build things like that, they'd fall apart at best. And don't get me started on how hard it is to saw giant beams of wood to size or secure them together. Not easy.

Oh, man, I think I know which one you're referring to. Knight Moves by Jamaica Layne, yes?

Yes. I can't believe there's someone else out there who's read it.

Actually, yes I can. I subjected ALL of my friends to it so we could laugh our heads off.

I confess I did not read it, but I recognized it from a review on All About Romance. The review was more than enough for me.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Two Ravens

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2219
  • One for sorrow, Two for mirth...
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1036 on: July 11, 2013, 01:23:57 PM »

I will admit, there's one romance eBook I have on my laptop that I will forever love simply BECAUSE of how bad it is. Our heroine gets taken back in time to the...um...not sure when, which is sad, because I'm great with time periods. The dashing knight (head of the castle, no less) is a time traveler, and he brings back women to keep in his harem. She hates him for imprisoning her, has never done anything outside of boring scrabble, and sets herself up to be the best in, erm, some more graphic pursuits. Including the woodwork to make some of the set pieces herself. Which makes no sense with her character's history, if a person with her background really tried to build things like that, they'd fall apart at best. And don't get me started on how hard it is to saw giant beams of wood to size or secure them together. Not easy.

Oh, man, I think I know which one you're referring to. Knight Moves by Jamaica Layne, yes?

Yes. I can't believe there's someone else out there who's read it.

Actually, yes I can. I subjected ALL of my friends to it so we could laugh our heads off.

I confess I did not read it, but I recognized it from a review on All About Romance. The review was more than enough for me.

CRUD MONKEYS!, I just googled a review on Dear Author (I couldn't find it in AAR). That is hysterically bad. (I'd link to it, but its probably not appropriate.) Thanks for the laugh!

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1037 on: July 11, 2013, 02:57:09 PM »

I will admit, there's one romance eBook I have on my laptop that I will forever love simply BECAUSE of how bad it is. Our heroine gets taken back in time to the...um...not sure when, which is sad, because I'm great with time periods. The dashing knight (head of the castle, no less) is a time traveler, and he brings back women to keep in his harem. She hates him for imprisoning her, has never done anything outside of boring scrabble, and sets herself up to be the best in, erm, some more graphic pursuits. Including the woodwork to make some of the set pieces herself. Which makes no sense with her character's history, if a person with her background really tried to build things like that, they'd fall apart at best. And don't get me started on how hard it is to saw giant beams of wood to size or secure them together. Not easy.

Oh, man, I think I know which one you're referring to. Knight Moves by Jamaica Layne, yes?

Yes. I can't believe there's someone else out there who's read it.

Actually, yes I can. I subjected ALL of my friends to it so we could laugh our heads off.

I confess I did not read it, but I recognized it from a review on All About Romance. The review was more than enough for me.

CRUD MONKEYS!, I just googled a review on Dear Author (I couldn't find it in AAR). That is hysterically bad. (I'd link to it, but its probably not appropriate.) Thanks for the laugh!

If you're looking for a "romance" novel (this is so bad it doesn't even really count in that genre) to amuse yourself with on a long lonely evening, this is it. Seriously, I found it again on my hard drive and nearly woke up the kid laughing so hard. I may have to stage a dramatic reading for my boyfriend, because I know he'll sit through it.

Elfmama

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5713
  • Is it Spring yet?
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1038 on: July 11, 2013, 03:36:40 PM »
Ugh. That brought back a memory I had successfully suppressed : In Mario Puzo's The Godfather, when one of his female characters hears another woman talking about how "over endowed" her husband is , feels lust for that woman's husband, and Puzo chooses to reveal that lust by having her feel  "the flesh between her legs twitch". Just NO.

Exhibit #1 in "How to tell that this book was written by a man".
Exhibit #3 was a book with a female author's name on it, but a mention of the first-person female protagonist casually glancing down and happening to notice that she was peeing bright blue.  Now, it is entirely possible for a woman to see her own urine stream, but it takes deliberate effort (why, yes, I did try!) and not just a casual glance.

Doesn't mean a woman wrote it. I discovered that Miranda James is actually a pen name for a man - I would suspect the same is the case for your exhibit 3.
That's what I meant, that a man wrote it.  Because a man can and frequently does see his own stream (at least if he is being polite and aiming the way he should!) but didn't stop to think "Hey, a woman sitting on the pot won't see this."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I don't go crazy.  I AM crazy.  I sometimes go normal. 
Please make a note of this for future reference.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

lilfox

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1703
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1039 on: July 11, 2013, 03:57:24 PM »
Odd word choices that disrupt the flow or feel of a sentence.

Example 1:  in a murder mystery novel, the detective is examining the crime scene and is thinking about how the perp "traipsed" into the house.  Once was bad, but the author used "traipse" twice more in the same chapter and it didn't fit any of the situations.  For one thing, given the conditions of the crime, stealth had to have been involved -traipse does not connote stealth.  For another, the detective was supposing that the perp was almost certainly a large male, and I just can't picture one traipsing along to bludgeon a victim.

Example 2:  a science news article rather than a book, but the reporter used "monkey" to mean "interfere (with)" and then in the next paragraph used "monkey" when referring to a study involving primates.  That word really stands out and there are plenty of better synonyms for interfere, particularly if monkey was going to be used as a noun later.

mbbored

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5315
    • Budget Grad Student
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1040 on: July 11, 2013, 09:58:38 PM »

I will admit, there's one romance eBook I have on my laptop that I will forever love simply BECAUSE of how bad it is. Our heroine gets taken back in time to the...um...not sure when, which is sad, because I'm great with time periods. The dashing knight (head of the castle, no less) is a time traveler, and he brings back women to keep in his harem. She hates him for imprisoning her, has never done anything outside of boring scrabble, and sets herself up to be the best in, erm, some more graphic pursuits. Including the woodwork to make some of the set pieces herself. Which makes no sense with her character's history, if a person with her background really tried to build things like that, they'd fall apart at best. And don't get me started on how hard it is to saw giant beams of wood to size or secure them together. Not easy.

Oh, man, I think I know which one you're referring to. Knight Moves by Jamaica Layne, yes?

Yes. I can't believe there's someone else out there who's read it.

Actually, yes I can. I subjected ALL of my friends to it so we could laugh our heads off.

I confess I did not read it, but I recognized it from a review on All About Romance. The review was more than enough for me.

CRUD MONKEYS!, I just googled a review on Dear Author (I couldn't find it in AAR). That is hysterically bad. (I'd link to it, but its probably not appropriate.) Thanks for the laugh!

If you're looking for a "romance" novel (this is so bad it doesn't even really count in that genre) to amuse yourself with on a long lonely evening, this is it. Seriously, I found it again on my hard drive and nearly woke up the kid laughing so hard. I may have to stage a dramatic reading for my boyfriend, because I know he'll sit through it.

Guys, you may have talked me into this.

Bluenomi

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3580
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1041 on: July 11, 2013, 10:40:07 PM »
How about ridiculously high speed learning? A character decides to/is forced to learned something later in life than usual and, in 6 months, is better than everyone who has dedicated their lives to the activity (swordplay seems to be the most common culprit but I have found this in all genres).

Another peeve is when an author decides to split the focus of the story between two places and, then, can't synchronize the passage of time between them. So, a month passes in one place while only a week goes by in the second. "Empire Strikes Back" is a good example. Come to think of it, it is also a good example of the "fast learner" syndrome.

That that's part of the reason I fast forward through the Yoda bits. That and Luke annoyes me  ;D

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1042 on: July 12, 2013, 12:24:49 AM »
How about ridiculously high speed learning? A character decides to/is forced to learned something later in life than usual and, in 6 months, is better than everyone who has dedicated their lives to the activity (swordplay seems to be the most common culprit but I have found this in all genres).

Another peeve is when an author decides to split the focus of the story between two places and, then, can't synchronize the passage of time between them. So, a month passes in one place while only a week goes by in the second. "Empire Strikes Back" is a good example. Come to think of it, it is also a good example of the "fast learner" syndrome.

That that's part of the reason I fast forward through the Yoda bits. That and Luke annoyes me  ;D

Aye... it's often explained away as "he's the chosen one" in some form or other (e.g. they just happen to have rare and humongous innate talent for whatever it is). Makes it hard to identify with the character, or really to find the story believable. I find it's like a softer form of deus ex machina: instead of resolving a whole story in some hand-wavy way, it resolves a situation the character is in, i.e. needing a new skill.

Don't get me wrong. It can be sometimes set up well and executed properly. But generally it's kind of a "oh and Bob needed to be a computer genius so he studied hard and because he turned out to be Einstein as well it only took him a month, even though we never mentioned it before."

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2433
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1043 on: July 12, 2013, 12:57:58 AM »
I hated, hated, Arthur C. Clarke's novellisation of 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels for this reason. "Oh look, this character now has near-infinite wisdom and intellect and has evolved so far beyond humanity that he is less similar to us than we are to bacteria! He is almost literally a god, having unimaginable power over time and space! So now he's going to act in a very predictable, petty, average, limited adult kind of way, and constantly forget to use his powers to solve whatever silly non-problems he faces, despite one of his powers apparently being the ability not to forget his powers. Maybe writing in that last one was a bit of a mistake?"

That wasn't a novelization - he and Stanley Kubrik were creating the book and the movie in tandem.
"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11465
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1044 on: July 12, 2013, 01:13:47 AM »
How about ridiculously high speed learning? A character decides to/is forced to learned something later in life than usual and, in 6 months, is better than everyone who has dedicated their lives to the activity (swordplay seems to be the most common culprit but I have found this in all genres).

Another peeve is when an author decides to split the focus of the story between two places and, then, can't synchronize the passage of time between them. So, a month passes in one place while only a week goes by in the second. "Empire Strikes Back" is a good example. Come to think of it, it is also a good example of the "fast learner" syndrome.

That that's part of the reason I fast forward through the Yoda bits. That and Luke annoyes me  ;D

Aye... it's often explained away as "he's the chosen one" in some form or other (e.g. they just happen to have rare and humongous innate talent for whatever it is). Makes it hard to identify with the character, or really to find the story believable. I find it's like a softer form of deus ex machina: instead of resolving a whole story in some hand-wavy way, it resolves a situation the character is in, i.e. needing a new skill.

Don't get me wrong. It can be sometimes set up well and executed properly. But generally it's kind of a "oh and Bob needed to be a computer genius so he studied hard and because he turned out to be Einstein as well it only took him a month, even though we never mentioned it before."

This drives me nuts too.  It's one thing if the main character is the focus of the book BECAUSE of his or her innate abilities - someone noticed this kid had superhuman potential (or a natural immunity to the zombie virus, or midichlorians, or whatever) and sought him/her out for further training.  Then it makes sense that the main character would be super-good at whatever skill it was, because they were literally chosen out of all the people in the town/world/galaxy/whatever specifically because of their innate ability with that skill.

Much less plausible if they're the main character because they happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time and they're just getting swept along for the ride and oh look, they just happen to be the bestest ever at the one exact skill they'll need to save the day.

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1045 on: July 12, 2013, 02:17:53 AM »
I hated, hated, Arthur C. Clarke's novellisation of 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels for this reason. "Oh look, this character now has near-infinite wisdom and intellect and has evolved so far beyond humanity that he is less similar to us than we are to bacteria! He is almost literally a god, having unimaginable power over time and space! So now he's going to act in a very predictable, petty, average, limited adult kind of way, and constantly forget to use his powers to solve whatever silly non-problems he faces, despite one of his powers apparently being the ability not to forget his powers. Maybe writing in that last one was a bit of a mistake?"

That wasn't a novelization - he and Stanley Kubrik were creating the book and the movie in tandem.

Ja, I know. Since most people are more aware of the film, I'm not sure how to put it properly. It's not a novelisation, but the film isn't a "based on the book" deal either. There aren't many books and films which have been co-created.

I enjoyed the film tremendously. The only thing that detracted from it was having read the book. They both used the same basic plot, but Stanley Kubrick did a masterful job with it. That man was superbly talented. As someone else pointed out, an author has a lot more time to think up clever actions and solutions to problems than their characters. But even so, Mr Clarke didn't utilise this well. His super wise, all-knowing, all-powerful star child was very one-dimensional and limited. Sadly disappointing, especially when Kubrick showed just how awesome it could have been.

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1046 on: July 12, 2013, 10:54:02 AM »
<snip>
Guys, you may have talked me into this.

PLEASE let me know what you think. I'd love to hear the groans and moans.

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1047 on: July 12, 2013, 10:57:29 AM »
How about ridiculously high speed learning? A character decides to/is forced to learned something later in life than usual and, in 6 months, is better than everyone who has dedicated their lives to the activity (swordplay seems to be the most common culprit but I have found this in all genres).

Another peeve is when an author decides to split the focus of the story between two places and, then, can't synchronize the passage of time between them. So, a month passes in one place while only a week goes by in the second. "Empire Strikes Back" is a good example. Come to think of it, it is also a good example of the "fast learner" syndrome.

That that's part of the reason I fast forward through the Yoda bits. That and Luke annoyes me  ;D

Aye... it's often explained away as "he's the chosen one" in some form or other (e.g. they just happen to have rare and humongous innate talent for whatever it is). Makes it hard to identify with the character, or really to find the story believable. I find it's like a softer form of deus ex machina: instead of resolving a whole story in some hand-wavy way, it resolves a situation the character is in, i.e. needing a new skill.

Don't get me wrong. It can be sometimes set up well and executed properly. But generally it's kind of a "oh and Bob needed to be a computer genius so he studied hard and because he turned out to be Einstein as well it only took him a month, even though we never mentioned it before."

This drives me nuts too.  It's one thing if the main character is the focus of the book BECAUSE of his or her innate abilities - someone noticed this kid had superhuman potential (or a natural immunity to the zombie virus, or midichlorians, or whatever) and sought him/her out for further training.  Then it makes sense that the main character would be super-good at whatever skill it was, because they were literally chosen out of all the people in the town/world/galaxy/whatever specifically because of their innate ability with that skill.

Much less plausible if they're the main character because they happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time and they're just getting swept along for the ride and oh look, they just happen to be the bestest ever at the one exact skill they'll need to save the day.

I'm reading the Homecoming series now, by Orson Scott Card. It does a very good job of explaining why this one main character and his brother are, for lack of a better term, "chosen ones". It's kind of a genetic quirk, kind of not, but it works.

And by reading the series, I mean I've found books one and three in a used bookstore, after having read book one years ago. Still looking for #2...

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 27849
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1048 on: July 12, 2013, 11:08:24 AM »
I think that there needs to be a moratorium on "The Chosen One" or "The One" for about a decade.

Sure, you can have a hero who has any number of heroic traits. But let's skip the blahblahblah about how he was prophecied to appear in the darkest hour, etc., OK? He just showed up without warning - is that not dramatic enough?

I will give an exception to the "Tales of Symphonia" game, where there actually is a valid, plot-driven reason, why two cultures designate unfortunate individuals as competing "Chosen Ones". But if the prophecy could just as easily be dispensed with, dispense with it.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Elisabunny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1232
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1049 on: July 12, 2013, 11:46:48 AM »
I think that there needs to be a moratorium on "The Chosen One" or "The One" for about a decade.

Sure, you can have a hero who has any number of heroic traits. But let's skip the blahblahblah about how he was prophecied to appear in the darkest hour, etc., OK? He just showed up without warning - is that not dramatic enough?

I will give an exception to the "Tales of Symphonia" game, where there actually is a valid, plot-driven reason, why two cultures designate unfortunate individuals as competing "Chosen Ones". But if the prophecy could just as easily be dispensed with, dispense with it.

But, but, without a prophecy, the author wouldn't have an excuse to write bad poetry! ;)
You must remember this: a ghoti is still a fish...