Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Pet peeves in books.

I've been having trouble reading lately. Partly because I spend my evenings memorizing bible quotes, mathematical formulae and random computing definitions. But partly because every book I've started has been awful, with my pet peeves littered about like...early morning snow, or something.
HMM, a list, Watson? I think so.

1. Bad names. A big example of this is Lord Loss (and the rest of the books, which I haven't read) by Darren Shan, where the children are called Gretel and Grubb. This guy Grubb is the main character. What a stupid name. Similarly in the doghouse are badly spelt names, or complete white trash - Krystle, Heaven, Ee-in Dooncyn Smythz...I'm looking at you.
Bizarre names, to me...they just say "LOOK AT ME, I'M DIFFERENT." Try to be...more subtle. Make the character different instead of the name, I don't know.

2. American writers (or English ones, for that matter,) who write posh English characters in historical fiction...really badly. The book I'm reading at the moment, idk what it's called, is a victim of this. It's all "I sore missed my veritable father Hubert, i felt decades had passed since we'd sat in Picadilly together." Read some books written around the time, PLEASE. NO-ONE SOUNDS LIKE THAT.

3. People who write books I could write. I mean, I like to write. I credit myself that, at my best, I'm not a terrible writer, although my commitment leaves alot to be desired. But when I see books that are like my (unedited for readability, structure, pace, sentences that sound like a 5 year old composed them) first drafts, and I'm like really? You thought that was finished? I may be something of a perfectionist, but that's by the by.

4. MARY FUCKING SUES. And I don't mean textbook M-S...just Mary Sue elements in a book. Anything that suggests a character is modelled after the author. So...a character who likes to write. A character that name drops a single band when "listening to music" would do. A character who reads specifically Jane Austen. A character who always puts on her left sock first, and notes it down. Somewhere this definately comes into play is Twilight...Bella likes certain bands that Meyer likes, and in an interview Bella is described as, to paraphrase...slender but not athletic, with the lower lip slightly fuller than the upper, of average height, brown hair...she also moves to a new school and recieves a lot of interest, despite her percieved normalness, something Meyer has actually
said happened to her:
"Then I went to college in Provo, Utah. Let me tell you, my stock went
through the roof. See, beauty is a lot more subjective than you might think. In Scottsdale, surrounded by barbies, I was about a five. In Provo, surrounded by normal people, I was more like an eight. I had dates every weekend with lots of really pretty and intelligent boys (some of whose names end up in my books)"
"In my head, Bella is very fair-skinned, with long, straight, dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. Her face is heart-shaped—a wide forehead with a widow's peak, large, wide-spaced eyes, prominent cheekbones, and then a thin nose and a narrow jaw with a pointed chin. Her lips are a little out of proportion, a bit too full for her jaw line. "
The lips get me.

Maybe I've elaborated too far on that point, but you get what I'm saying. Just try being a leeeetle but more imaginative and making up a new character instead.

5. Uber description of every tiny detail in a scene. Just an overview, and a little bit of detail for atmosphere if you MUST. Look, I get bored easily, okay? Tailor yourself to your low IQ, easily distracted, ADHD suffering audience and WRITE SNAPPY. Please? it wasn't a long list. But you get the point, right? How do really bad books get published and WHYWHYWHY must I have SO MANY peeves?

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