Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 255824 times)

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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1260 on: September 04, 2013, 08:32:32 AM »
Piratelvr1121, amen !  re conversations where it's hard to tell who is saying what.  When I find myself wanting to get a pencil and annotate each quote with an initial for the perceived speaker, to try to keep track; I'm not far from throwing the book across the room with great force, and never opening it again (or on-screen equivalent)...

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1261 on: September 04, 2013, 08:55:22 AM »
I was reading Eddings again (the Elenium) and I just realized that he never named Queen Elahna's mother. Every character refers to her as "Queen Elahna's mother", even though the woman had been their queen before her death. Talk about weird!

No I think she's mentioned by name in one place. They're talking about Aldreas and Arissa and mention her by name.

I better keep reading then!

You know, that actually makes it even worse. If she has a name why would everyone from the hooker to the knight always call her Ehlana's mother. It is kind of driving me crazy.

Betelnut

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1262 on: September 04, 2013, 08:59:44 AM »
I have the opposite problem from anachronisms or the use of famous people as descriptors.  I'm reading a wonderful book (well, finished it last night) which I found frustratingly hard to figure out which era it was taking place in beyond, "mid-20th century."  I'm sure the author wanted it to be sort of timeless but I still was having a hard time figuring out some of the context.

Finally, about halfway into the book, a character mentions something that happened "in 1961" and then that it had happened about 25 years ago.  So, the action in the book was taking place in the 1980s!   But I would have NEVER known that based on the content of the book which took place in a rural area of the United States and never mentioned anything from a more modern era until the end when the sheriff called 9-1-1.

I don't know why it bothered me but it did.  I guess because I want to ground the characters in a time and place and wasn't able to do so.  It was still a wonderful book, "A Land More Kind Than Home" by Wiley Cash.  Oh, I can never remember the title.  I just had to look it up.
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1263 on: September 04, 2013, 09:22:13 AM »
Comparing someone's looks to a known celebrity is either (1) lazy writing (easier to say "looks like Audrey Hepburn," than to say, "she was a waif-like brunette, with a wide-eyed, enquiring air as she regarded the world," or (2) an indication that the writer is mentally engaged in casting her novel, for when her big break comes.
I've always wondered if Margaret Mitchell had Clark Gable in mind when she described Rhett Butler.  But she certainly didn't say so! 

No, she most likely didn't. In fact, when asked who she'd like to play Butler, she always said she wanted Groucho Marx.

Gable was reportedly reluctant to take the role, because he didn't think he fit the character at all.
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1264 on: September 04, 2013, 09:23:54 AM »

#6.  Shouldered.  "He shouldered his way into the room."  ...REALLY?????  He SHOULDERED his way into the room?  :P.

Ouch, I can see shouldering his way through a crowd. But into a room?


If I read this, I'd assume he was breaking down the door.
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."

GreenHall

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1265 on: September 04, 2013, 10:03:52 AM »
Piratelvr1121, amen !  re conversations where it's hard to tell who is saying what.  When I find myself wanting to get a pencil and annotate each quote with an initial for the perceived speaker, to try to keep track; I'm not far from throwing the book across the room with great force, and never opening it again (or on-screen equivalent)...

A book I got from the library last week was copy-edited in pencil.  In the 'editor's' defense, these were errors that should have never made it to print.  (Mostly incorrect endings on verbs.)  On the other hand, I generally have the ability to read what 'should' be there, by context, rather than what may actually be there (Big help when people text :))  So I found the 'editing' more annoying than the errors.  It broke my reading flow, AND pointed out the errors that I might have skimmed over.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1266 on: September 04, 2013, 10:10:36 AM »
Piratelvr1121, amen !  re conversations where it's hard to tell who is saying what.  When I find myself wanting to get a pencil and annotate each quote with an initial for the perceived speaker, to try to keep track; I'm not far from throwing the book across the room with great force, and never opening it again (or on-screen equivalent)...

A book I got from the library last week was copy-edited in pencil.  In the 'editor's' defense, these were errors that should have never made it to print.  (Mostly incorrect endings on verbs.)  On the other hand, I generally have the ability to read what 'should' be there, by context, rather than what may actually be there (Big help when people text :))  So I found the 'editing' more annoying than the errors.  It broke my reading flow, AND pointed out the errors that I might have skimmed over.

I heartily agree -- writing things in books not one's own property (or otherwise maltreating them) is a bad, bad thing to do.  A sin which I have committed in the past; but one of many of which over the course of time, I have come to repent -- in a few cases, since discovering eHell -- in rather more, just lessons taught by life.

Kariachi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1267 on: September 04, 2013, 10:39:56 AM »

#6.  Shouldered.  "He shouldered his way into the room."  ...REALLY?????  He SHOULDERED his way into the room?  :P.

Ouch, I can see shouldering his way through a crowd. But into a room?


If I read this, I'd assume he was breaking down the door.

Really? I would assume that there must be people at the door he had to shoulder his way past. Then again this is without context, so...
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cwm

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1268 on: September 04, 2013, 10:41:42 AM »
Piratelvr1121, amen !  re conversations where it's hard to tell who is saying what.  When I find myself wanting to get a pencil and annotate each quote with an initial for the perceived speaker, to try to keep track; I'm not far from throwing the book across the room with great force, and never opening it again (or on-screen equivalent)...

A book I got from the library last week was copy-edited in pencil.  In the 'editor's' defense, these were errors that should have never made it to print.  (Mostly incorrect endings on verbs.)  On the other hand, I generally have the ability to read what 'should' be there, by context, rather than what may actually be there (Big help when people text :))  So I found the 'editing' more annoying than the errors.  It broke my reading flow, AND pointed out the errors that I might have skimmed over.

I heartily agree -- writing things in books not one's own property (or otherwise maltreating them) is a bad, bad thing to do.  A sin which I have committed in the past; but one of many of which over the course of time, I have come to repent -- in a few cases, since discovering eHell -- in rather more, just lessons taught by life.

I have a hard enough time writing in my own books, I can't imagine writing in someone else's book (person or public entity). Seriously, it wasn't until my fourth year in college when I realized that yes, I owned these books, and even if I was to sell them back to the school afterwards, it's okay to highlight important points so it's easier to study. Which led to me annotating my LotR when I traveled away from civilization for several months (it was the one book I was allowed to bring). Since coming back, I'm still hesitant to mark books, even when there's something glaringly obvious that I want to correct. It's a quandry.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1269 on: September 04, 2013, 12:46:32 PM »
Comparing someone's looks to a known celebrity is either (1) lazy writing (easier to say "looks like Audrey Hepburn," than to say, "she was a waif-like brunette, with a wide-eyed, enquiring air as she regarded the world," or (2) an indication that the writer is mentally engaged in casting her novel, for when her big break comes.
I've always wondered if Margaret Mitchell had Clark Gable in mind when she described Rhett Butler.  But she certainly didn't say so! 

Also, if you are doing anything other than contemporary fiction, describing a character as looking like Famous Actor just doesn't work.  I write SF/Fantasy.  My viewpoint character has absolutely no knowledge of Famous Actor, so I can't write that she thinks someone looks like him.

This conversation reminds me of His Girl Friday.  Walter (Cary Grant) is trying to sabotage his ex-wife's engagement and sends this blonde bombshell to pick up Hildy's (the ex-wife) fiance.  When trying to describe him, Walter says, "He looks like that fellow in the movies - what’s his name, Ralph Bellamy!"

Ralph Bellamy actually played the fiance. :D

Piratelvr1121, amen !  re conversations where it's hard to tell who is saying what.  When I find myself wanting to get a pencil and annotate each quote with an initial for the perceived speaker, to try to keep track; I'm not far from throwing the book across the room with great force, and never opening it again (or on-screen equivalent)...

That's one of my pet peeves too, along with authors putting one person's reactions with another person's dialogue, so it reads like the person reacting is also the person talking.  It's so confusing.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1270 on: September 04, 2013, 12:51:20 PM »
Piratelvr1121, amen !  re conversations where it's hard to tell who is saying what.  When I find myself wanting to get a pencil and annotate each quote with an initial for the perceived speaker, to try to keep track; I'm not far from throwing the book across the room with great force, and never opening it again (or on-screen equivalent)...

A book I got from the library last week was copy-edited in pencil.  In the 'editor's' defense, these were errors that should have never made it to print.  (Mostly incorrect endings on verbs.)  On the other hand, I generally have the ability to read what 'should' be there, by context, rather than what may actually be there (Big help when people text :))  So I found the 'editing' more annoying than the errors.  It broke my reading flow, AND pointed out the errors that I might have skimmed over.

I heartily agree -- writing things in books not one's own property (or otherwise maltreating them) is a bad, bad thing to do.  A sin which I have committed in the past; but one of many of which over the course of time, I have come to repent -- in a few cases, since discovering eHell -- in rather more, just lessons taught by life.

I have a hard enough time writing in my own books, I can't imagine writing in someone else's book (person or public entity). Seriously, it wasn't until my fourth year in college when I realized that yes, I owned these books, and even if I was to sell them back to the school afterwards, it's okay to highlight important points so it's easier to study. Which led to me annotating my LotR when I traveled away from civilization for several months (it was the one book I was allowed to bring). Since coming back, I'm still hesitant to mark books, even when there's something glaringly obvious that I want to correct. It's a quandry.

Well, yes, I've been a very wicked person -- for which I repent in sackcloth and ashes. cwm, I have to wonder where out of the civilised world you went, that LOTR was the only book you were allowed to bring in.  I take it that it couldn't have been Kazakhstan -- wherein, I gather, Mr. Tolkien's works are forbidden.

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1271 on: September 04, 2013, 12:53:01 PM »
It also takes a bit of thought to remember that in genre fiction like medievaloid fantasy, you can't use phrases we use every day.  "Run out of steam" -- no steam engines.  "Just a second" -- no clocks; the smallest unit of time is an hour or significant fraction thereof. And so on.

I just read a historical fantasy novel (set in the age of Vikings) that used seconds and I remember wondering about it, it would have been so easy to replace it with moments or something.

Though I can feel such "anachronisms" in historical fiction (real-world, or fantasy) as momentarily jarring, I find I can usually "give them a pass" --  either taking them as purely metaphorical; or as saving the reader possible laborious explanations and / or puzzlement, concerning what would be factually correct for the era in which the book is set.  (I agree, though, that with a medieval or earlier setting, it's perfectly easy to substitute "moments" for "seconds".)

In the only one of Peter Tremayne's "Sister Fidelma" mysteries, set in the seventh century AD, which I have so far read; on a journey in what will later become France, the central characters are discussing ways-and-means with their local guide -- the author has him saying that such-and-such a town is so many kilometres away.  At first, this grated on me; but on reflection, I think it admissible on the author's part.  Less potentially distracting overall, to use a unit of measurement with which the reader is familiar; than to research how distances were described / estimated in France-to-be some fourteen centuries ago, and possibly have to lumber the reader with a weird archaic word which will need to be explained somehow.
But there is a perfectly good period word for distance: mile. (Or cognates thereof.)  And it was used in all parts of Europe that used to be part of the Roman Empire.  It might denote a somewhat different length from place to place, but for story purposes one really doesn't need to accurately measure long distances.  You say that Place A is about two hours ride from Place B, or two days walk, or three days by ship, or whatever. 

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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1272 on: September 04, 2013, 01:08:43 PM »
That's one of my pet peeves too, along with authors putting one person's reactions with another person's dialogue, so it reads like the person reacting is also the person talking.  It's so confusing.

Sounds awful, and almost unimaginable. Kind-of like -- Rupert and Max are talking together:

"Rupert said, 'I believe that guinea-pigs are shapeshifting aliens from the planet Zoink.'  'I don't believe I'm hearing this'.
 Max replied, 'Rupe, what evidence have you for that assertion?'  'I don't need no stinking evidence'.
'I don't need no stinking evidence,' said Rupert. 'This guy is bat-poo crazy -- I'd better get out of here as soon as I can'.
'Been nice chatting with you,' said Max, 'but I've got to go -- things to do.'  'He's about to go and denounce me to the evil government, who will kill me and silence the truth -- I've got to kill him first.' "

Not a story with which I would stay for long.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 01:13:08 PM by cabbageweevil »

Tea Drinker

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1273 on: September 04, 2013, 01:23:37 PM »
Depending on the intended audience, "miles" might not be a good choice: to a U.S. audience, they're ordinary, but somewhere else they might either read as foreign or a specific era in the past. Not "everyone used miles until we went metric" but "wait, they hadn't invented miles by then." (Even if it's not true: a friend of mine calls this the "medieval 'Tiffany' problem," because while "Tiffany" is an attested name from the 13th century, if you write a historical novel and use it, the reader isn't going to be impressed with your research, they're going to think you made a mistake.)

Best to use what's familiar and not have the reader wondering about whether it should have been miles or stadia or even parasangs. ("About a day's journey on horseback" works too, of course.)
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1274 on: September 04, 2013, 01:40:27 PM »
I didn't stick with that fanfiction for long.  For a good while I was reading a lot of POTC fanfiction, and some stories written for other Johnny Depp movies and out of curiosity, if a plot bunny sticks out to me while watching something I sometimes will go look to see if it occurred to someone else.

But it's quite hard to find well written fanfiction and often it just gives me a headache.   My biggest pet peeves:

1. Wall O' Text.  Did no one teach these people paragraph structure? Or some do use paragraphs *and I use that term loosely*, but poorly.  It's like they realize it's a Wall O' Text and break it down into Bricks O' Text.  The way I learned to write, you start a new paragraph when a new person speaks.  Or if one person is telling a long story and you need to use paragraphs within the quote, start a new paragraph with quotation marks to show they're still speaking.

2. Mary Sues.  Nuff said, I think.  The ST: Voyager one I abandoned also because the girl who had gotten sucked in through some kind of time vortex or whatever was good at EVERYTHING!  To the point where the Doctor was leaving her alone with patients in the medical bay within two days of knowing her.   She was supposedly from the current time (2013) and suddenly she was adept at all the technology used on starships within a week? Yeah, right.   At least she didn't go on and on about her looks like some do other than to say she had long curly hair and apparently a body that could pull off a skintight jumpsuit as well as Seven of Nine.

There are others but those two will have me abandoning a story pretty fast.
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