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Insecure Writer’s Support Group

It is again the First Wednesday for IWSG, and the August 2 Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Alex always comes up with the most entertaining questions! I have an entire menagerie of pet peeves on all three subjects, but space requires me to limit to one, so I choose:

Pet Peeves When Reading

Pet Peeves involving Dearest Husband/Significant Other/Love of My Life (just to clarify, all the same man)

  • I am engrossed in a thrilling “what’s going to happen next” book.
    Coe: “Hey Lee – watch this amazing [insert stupid sports game of your choice] replay!”
    Me: “Yup. Pretty amazing.” [grumbling while I attempt to regain my literary reverie].
  • We are both engrossed in a thrilling “what’s going to happen next” book.
    Coe: “Hey Lee – here’s some really great dialogue you can use in your book.” Proceeds to read really great dialogue aloud.
    Me: Yup. That’s really great dialogue. But I can’t use it, because that would be plagiarism, and that’s against the law.”
    Coe: “Well, you could change some of the words.”
    Me: “Indeed. I could do that.”

On the non-Coe list of peeves:

  • Authors setting up Rules, then not following them, particularly in the paranormal genre. But this is applicable to others, i.e. the history in historical mysteries sets up Rules. When characters behave outside of the historical time-frame, they break the Rules, thereby taking me out of the story and causing a big eye-roll. (BIG TIME author guilty of this).
  • Getting into a well-crafted story, with good character development, lots of twists and turns, then being cheated by an irritatingly sloppy, rushed wrap-up. (More than one BIG TIME author guilty of this).
  • Characters who make one moronic decision after another, on the pretext of “moving the story forward.” It particularly peeves me when those characters are female.
  • Writing about any specialty, (i.e. police work, firefighters, firearms, medicine) without doing the research. I know movies and television are completely disassociated from reality (for example, handing a criminal/terrorist a handgun with an empty clip, and the criminal/terrorist is SURPRISED that the gun isn’t loaded. Anyone who has handled a firearm would KNOW the clip was empty. Ammo is heavy). Again, I am rolling my eyes and looking to spend my hard-earned book money on a different author.
  • Coincidence to explain anything. Coincidences cause me to stop reading. Life is too short to waste time on coincidences.

That said, it is no coincidence that our fabulous co-hosts will have many more insights on these subjects and none of them will include crabbing about Coe. Do stop by:

Christine Rains
Dolarah @ Book Lover
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Yvonne Ventresca
LG Keltner

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  1. I love your pet peeves related to your hubby 🙂 It’s so important to do research if you’re going to write about something technical, specialty etc. because someone is going to know something about it and catch your mistakes. In any case, I would think that the research would be a fun part of the writing process, learning about something new.

    • Lee says:

      Exactly, Ellen. I get so wrapped up in research; first because I want to be accurate; second, because I inevitably become so curious about a new subject that I just want to dig deeper and deeper. I want to see the landscape, hold the gun, study a building’s blueprint.

  2. emaginette says:

    All good points. I never thought about ammo being heavy but YEAH! I’m sure it is. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Lee says:

      My family has police, firefighters, lawyers, medical personnel. Do not get into a room with us when those kinds of television programs are on. We rip up the lousy representations without mercy!

  3. Those sloppy, rushed wrap-up endings drive me crazy, too. It can take what was going to be, for me, a 5 star rated book and drop it down a star or two.

    • Lee says:

      I agree Madeline. I’ve thought more than once at the end of a good book that the author must have hit a publishing deadline and thrown some crap together to finish up.

  4. Amen on the moronic female protagonists! If I’m going to spend a book’s worth of time with a character, I need to relate to her in some way–and I don’t relate to silly twits.

    • Lee says:

      Nor do I. I routinely dump a book early on if the female lead has done more than one or two stupid things to make me lose respect for her.

  5. Yvonne V says:

    Great points, especially about the research.