Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Wednesday Discussion: How Did He Get Away With That?

"All words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." Kahlil Gibran

Getting those words published is the hard part! If you're a prepublished writer, have you ever read a book containing all the things we've learned not to do, then wondered, how did he/she get away with that?

I read something not long ago filled with head hopping, cliches and repetition--big no no's, so I've read and been told on numerous occasions! What kinds of things have you run across in published works that you wouldn't dare put in your own?

Please refrain from mentioning specific books or authors.  This is just a fun conversation not meant to offend!

Thanks for visiting, and happy writing!


Diana said...

I've seen misspelled words, tensing problems, author intrusion, pov shifts. It is hard to read for the joy of it anymore. The errors pop out. Seeing them has made me less uptight with trying to be perfect. Mistakes happen, I s'pose. ;)

William Kendall said...

I've seen a writer who frequently uses the same name for different characters, who changed a surname for a major character from a previous book... Mistakes do happen.

Beth said...

I recently finished reading a book that seemed to have a lot of run-on sentences in it. Plus, I've read books that were excessively too long, meaning that a lot of the story could have been left out or condensed in such a way as to keep the story going at a steady pace. This book was way too long and the story didn't get good until the 23rd chapter...there was only 24 chapters in the book.

Carol Riggs said...

I've seen Telling/explaining rather than showing, Adverb City, and those silly novels that you THINK are going to end, and then they end up to be a first in a series (so the ends aren't tied up). Sigh.

Old Kitty said...

Lots of pov shifts especially from my all time fave writer but his stories are sublime, they don't matter really - but yeah, I certainly notice them! LOL! Take care


Unknown said...

The worst was not just a book but a series of books. I loved the plot but had to stop reading in the middle of the second or third in the series because I couldn't take the constant unannounced changes in POV. It was not only changing in the middle of scenes but the middle of PARAGRAPHS. It got so confusing that I finally gave up even though I enjoyed all other aspects of the books.

Mark R Hunter said...

My fiancee showed me a raved-over, award winning novel that she's been assigned to read as part of her college literature course. It's terrible. It starts out with a large block of description, rambles on pointlessly, and is full of passive writing and telling rather than showing. And that's just the first two chapters!

Maria McKenzie said...

@Diana: I know what you mean. As a reader I never paid any attention to POV and cliches, now they really pop right out!

@William: OOPS! You'd think an editor would catch some of those mistakes.

@Beth: Don't you hate that! I can't stand to read something, or watch a movie, while I'm thinking, "will this ever end?"

@Carol: I forgot to mention that the book I referred to had tons of showing rather than telling! And I do get ticked off when the ends aren't tied up:). Even if it's a series, a book should be able to stand on its own!

@Old Kitty: He's excused;).

@Tardigrl: I understand! If it gets too confusing, sometimes it's too difficult to go on.

@Mark: Raved over and award winning? I just don't get it!

A Little Bird Told Me said...

My pet peeve is someone using identical nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs several times on the same page. I know some words just don't have very many (if any) synonyms, but good heavens - use a thesaurus! Also, there's a movie reviewer on a popular site who desperately needs to double check her posts. I love what she has to say, but she makes me want to get out my red pen!

Lila said...

I have read many best-sellers who break all the rules- and it drives me nuts! When all the books tell us to stay away from these things, the 'biggies' just go ahead and do it anyway. I guess it doesn't matter to them because they go it made and they know their books will sell anyway, no matter what, or how, they write. Maybe when we are all best-sellers, we can do the same thing! smile

Maria McKenzie said...

@A Little Bird: Tell me about it;)!

@Lila: I think that's how it works:)!