Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 200615 times)

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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1110 on: August 02, 2013, 11:45:57 AM »
The thing I hate the most is when an author abruptly ruins characterisation to force the plot along.

Eg, in an awful lot of novels, the romance subplot will be a love triangle, or even a shape with more sides like that. Character A is admired by characters B and C, and the author makes both would be paramours attractive and likeable to justify A's struggle to choose.

Then A decides she likes B more, and so C becomes a total jerk to justify A choosing B.

This seems to especially be the case where the fans' favourite and the triumphant suitor aren't the same person...

If they have to do that, I wish they would at least set up what one commenter called The Other Guy (or Girl). So, C remains C, but D enters the picture, so we don't have to feel bad for C, because s/he has eyes for D by the end of the book.

It's a little over-neat as an  ending, but at least it keeps you from sobbing "But what about C???!?" when A and B drive off into the sunset (particularly if you were hoping for A to pick C, who is clearly the better partner).
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Morrigan

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1111 on: August 02, 2013, 01:13:07 PM »
The thing I hate the most is when an author abruptly ruins characterisation to force the plot along.

Eg, in an awful lot of novels, the romance subplot will be a love triangle, or even a shape with more sides like that. Character A is admired by characters B and C, and the author makes both would be paramours attractive and likeable to justify A's struggle to choose.

Then A decides she likes B more, and so C becomes a total jerk to justify A choosing B.

This seems to especially be the case where the fans' favourite and the triumphant suitor aren't the same person...

Richard?  Is that you?  :)

Cherry91

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1112 on: August 02, 2013, 02:04:15 PM »
The thing I hate the most is when an author abruptly ruins characterisation to force the plot along.

Eg, in an awful lot of novels, the romance subplot will be a love triangle, or even a shape with more sides like that. Character A is admired by characters B and C, and the author makes both would be paramours attractive and likeable to justify A's struggle to choose.

Then A decides she likes B more, and so C becomes a total jerk to justify A choosing B.

This seems to especially be the case where the fans' favourite and the triumphant suitor aren't the same person...

Richard?  Is that you?  :)

If you're referring to the Anita Blake character, then no, I wasn't referring to him (I only know the AB series in passing).

Now another very similar book series about a girl with a lot of non-human admirers with a VERY disliked final book, THAT I may have been thinking of when I typed my message...

clio917

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1113 on: August 02, 2013, 03:23:00 PM »
The thing I hate the most is when an author abruptly ruins characterisation to force the plot along.

Eg, in an awful lot of novels, the romance subplot will be a love triangle, or even a shape with more sides like that. Character A is admired by characters B and C, and the author makes both would be paramours attractive and likeable to justify A's struggle to choose.

Then A decides she likes B more, and so C becomes a total jerk to justify A choosing B.

This seems to especially be the case where the fans' favourite and the triumphant suitor aren't the same person...

Richard?  Is that you?  :)

If you're referring to the Anita Blake character, then no, I wasn't referring to him (I only know the AB series in passing).

Now another very similar book series about a girl with a lot of non-human admirers with a VERY disliked final book, THAT I may have been thinking of when I typed my message...

I know which series you are talking about (*cough cough* Sookie *cough cough*) and while I'm fine with who she ended up with (figured on that character about a half a book into the series), boy the author really phoned that one in! You could tell she just wanted to get the series over and done with.

Which I guess leads me to my reading pet peeve - book series that go on for way too long after the author has run out of inspiration. Usually because of fan pressure - or I guess $$ to the author. It slightly ruins my enjoyment of the whole series because I when I re-read the first books (that are good), I'm depressed because I know how quickly the quality goes downhill.

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1114 on: August 05, 2013, 09:39:37 AM »
The thing I hate the most is when an author abruptly ruins characterisation to force the plot along.

Eg, in an awful lot of novels, the romance subplot will be a love triangle, or even a shape with more sides like that. Character A is admired by characters B and C, and the author makes both would be paramours attractive and likeable to justify A's struggle to choose.

Then A decides she likes B more, and so C becomes a total jerk to justify A choosing B.

This seems to especially be the case where the fans' favourite and the triumphant suitor aren't the same person...

Richard?  Is that you?  :)

If you're referring to the Anita Blake character, then no, I wasn't referring to him (I only know the AB series in passing).

Now another very similar book series about a girl with a lot of non-human admirers with a VERY disliked final book, THAT I may have been thinking of when I typed my message...

I know which series you are talking about (*cough cough* Sookie *cough cough*) and while I'm fine with who she ended up with (figured on that character about a half a book into the series), boy the author really phoned that one in! You could tell she just wanted to get the series over and done with.

Which I guess leads me to my reading pet peeve - book series that go on for way too long after the author has run out of inspiration. Usually because of fan pressure - or I guess $$ to the author. It slightly ruins my enjoyment of the whole series because I when I re-read the first books (that are good), I'm depressed because I know how quickly the quality goes downhill.

The 3 last books in the Sookie series were boring. And Eric was SO annoying and whiny.

Cherry91

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1115 on: August 05, 2013, 09:47:04 AM »
The thing I hate the most is when an author abruptly ruins characterisation to force the plot along.

Eg, in an awful lot of novels, the romance subplot will be a love triangle, or even a shape with more sides like that. Character A is admired by characters B and C, and the author makes both would be paramours attractive and likeable to justify A's struggle to choose.

Then A decides she likes B more, and so C becomes a total jerk to justify A choosing B.

This seems to especially be the case where the fans' favourite and the triumphant suitor aren't the same person...

Richard?  Is that you?  :)

If you're referring to the Anita Blake character, then no, I wasn't referring to him (I only know the AB series in passing).

Now another very similar book series about a girl with a lot of non-human admirers with a VERY disliked final book, THAT I may have been thinking of when I typed my message...

I know which series you are talking about (*cough cough* Sookie *cough cough*) and while I'm fine with who she ended up with (figured on that character about a half a book into the series), boy the author really phoned that one in! You could tell she just wanted to get the series over and done with.

Which I guess leads me to my reading pet peeve - book series that go on for way too long after the author has run out of inspiration. Usually because of fan pressure - or I guess $$ to the author. It slightly ruins my enjoyment of the whole series because I when I re-read the first books (that are good), I'm depressed because I know how quickly the quality goes downhill.

The 3 last books in the Sookie series were boring. And Eric was SO annoying and whiny.

The thing that annoyed me most was he kept being all vague and cryptic about what he wanted Sookie to do, then getting annoyed with her when she didn't follow his incredibly vague and cryptic hints!

lilfox

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1116 on: August 06, 2013, 02:46:43 PM »
This may have been mentioned already but here's an obvious example of leading the audience one direction and then flip-flopping when it suits the plot, and a bonus plot device that contradicts itself:

This is the sort of teen-aimed sci fi book that really is juvenile.  At this point in the story, the Heroine and her Sidekick are shipwrecked on an alien planet. When Heroine first meets the locals, she is panic-stricken at their hideous, beastly appearance (picture a race of particularly feral-looking Wookiees).

The locals dispel this impression within hours by being nice to her, curing her injuries, and living in a wonderful forest paradise. Also they speak (stilted) English because of course they do.

After a few more hours, Sidekick discovers that the locals really are war-mongering sociopaths who only haven't killed them because they might be useful, but will gladly rip them to shreds when they are no longer useful.  When he tells Heroine, she is shocked - shocked, I tell you! - to learn this about the hulking beasts with huge fangs and claws that scared her half to death when she first met them... 5 or so hours earlier.  But- but- but- she says, they didn't immediately kill us and they live in such a beautiful place!  Yes, the beauty of their land is actually used by Heroine as a reason why she suddenly can't believe they could be so vicious to each other.

Also, the locals are technological geniuses who can remotely control a starship but CHOOSE to live with no technology because it's against nature, and so they destroy all the tech they find using their unbelievably advanced tech skills.  (How they control the previously unknown to them starship remotely from a planet's surface, much less knew it was there in the first place, without actual technology is glossed right over.)

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1117 on: August 06, 2013, 03:48:52 PM »
This may have been mentioned already but here's an obvious example of leading the audience one direction and then flip-flopping when it suits the plot, and a bonus plot device that contradicts itself:

This is the sort of teen-aimed sci fi book that really is juvenile.  At this point in the story, the Heroine and her Sidekick are shipwrecked on an alien planet. When Heroine first meets the locals, she is panic-stricken at their hideous, beastly appearance (picture a race of particularly feral-looking Wookiees).

The locals dispel this impression within hours by being nice to her, curing her injuries, and living in a wonderful forest paradise. Also they speak (stilted) English because of course they do.

After a few more hours, Sidekick discovers that the locals really are war-mongering sociopaths who only haven't killed them because they might be useful, but will gladly rip them to shreds when they are no longer useful.  When he tells Heroine, she is shocked - shocked, I tell you! - to learn this about the hulking beasts with huge fangs and claws that scared her half to death when she first met them... 5 or so hours earlier.  But- but- but- she says, they didn't immediately kill us and they live in such a beautiful place!  Yes, the beauty of their land is actually used by Heroine as a reason why she suddenly can't believe they could be so vicious to each other.

Also, the locals are technological geniuses who can remotely control a starship but CHOOSE to live with no technology because it's against nature, and so they destroy all the tech they find using their unbelievably advanced tech skills.  (How they control the previously unknown to them starship remotely from a planet's surface, much less knew it was there in the first place, without actual technology is glossed right over.)


whaaaaaaat.

Allyson

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1118 on: August 06, 2013, 04:40:43 PM »
Ughh love triangles. I am so tired of the two (or more) guys after one woman. It usually just seems like an excuse for wish fulfilment, and for the guys to get all jealous which is supposed to be appealing. I have so rarely ever seen a real-life love triangle that has lasted the way these series do. Sure it happens occasionally, but not to this extent. And urban fantasy just has the same scenario over and over again. Woman with some kind of supernatural ability, but not anything *too* powerful, has many guys of 'stronger' supernatural species, like werewolf or vampire, after her.

At least the Mercy Thompson books had her pick a guy relatively quickly into the series, even though it still stuck to that formula almost exactly.

Cherry91

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1119 on: August 06, 2013, 05:52:49 PM »
Ughh love triangles. I am so tired of the two (or more) guys after one woman. It usually just seems like an excuse for wish fulfilment, and for the guys to get all jealous which is supposed to be appealing. I have so rarely ever seen a real-life love triangle that has lasted the way these series do. Sure it happens occasionally, but not to this extent. And urban fantasy just has the same scenario over and over again. Woman with some kind of supernatural ability, but not anything *too* powerful, has many guys of 'stronger' supernatural species, like werewolf or vampire, after her.

At least the Mercy Thompson books had her pick a guy relatively quickly into the series, even though it still stuck to that formula almost exactly.

Yes!

You know what love triangles say to me, especially the way they're often written in many novels?

"I can find nothing special or good enough about you that puts you ahead of my other suitor, but then I can say the same about him, so I'll continue to keep you both hanging on so I can reap the benefits of your affection and one upmanship until one of you presents yourself as the better option."

Whereas the suitors seem to view the heroine as a prize, an object to be won by besting their opponent. How, um, romantic?

Maybe I'm just cynical though.  ;D

Mental Magpie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1120 on: August 06, 2013, 08:46:28 PM »
I read one book many years ago where there was a heroine who was in love with one guy who was also in love with her.  She was friends with another guy but there was no romantic pull between them.  They had a lot in common and a similar background, so they shared a great friendship.  It was one of the best non-triangles I've ever read.  I wish I remembered what it was.
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Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1121 on: August 06, 2013, 11:45:48 PM »
Ughh love triangles. I am so tired of the two (or more) guys after one woman. It usually just seems like an excuse for wish fulfilment, and for the guys to get all jealous which is supposed to be appealing. I have so rarely ever seen a real-life love triangle that has lasted the way these series do. Sure it happens occasionally, but not to this extent. And urban fantasy just has the same scenario over and over again. Woman with some kind of supernatural ability, but not anything *too* powerful, has many guys of 'stronger' supernatural species, like werewolf or vampire, after her.


This kind of triangle annoys me, too, and I find it really hard to relate to a female protagonist who has not just one but two great guys gaga for her. It's why my series only has triangles going the other way--the heroines have competition for the guys they love.

I also find it incredibly hard to relate to the protagonist who turns out to be the One Great Hope of her kind and has some superpower that's unique to her. Even in my escapist reading I have to be able to put myself in the protagonist's shoes, and with some it's harder than others. I've always found it easier to relate to the Cinderella/underdog heroines--the ones who don't have some secret superpower or earth-shaking beauty or supernatural charisma but who finally achieve happiness just by plugging along and doing their best until finally they are recognized and rewarded for their basic decency.

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1122 on: August 06, 2013, 11:53:01 PM »
I read one book many years ago where there was a heroine who was in love with one guy who was also in love with her.  She was friends with another guy but there was no romantic pull between them.  They had a lot in common and a similar background, so they shared a great friendship.  It was one of the best non-triangles I've ever read.  I wish I remembered what it was.

These can be useful triangles, too!  There's plenty of room for A to like B, B to be friends with C, and then for A to assume B and C are romantic when they're actually not.  Good tension between A and C and a plausible reason for A and B not to get together right away.  Of course, the author needs to have at least two of these people actually speak to each other not too far into the story - I hate plots where the conflict could have been ironed out by one good conversation - but then they have a good transition into "I thought you were with him!"  "Well I'm not!"  "I've got a huge crush on you but I never acted on it!"  "Well hurry up!"  *kissy scene*

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1123 on: August 07, 2013, 05:44:59 AM »
I read one book many years ago where there was a heroine who was in love with one guy who was also in love with her.  She was friends with another guy but there was no romantic pull between them.  They had a lot in common and a similar background, so they shared a great friendship.  It was one of the best non-triangles I've ever read.  I wish I remembered what it was.

These can be useful triangles, too!  There's plenty of room for A to like B, B to be friends with C, and then for A to assume B and C are romantic when they're actually not.  Good tension between A and C and a plausible reason for A and B not to get together right away.  Of course, the author needs to have at least two of these people actually speak to each other not too far into the story - I hate plots where the conflict could have been ironed out by one good conversation - but then they have a good transition into "I thought you were with him!"  "Well I'm not!"  "I've got a huge crush on you but I never acted on it!"  "Well hurry up!"  *kissy scene*

Yes, those work, too. I remember liking it because it was very realistic for me. The majority of my friends are male; that doesn't mean I have romantic interest in a single one of them. For teenage me, it was a realistic situation so I loved it. Heck, it's still realistic for me.
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Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1124 on: August 07, 2013, 06:29:46 AM »
This is more of a writer's peeve than a reader peeve, but it fits in with love triangle thing. I've been writing an ongoing fanfiction series. My main character is madly in love with her husband and is very happily married. Yet I've had a number of people who wanted her to cheat on him. Which just boggles my mind to no end when an action like that is clearly not in her nature. Besides the other "potential bedmates" think her husband is the bravest man alive for being married to her and thinks she's a fine friend, but that's it.

I don't answer the requests, they just go into the circular file. And I'll continue as I've been going on. But I still boggle when I get a new request like that.