The Sword and Laser discussion

367 views
what is Your Pet Peeve?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 151 (151 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments I am curious to what are some of your pet peeves in story telling! What makes you want to lem a book the instant it comes up?

For me it usually is an over abundance of pov's. Especially ones that have each pov in a different place than all the others.
Another is the introduction of new characters directly after the action is starting to ramp up or just after a cliff hanger. Sorry authors but if this happens I will just skip the newbies and go find out what happened to the guys I care about!
I also can't stand reading an entire book written with olde english dialogue or any dialogue that is difficult to understand.

So what is yours?


message 2: by William (new)

William Harlan (raunwynn) | 172 comments my pet peeve is people who hate my book, and you've just described it perfectly.
you're on my list...


message 3: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments William wrote: "my pet peeve is people who hate my book, and you've just described it perfectly.
you're on my list..."


Pet peeve does not mean that I hate something. I even read many books with these problems from the get go (don't come across olde english often though. I spend all day reading science text books. I don't want to have to puzzle out meaning in my escapist time).

I may not be immediately inclined to read your book but there are millions of other people out there who will!


message 4: by William (new)

William Harlan (raunwynn) | 172 comments "problems" eh?
you're on the list twice!


message 5: by Bryek (last edited Mar 13, 2013 12:58PM) (new)

Bryek | 273 comments Problems for me. George rr Martin, Steven Erickson, Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan all would dissagree with me seeing as I have stopped reading them for the same reason.

Just downloaded a sample of your book. Really do not see the point in getting all uppity on me. We all have our individual tastes. Is the main character a non stereotypical gay guy? Been looking for a fantasy with one!


message 6: by William (new)

William Harlan (raunwynn) | 172 comments lol, did i just bully uou into downloading a sample of my book?
i was just kidding!


message 7: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments Bully? Nah. Made me curious. Had never heard of you before.


message 8: by Robert of Dale (new)

Robert of Dale (r_dale) | 185 comments Ah text-only communication, how it fails to convey tone sometimes. For the record, I saw William's tongue poking out his cheek the whole time he was putting you "on his list". I guess that's why smilies are so prevalent on the inter-tubes. ;P

My pet peeve, which isn't enough to make me Lem a book, is too many repetitions of 'said' in rapid-fire dialogue between two characters; something that's been covered in one of the Old Man's War threads.


message 9: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 96 comments Heroines that are TSTL
Hero/Heroine that are just all powerful and under 30
To much repetition


message 10: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4144 comments I get really annoyed by the first chapter being some whiz-bang craziness and then having the second chapter start, "Let me explain...it all started 4 months ago..." (or whatever). It feels lazy to me.


message 11: by Thomas (last edited Mar 13, 2013 05:08PM) (new)

Thomas Cardin | 68 comments calling a rabbit a 'smerp'

Dwarves that are just short humans that like to mine (read elves as well, slender pointed eared humans that live a long time and typically have insufferable ennui)

Morally ambiguous heroes who 'happen' to 'stumble upon' the course of action that serves the greater good.


message 12: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments TSTL? I have no idea what this means.... to sexy to live?


message 13: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4144 comments Also, epilogues that are unnecessary. JK Rowling and Robert Jordan, I'm looking right at you.


message 14: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 96 comments TSTL - to stupid to live

Like the silly females in horror movies who always go the wrong way or in books she will run away from the hero and straight into danger all to avoid a conversation.


message 15: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments Oh I remembered another one that annoyed me not to long ago. A flashback within a flashback. Anyone who is currently reading naruto might know what I am talking about :)


message 16: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1140 comments I hate stunt writing. That is a writing style that just seems to exist just to show us how clever the author is. My favorite (least favorite?) example is Something Happened by Joseph Heller. It's stream of conscious and brackets will open in the middle of a sentence and not close for several pages and then the original sentence will continue. Any style that draws attention to itself is guilty.


message 17: by Molly (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) | 129 comments Oh God, that Harry Potter epilogue killed me. I wish I could erase it from my memory.

I know I have many pet peeves, but of course once the question is asked, I go blank. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is when an author goes all cerebral/philosophical. Reading is supposed to be fun, not make my brain hurt. I need some action (hehe), which is why I typically gravitate more towards genre fiction.

OH, and bad dialogue. There are some otherwise great authors out there who don't seem to understand human conversation. It's hard to explain, but I know it when I see it. It's the kind of thing that makes me groan out loud while I'm reading.


message 18: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3542 comments Mod
I hate it when authors place themselves as a character in a non-autobiographical story.
I'm looking at you Stephen King and Clive Cussler.

Also I hate the over use of obscure words. Looking up words too often breaks the flow of the story.


message 19: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Mar 14, 2013 04:24AM) (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6784 comments Mod
Tassie Dave wrote: "I hate it when authors place themselves as a character in a non-autobiographical story.
I'm looking at you Stephen King and Clive Cussler."


I might be the only one who liked Stephen King showing up in the Dark Tower. My friend hated it too. To me it felt fitting given (view spoiler)

I can understand why people don't like it though.


message 20: by Wilmar (new)

Wilmar Luna (wilmarluna) | 241 comments I haven't read -too- many books yet. But I definitely found a pet peeve with a very popular book.

Books that spend way too much time world building and not enough time focusing on the plot! While also using way too many made-up words without giving context as to what they mean.

I'm looking at you DIAMOND AGE!


message 21: by William (last edited Mar 14, 2013 07:56AM) (new)

William Harlan (raunwynn) | 172 comments My pet peeve is someone telling me something is wrong and then my noticing it constantly afterward.
Strunk and White says not to use "the fact that," stating those are always unnecessary, extra words.
Everything I've read since finding that out includes "the fact that."


message 22: by Aeryn98 (new)

Aeryn98 | 175 comments Oh fun. My pet peeve is when a author describes a person or a place over and over again. For example, I love Jim Butcher's Dresden series. It's one of my favorites. However, by book 13 I think its safe to assume the readers know what Murphy looks like.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1862 comments I hate it when books say things in French, and don't bother to explain what has been said, because, hey, everyone knows French, right? I hate this mostly because I was taught a little French at primary school, and then was forced to do Spanish at secondary even though I really wanted to continue with French, and this makes me bitter.


message 24: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments Aeryn98 wrote: "Oh fun. My pet peeve is when a author describes a person or a place over and over again. For example, I love Jim Butcher's Dresden series. It's one of my favorites. However, by book 13 I think i..."

I agree but he has to do it for people who pick up the novel in the middle of the series. But now that I have caught up and read them as they are published I find that a little bit of a refresher isnt too terrible. An overdetailed on really sucks though


message 25: by Dara (last edited Mar 14, 2013 10:44AM) (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments terpkristin wrote: "I get really annoyed by the first chapter being some whiz-bang craziness and then having the second chapter start, "Let me explain...it all started 4 months ago..." (or whatever). It feels lazy to me."

Same for me. Lazy writing in general, Overusing words or plots that are cliche.

I don't an abundance of main characters when you don't get to know any of them very well. Or a main protagonist that you're supposed to sympathize with but don't spend enough time with them. (view spoiler)


message 26: by Rick (last edited Mar 14, 2013 02:08PM) (new)

Rick | 2793 comments Madeup or rare words don't bother me as much since I started reading ebooks since I can use the reader features to find the definition. Even in paper I didn't mind them if they were clear after a bit from the context (popular, easy example... 'frack'). If they're stunt writing though... yeah.

Biggest peeve? Developing a character and then revealing that she's completely different just because. I once bought a David Balducci book (Saving Faith) as an airplane read. Didn't get to it was reading it in bed. Faith is a highly smart, competent business person and... on p. 150 starts breaking down a 9mm pistol like a pro. No build up that she had these skills, nothing. Threw the book against the wall, never finished it.

That's a specific example of my real peeve which is when an author reaches into their books and does completely out of character/plot/world because they need it to happen. I don't want to see your fingerprints in the world, Author.

A second peeve is the general version of Too Stupid To Live... when the characters miss super obvious things that we all see and that either sends them off in a different direction or prevents them from taking some obvious action that would resolve things then and there. IN a way, this is another flavor of the author messing with the world... "Well, most people would figure out that X is true, but I'll have my protagonist completely miss that because I need them to go halfway around the world and meet Person Y to setup the next section."


message 27: by Dawn (last edited Mar 14, 2013 03:38PM) (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 96 comments Rick wrote: "A second peeve is the general version of Too Stupid To Live... when the characters miss super obvious things that we all see and that either sends them off in a different direction or prevents them from taking some obvious action that would resolve things then and there. IN a way, this is another flavor of the author messing with the world... "Well, most people would figure out that X is true, but I'll have my protagonist completely miss that because I need them to go halfway around the world and meet Person Y to setup the next section."

Exactly you said that much better than I did.


message 28: by CJ (new)

CJ | 14 comments My big pet peeve is when the author has written a strong female character who has loads of power (or powerS) and then she gives it all up, or some giant piece of it/herself, for love.


message 29: by CJ (new)

CJ | 14 comments Hmm... Perhaps that made me sound bitter. :)


message 30: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments No, I agree. That also annoys me. It also annoys me when that guy is a complete jerk.


message 31: by CJ (new)

CJ | 14 comments Here here!


message 32: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments Dream sequences. I don't know why exactly but I groan every time I encounter one, not just in books, but in games and films too ... So overused and usually incredibly boring.

And a second one: Minor issues turning into huge problems because people don't talk with each other! It's a really cheap form of conflict generation imo.

Neither of these make me toss out a book by itself, and there are exceptions where their use works really well of course, but still they annoy me.


message 33: by Rich (new)

Rich (justanothergringo) | 98 comments Pet peeves are:

1. Mil-SciFi authors who fill pages and pages with techno babble describing every deadly detail of every weapon/spaceship/warp-drive/etc. ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

2. Authors that toss latin phrases like ad infinitum and ad nauseum about willy-nilly.

3. SciFi authors who let their political leanings take over their books to the point that the books become manifestos rather than entertainment. You guys know who you are!

4. Shedding


message 34: by Laura (new)

Laura (conundrum44) | 98 comments My pet peeves are first person POV for no discernible reason. When the POV has no insights or wit to add to the narration, but writing first person feels easier so the author does it anyway.

I also don't like dreams or when something happens that everyone forgets - like it never happened. This happens more in TV shows, but I did see it once in a book.


message 35: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 96 comments CJ wrote: "Hmm... Perhaps that made me sound bitter. :)"

Not at all like really you worked so hard for this and now it is like ah screw it because I am in LOVE wow what a price. Does it have to be either or??


message 36: by Noah (new)

Noah Sturdevant (noahksturdevant) | 173 comments My pet peeve is rape scenes. I understand that it happens in life, but I read to escape reality. Also, endings where the main character dies really make me feel betrayed by the author.


message 37: by Scott (last edited Mar 15, 2013 07:09AM) (new)

Scott | 312 comments I guess one pet peeve I've developed recently is authors who unnecessarily continue series. Throughout middle school and high school I read most, if not all, of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan books. But, in his last few books, he's switched from Jack Ryan to his son. And now his son is taking up the family business.The first book was good enough where I didn't mind it, but the second book just got to be a pain and felt unnecessary (It took me 4 years of Lemming and unLemming the book to finally finish)


Another thing is allegories to real life people/events so thinly veiled it's practically a name change and nothing else. I hesitate to go back to Clancy since he's not a SFF author, but the antagonist (known only as The Emir) in the book I just finished was a mastermind of a global Islamic jihadist group, driven out of his native Saudi Arabia, hiding in Pakistan/Afghanistan, and responsible for 9/11. That ring a bell to anyone???


message 38: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments William wrote: ""problems" eh?
you're on the list twice!"


Lack of capitalization. The black helicopters have been dispatched to your location.


message 39: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments CJ wrote: "Here here!"

When people improperly spell "Hear, hear!"


message 40: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments Rich wrote: "Rich (JustAnotherGringo) | 23 comments Pet peeves are:

1. Mil-SciFi authors who fill pages and pages with techno babble describing every deadly detail of every weapon/spaceship/warp-drive/etc. ad infinitum and ad nauseum."


Word.

"2. Authors that toss latin phrases like ad infinitum and ad nauseum about willy-nilly."

Sapientia et veritas, or as the kids say, word word. Sadly this is the status quo that is a priori fancy-dancy books ab antiquo, possibly editio princeps, but summa summarum it makes me wonder quo vadis and therefore e pluribus unum. QED.

3. SciFi authors who let their political leanings take over their books to the point that the books become manifestos rather than entertainment. You guys know who you are!

And boy-howdy do they delight in telling us!

4. Shedding "

I have Pugs. Preaching to the choir, my friend. Cave canem undercoat.


message 41: by CJ (new)

CJ | 14 comments Trike wrote: "CJ wrote: "Here here!"

When people improperly spell "Hear, hear!""


Ha ha! I hate it when I do crap like that.


message 42: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments CJ wrote: "Trike wrote: "CJ wrote: "Here here!"

When people improperly spell "Hear, hear!""

Ha ha! I hate it when I do crap like that. "


I'm just funnin' ya.


message 43: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments I do have an actual pet peeve, though: when an author CLEARLY has no idea how something works, whether it's a mechanism or an organization, and yet just blithely writes about it.

The most recent example I came across was the second Dresden Files book, Fool Moon. Butcher manages to get both police *and* federal agents wrong in that book. A weekend marathon of Law & Order reruns would've fixed that for him.

Dresden might as well be working Narnia or Naboo for all his relation to real-world Chicago. I think in order to get me to buy into the crazy fantasy world you've constructed you first have to get certain details right. In fact, Patrick Rothfuss said as much in his hangout with Butcher. You go along with the bizarre stuff more readily if the little details are correct.


message 44: by Rich (new)

Rich (justanothergringo) | 98 comments @trike: I bow to your superior posting intellect.


message 45: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 273 comments I will be honest, I love the Dresden files and I have very little knowledge on chicago or how americans structure their police force. What exactly did you notice?

I do understand what you mean. Every time I watch a medical drama I yell at the tv when they do something wrong. Especially when it is something as simple as putting the stethescope in your ears the right way.


message 46: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments Bryek wrote: "I will be honest, I love the Dresden files and I have very little knowledge on chicago or how americans structure their police force. What exactly did you notice?"

There are a couple things, but early on Murphy (a CPD detective) has a disagreement with an FBI agent. The agent threatens Murphy -- okay, a little dramatic license, no biggie -- then draws her gun (automatic administrative leave and counseling), then aims it a police officer (immediate suspension) then tries to kill her. And nothing happens to the Fed. In reality that's a career-ending move at the least. Possibly some serious prison time. Every time a cop fires a weapon there's an investigation. Sometimes it's swept under the rug because of internal politics and/or corruption (witness the Los Angeles PD scandals of recent years) but there are always immediate repercussions. Butcher gave no explanation other than they were both being hot-headed. Little stuff like that throws me out of a book.

Contrast with Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series. It's about a dilapidated WWI-era destroyer caught fighting a Japanese battleship in WWII when they go through a weird storm and get transported to an alternate Earth where dinosaurs never went extinct and humans never evolved. It's totally over-the-top epic widescreen action, but I know just enough about ships and the Navy to tell that Anderson really knows his stuff.

Everything from the engineering details to the way the below-decks crew scuffles with the deck hands, fighting like siblings who suddenly present a united front when confronted by an outsider. All the crazy stuff he throws in there, including intelligent lemurs from Madagascar battling intelligent dinosaurs, is all rooted in real stuff, which helps you buy into it.


message 47: by Jon (new)

Jon (thegeekcorner) | 2 comments My biggest pet peeve is when an apostrophe is added just to make a name sound foreign/magical/alien. I mean, I know names are hard to come up with, but if all you're doing is making Kevin a Ke'Vin, then it just bugs me. It always interrupts my reading flow for some reason.


message 48: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8484 comments I once worked with a woman named Jay'Ne, pronounced juh-NAY. Come on, that's Jane and you know it.


message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments My pet peeve is when people use the word pet peeve wrong.


message 50: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments When an author gives you whole paragraphs of back story to a character, such as a guard, who is immediately killed.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top