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Top Ten Tuesday 10 July 2012

Holy crud…I’m managing to post two in a row!

Today’s TTT is a Freebie, so I went with a fun older one…

Bookish Pet Peeves

I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to books (both in the physical aspect as well as what the writer does), but I think I’ve narrowed it down…

10. Improperly Researched Facts– Okay, so I’m not going to notice the difference if you’re talking nuclear physics and get it wrong but there’s a reason the creators of The Big Bang Theory have scientists and mathematicians on staff…someone will. I know I have issues when there’s a bottle of wine described incorrectly. It’s a simple process and it should always be done…just research your facts! If you don’t know something, find someone that does and double check! Your book is worth it!

9. Authors Who Claim Writers Such as Tolkien as Inspiration, but Have the Vocabulary of a Third Grader– Tolkien was a PROFESSOR of LANGUAGE. George R.R. Martin has a degree in JOURNALISM. Implying that such prolific authors are your inspiration, you should at least throw a few SAT words into your work. When you have the vocabulary of a 3rd grader, you imply you’ve never actually read the books- watching movies and TV shows are not good inspiration for novels unless you want to be a copycat.

8. “Kreatyve” Fantasy Spellings– Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. While I’m guilty of enjoying a few odd spellings of fairly common names, I’m getting really sick of all of the extra “y”s when writers don’t get as creative as they’d like to imply on names. (My current favorite name doesn’t have a single y- Valea.)

7. Predictable Endings (especially in books that take themselves seriously)– It happens all the time. You pick up a highly recommended book and expect to enjoy the mystery or twists you love of certain genres…and then you guess the ending within the first two chapters. It’s one thing if it’s a cheesy romance book you’ve picked up just to kill some time or let your brain take a break, but I’m sick of it happening in mystery and “epic” novels.

6. Boring Sentence Structure– I can’t stand it when an author refuses to vary their sentence structure. If you’ve got simple sentences over a large period of time, it ends up reading like a first grade primer. If your sentences are constantly run-ons, the flow is broken. Vary your style. Vary your length. Your readers will thank you for it.

5. Plot Holes– Okay, who doesn’t hate plot holes? When something doesn’t get resolved and leaves open huge questions it detracts from enjoyment of the novel. One of the last books I read and disliked was riddled with question-inducing plot holes (and not the good kind of questions, either).

4. Inconsistent Timelines– Even worse than plot holes (and perhaps more specifically) are inconsistent timelines. I hate reading a book which gives you clues to the main character being born in the 70s, but yet young enough to be pregnant in a dystopian future. There is a limit to human fertility, and there is a limit to how much wiggle room you have when time is linear. Write out yourself a timeline and stick to it.

3. Grammatical Errors– There’s a reason you have an editor. I realize that, many times, when I get a book to read that’s an uncorrected proof, I’m going to see errors. That’s fine. I can’t deal with it when the book is in its final state and the editor has clearly not done their job. I’ve even seen a “your”/”you’re” mixup. What on Earth?

2. Dog Ears– There’s two reasons grammatical errors are not at the top of my list. Both of them are physical pet peeves. The first of the sins with books is when you dog ear. It’s not that hard to find something to mark your place. Scraps of paper, tissue paper, pieces of string, specialty bookmarks, scraps of cloth, come on! Of course, there’s one thing you really shouldn’t do aside from folding the paper of the book and that is…

1. Breaking the Spine– You and I were not meant to be friends if you are willing to break the spine on a precious book. It’s one thing to fold back a work book, but hardcovers were NOT MEANT TO BEND THAT WAY. Do book collectors of the future a favor and be nice to your books.

What is anyone else’s big pet peeve?

Also, in case you haven’t checked it out yet, I’ve got a special giveaway going on over at SciFi4Me.com in celebration of my one year anniversary of The Geekly with a Twist (as well as my 100th post). You should check it out…the prize pack is awesome sauce!

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