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  #21  
Old August 21st, 2011, 6:39 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

I can actually forgive a lot when I'm reading, but if I'm beta-reading I get a little harder to please. I especially dislike these, when used by an author to defend their work:

"But it's just fiction! It doesn't have to be realistic!"
Well no, but a certain amount of realism is required to suspend disbelief. If I'm commenting on it, clearly your story is too silly or contrived to feel like it could actually happen. Fix it.

"But it happened in real-life!"
Yes, but either it's lost its context and doesn't read well, or it's something that you, at the time, thought was something that couldn't possibly have happened. You do not want to suspend your readers' disbelief by including moments like that. It doesn't make you look clever, it makes it look like you can't come up with something reasonable.


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  #22  
Old August 25th, 2011, 7:30 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

  • Calling eyes orbs. If you don't use it yourself, like if you don't use the term when you think or speak don't use it in your fiction writing. If you don't think someone has beautiful orbs then don't write it.
  • Describing clothes to the minute detail. It's just not important. If it's not important to the story then don't write. If you need to emphasize that a girl is wearing a prom dress to a pool party that's one thing, but when she's wearing shorts and a t-shirt to play outside in the middle of the summer? Not quite as necessary, unless the clothes have an impact on what happens in the story. Clothing can date the story faster than anything else. Sometimes stories are good for being in a certain time period, like Jane Austen's work, but other stories work better not being placed in a specific time period, so the clothing is less important.
    Writers do things like this to pad word count.
  • Ellipses. They are good...in moderation.
  • Stories that seem to just end. It feels like the writer doesn't know how to write an ending. House of Sand and Fog is a great example. I love this story. The more I read it the more I feel the ending, but it still doesn't feel like a true ending. It just feels like the last page the author wrote.


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  #23  
Old November 24th, 2011, 1:02 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
  • Calling eyes orbs. If you don't use it yourself, like if you don't use the term when you think or speak don't use it in your fiction writing. If you don't think someone has beautiful orbs then don't write it.
  • Describing clothes to the minute detail. It's just not important. If it's not important to the story then don't write. If you need to emphasize that a girl is wearing a prom dress to a pool party that's one thing, but when she's wearing shorts and a t-shirt to play outside in the middle of the summer? Not quite as necessary, unless the clothes have an impact on what happens in the story. Clothing can date the story faster than anything else. Sometimes stories are good for being in a certain time period, like Jane Austen's work, but other stories work better not being placed in a specific time period, so the clothing is less important.
    Writers do things like this to pad word count.
  • Ellipses. They are good...in moderation.
  • Stories that seem to just end. It feels like the writer doesn't know how to write an ending. House of Sand and Fog is a great example. I love this story. The more I read it the more I feel the ending, but it still doesn't feel like a true ending. It just feels like the last page the author wrote.
Well said, Leah49 I hate the eyes=orbs thing myself and gets enough on my nerves that I stop reading (if it's a fanfic that is).

What about anthropomorphism (whew, what a long word! )? I guess it's okay to some extent--I can handle books (or even movies) from animals' points of view that has some talking. I don't really mind if they weep (if at all) either, even if the animal cannot in real life. Silverwing for example has a few instances of that, but so does, say, the Disney movie Lion King (I mean, who doesn't feel bad for Simba when he starts to cry, realizing Mufasa is dead? ) Narnia has talking animals, but I can't remember any tears or other anthropomorphising anywhere--haven't read or seen the movies in a heck of a long while.

However, if it extends to them having houses like we do, or wearing their favourite Sunday dresses to church, and using a knife and fork to eat, even if it should be logically impossible (e.g. elephants, cows) to do so, then I'm pulled so abruptly out of the story that I just stop reading right there and then. I'm not talking really young kids' books or nursery tales (e.g. the three pigs)--I'm more thinking books aimed at older readers (e.g. around 11 and up), young adults, and adults themselves.


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  #24  
Old November 24th, 2011, 9:04 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

I hate:

1. Chatspeak in any story unless it's used as a text message, e-mail, or chat conversation within the story. To me, that shows the poor quality of writing and shouldn't be used.

2. Improper grammar and punctuation. I've seen it a lot, and I hate it. I can understand if someone doesn't know English well and simply states that in their notes. However, people who come from the U.S. who write like that are just plain lazy. Seriously, I feel that the rules of English don't apply to anyone anymore, and that's sad.


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  #25  
Old November 25th, 2011, 9:13 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

I don't know why I can't stand this, but I don't like it when the author has a character who is also an author. The book I'm specifically talking about, it felt that the author was belittling their character and the obstacles they were going through.


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  #26  
Old November 25th, 2011, 9:14 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
I'm not sure I would classify e-mail correspondence in an office as "professional writing."
I guess, in my mind, "professional writing" isn't limited to published works or formal documentation. I look at work-related e-mails as similar to a memo placed in a public file. I guess it would have been better to simply refer to it as "professionalism in writing" instead.

While I understand the inherent informality of an e-mail, and can certainly see the value of the occasional "OMG," I find it shocking how many e-mails go out to customers/clients/superiors/vendors/etc. without the necessary level of professionalism. If you're sending an e-mail to a family member or friend, does formality really matter? Of course not, it would just end up sounding detached and impersonal.


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  #27  
Old February 14th, 2012, 1:02 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

Mary Sues, overdescription, and padding.

I also find it very annoying when writers try to tie too many things from a fictional universe together.

Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes for example, do this.


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  #28  
Old February 14th, 2012, 5:13 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

I never realized the eyes=orbs thing before but now that I think about it it is really annoying.

In general, pet peeves in writing for me include completely useless information such as every single item the character buys from the grocery store or puts on their sandwiches. I don't need to know whether it's a cheese sandwich with tukery and gherkins and pickles and mayonaise and horseradish and every other random item in that character's refrigerator, it's enough simply to say "Joe emerged from the shop with two heaping bags of groceries" or "he munched his sandwich thoughtfully." This is a recent pet peeve born of the Millenium triology - it's painfully obvious that author was a journalist and needed 1) a better editor and 2) more lessons in what actually needs to make it into his books. Unless the character is allergic to an ingredient in that sandwich or the sandwich contains poison, leave it out.

Rambling extra information that is pointless and irrelevant to the story (that's above and beyond the contents of a sandwich). Again, a Millenium triology pet peeve. That guy really needed a better editor.

Repetitive phrasing i.e. things different charactes say that are too similar to each other; an HP pet peeve only noticed after extensive rereading. For instance, when Professor Sprout says something like, "A very valuable substance, bubotuber pus" and Ron says "It'll change the world, caludron bottoms." (not exact quotes) Two characters using the exact same phrasing just irritates me. =^/ And it happens mutliple times in all seven books, these two aren't the only examples.

In HP fanfiction my single biggest one is the lack of creativity in nicknames for Lily. Every other J/L fanfic author succombs to using "Lily Flower" as a nickname for Lily. First off, it's a painfully obvious variant of her name and not all that creative in the first place, secondly, it's way overused in the fandom and third, no one seems to have a desire to stop using it. If I start reading a fanfic and come across "Lily Flower" as a nickname for Lily I immediately stop reading the fanfiction; if the author isn't creative enough to come up with a unique nickname, what other fandom sterotypes are they not creative enough overcome?

Another one is the lack of interesting plots in J/L fanfiction. Yes, I enjoy a fluffy romantic one-shot or a couple-chapter-long fic of how they fell in love, but romance fics with 37 chapters? Where's the drama? you already know how the story is going to end so unless there's an actual developed non-J/L plot I won't read anything longer than about 5-7 chapters long.

Sterotyped characters in fanfiction. This ties back to the "Lily Flower" peeve. James as the bad boy who suddenly realizes that unless he fundamentally changes who he is he'll never win over the girl of his dreams. Lily as the beautiful but studious girl who does nothing but rag on James simply because she can. Or Lily being apart of a girl-marauder group who also goes out and breaks rules too but is so hypocritical that she still rails on James for doing exactly what she's doing. Or Lily as the secret Siren who enjoys toying with James's feelings for her making her appear as either a heartless b***h or a heartless s**t. C'mon, fandom! Dig a little deeper into these characters and pull out something unique!

Overly unique minor character names. "Lily, James, Elphaba and Xander snuck down the corridor silently..." Hmm. I wonder which ones are the new characters? This extends to names that are experiencing a recent vogue such as Rosalie (which is a shame because I used this name is a fic way before I ever knew about twilight because I thought it was sweet and fit the character I was writing and now I won't use it out of pure in-vogue-overuse spite) =^( Also, odd or unusual names simply for the sake of using an odd or unusual name drives me crazy. C'mon, how many Elphabas are there in the world really? I would rather use a more unique 'muggle' name than name a character with some off-the-wall astronomical word just because it sounds cool unless this character is, say, a long dead wizard in the Black family who have a precedent for unusual celestial names.

Ah... it's nice to get this stuff off my chest... =^D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saloca View Post
Very random, rushed endings that laugh in your face for having wasted time reading a long winded tomb of a novel that comes to no real, thought out conclusion!

Yes, I'm talking to YOU Stephen King :/ *Throws copy of The Cell at the wall*
If you think The Cell is bad, try reading the Millenium Triology The end of Tattoo is a serious WTH moment, the end of Fire may as well contained the words "to be continued" because it has no ending, and the end of Hornet's Nest is just okay - at least is has a kind of ending which is more than either of the two previous books gives you.


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  #29  
Old February 15th, 2012, 12:32 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

I will go with Goddess_Clio here.
I read a lot of HP fanfiction, but I am not a fan of few things:
1. Time travel fanfiction. Because the plot is always based on Hermione falling in love with Snape, Sirius or Lupin. Boring. The only one I found to be interesting is one that Hermione goes to a paralel universe where everything is upside down... In the Riddle Era, not in the Marauders Era.
2.I do read James/Lily fanfiction, but again, they are always the same...
3.And, of course, Snape/OC fanfictions. I'd love to see Snape finally happy and everything, but often the plot is boring, the OC is boring... Well, everything is boring. And Snape is suddenly hot. Uh... He is many things, but I doubt he is as hot as these fanfics describe him.
In novels in general, my peeves are the same. I want action, I want to be surprised. How many novels I've read that the two main characters hate each other and end up in love...? So sometimes the authors aren't much creative and are completely predictable.I don't like that very much...
And last, but not least, the over description of a character.
"She had lips that looked like moist strawberries." bores me. And since when lips look like strawberries?


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  #30  
Old February 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post

In HP fanfiction my single biggest one is the lack of creativity in nicknames for Lily. Every other J/L fanfic author succombs to using "Lily Flower" as a nickname for Lily. First off, it's a painfully obvious variant of her name and not all that creative in the first place, secondly, it's way overused in the fandom and third, no one seems to have a desire to stop using it. If I start reading a fanfic and come across "Lily Flower" as a nickname for Lily I immediately stop reading the fanfiction; if the author isn't creative enough to come up with a unique nickname, what other fandom sterotypes are they not creative enough overcome?

.
On a note, my niece's name is Lillie (spelled differently, but the same) and no one has thought to call her Lillie Flower. Well, maybe someone has, but no one actually calls her that. She's got a ton of nicknames--Lillie Bean, Lillie Billie, Lillie Rabbit to name a few. Fanfic writers should be able to come up with more creative nicknames for Lily Potter than Lily Flower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lacerta_lynx View Post
"She had lips that looked like moist strawberries." bores me. And since when lips look like strawberries?
Because having moist strawberry lips is attractive.


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  #31  
Old February 19th, 2012, 12:09 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
I never realized the eyes=orbs thing before but now that I think about it it is really annoying.

In general, pet peeves in writing for me include completely useless information such as every single item the character buys from the grocery store or puts on their sandwiches. I don't need to know whether it's a cheese sandwich with tukery and gherkins and pickles and mayonaise and horseradish and every other random item in that character's refrigerator, it's enough simply to say "Joe emerged from the shop with two heaping bags of groceries" or "he munched his sandwich thoughtfully." This is a recent pet peeve born of the Millenium triology - it's painfully obvious that author was a journalist and needed 1) a better editor and 2) more lessons in what actually needs to make it into his books. Unless the character is allergic to an ingredient in that sandwich or the sandwich contains poison, leave it out.

Rambling extra information that is pointless and irrelevant to the story (that's above and beyond the contents of a sandwich). Again, a Millenium triology pet peeve. That guy really needed a better editor.
I completely get what you're saying. I've only read the first one, but it took me awhile to get through it because some of the writing seemed mundane and tedious and unneeded. However, I do think some part of it had to do with the fact that it's a translation (originally written in Swedish, I think?). And some of the stuff might not have translated very well over. That said, I agree that the book could be better edited.


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  #32  
Old February 19th, 2012, 2:23 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by lacerta_lynx View Post
"She had lips that looked like moist strawberries." bores me. And since when lips look like strawberries?
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Because having moist strawberry lips is attractive.
I'm imagining an attractive girl with strawberry lips... with gross whitish seeds peppering those lips like tiny cancerous growths. Yuck.

"Red lips" does the trick for me. They don't need to be strawberry, raspberry, huckleberry, or any other type of berry for me to understand their color.

Spending too much time describing a character removes the ability for the reader to fill in the blanks and often the descriptors aren't relevant anyway. Is it important to the story that the character's lips are like moist strawberries? No? Than leave it out. Identifying the color of Lily's and Harry's eyes turned out to have significance in the story but at the same time JKR played off the reader's frustration in continuing to harp on that fact by having Harry himself become tired of having his eye color commented on. I thought that was a good way to reinforce the eye color situation while recognizing that it's been talked about a lot. I thought that was handled ver'//////////////////// (my kitty saying hello!) *very well

(my kitty wants to be a writer too! I think he needs some typing lessons, personally)


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  #33  
Old February 19th, 2012, 11:43 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

Novel inflation.

Your novel does not need to be 800 pages long. If you only have enough story for a 400 page novel for example, write a 400 page novel. Padding to inflate the size of the novel is incredibly annoying to me.


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  #34  
Old February 19th, 2012, 12:07 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

That sadly is becoming more common. In part it has to do with cutbacks to editorial staff at publishers. More disturbing it has a lot to do with readers today equating the size of a book with "value". The bigger the book, the better the value for money.


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  #35  
Old February 20th, 2012, 2:22 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
Novel inflation.

Your novel does not need to be 800 pages long. If you only have enough story for a 400 page novel for example, write a 400 page novel. Padding to inflate the size of the novel is incredibly annoying to me.
Maybe I don't read the right (or wrong?) books, but I'm not entirely sure what this phenomenon is, or how to detect it.


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  #36  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 3:30 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

On the orbs as opposed to eyes thing: While it may get annoying if it's overused, I don't mind writers using it to convey eyes since one of the definitions of orbs is an eyeball. Yeah, we don't say it in real life, but in writing it actually conveys something different than just saying eyes all the time. So, I don't mind it that much.

I agree about the research thing though. I read a Ninja Turtles fan fic where Mikey become blind, and Donatello is sitting there like an idiot and speculates, "Maybe it'll go away." Yeah, right. When the retina detaches, there's no saving the sight. The exception is if it's a retinal tear and is caught early enough to have surgery. That's what happened to me. It just ticked me off, and I pointed this out to the author. I might read more of the story just to see if there's more inconsistencies with the writing.

I also hate stories that have the same overall theme. Again, I point to the author I mentioned above who also makes Mikey seem like an emo crybaby. She has him in situations where he's either gay and the family doesn't accept him, depressed and he's going to kill himself, or anorexic. She makes all of the Turtles seem OOC, which really makes me upset and want to smack her.

So, yeah, I have issues with this author. Big time.


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  #37  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 4:36 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Maybe I don't read the right (or wrong?) books, but I'm not entirely sure what this phenomenon is, or how to detect it.
The Millenium Series suffers from this phenomenon a little bit, especially in the second book (Girl who Played with Fire). The first 200 or so pages could have been summarized in, perhaps, a ten page chapter and the rest of the story gotten on with much sooner and you wouldn't have missed anything. There was no point to the activities in those 200 pages and they had no bearing on the rest of the book, or the story being told in the overall, three-book world Steig Larsson created.

The rest of the triology, especially book 3 (Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) suffers from padding to a lesser extent in that several page chunks here and there could have been removed or summarized in a paragraph and the reader wouldn't miss anything other than pages of boring, superfluous information we didn't need anyway.

To me, "padding" is anything in a book that could be removed without causing major problems to the story or causing anything more than minor rewrites. The first 200 pages of Girl who Played with Fire are padding. The first 200 pages of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were not padding, they just moved at a snail's pace.

(Sorry for continuing to harp on about the Millenium Triology, it just happens to be the last fiction book(s) I've read)


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  #38  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 4:47 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubblyShell22 View Post
So, yeah, I have issues with this author. Big time.
So don't read her.


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  #39  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 8:55 pm
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubblyShell22 View Post
On the orbs as opposed to eyes thing: While it may get annoying if it's overused, I don't mind writers using it to convey eyes since one of the definitions of orbs is an eyeball. Yeah, we don't say it in real life, but in writing it actually conveys something different than just saying eyes all the time. So, I don't mind it that much.

I agree about the research thing though. I read a Ninja Turtles fan fic where Mikey become blind, and Donatello is sitting there like an idiot and speculates, "Maybe it'll go away." Yeah, right. When the retina detaches, there's no saving the sight. The exception is if it's a retinal tear and is caught early enough to have surgery. That's what happened to me. It just ticked me off, and I pointed this out to the author. I might read more of the story just to see if there's more inconsistencies with the writing.

I also hate stories that have the same overall theme. Again, I point to the author I mentioned above who also makes Mikey seem like an emo crybaby. She has him in situations where he's either gay and the family doesn't accept him, depressed and he's going to kill himself, or anorexic. She makes all of the Turtles seem OOC, which really makes me upset and want to smack her.

So, yeah, I have issues with this author. Big time.
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  #40  
Old February 23rd, 2012, 2:15 am
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Re: Your writing peeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
Novel inflation.

Your novel does not need to be 800 pages long. If you only have enough story for a 400 page novel for example, write a 400 page novel. Padding to inflate the size of the novel is incredibly annoying to me.
Yes, yes, and yes! Completely agree with this. Many books, especially in the teen section at the moment, are made as trilogies (or more) but they're so bloated with unnecessary scenes, flowery yet empty words, and they take ages to get to the point. I don't mind more than one book in a series at all but when the whole story could have been told in one or two books, this gets pretty annoying. The Hollow by Jessica Verday and it's two sequels come to mind.


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