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What Ticks You Off?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by DragonOfTheAerie, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

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    Im gilty of all of these with the exception of MC's sexy scars and "Strong female characters!".

    What I dislike ?

    This. Unfortunately it is somewhat realistic.

    Also I don't like Adults Are Useless - TV Tropes

    I don't like races where everybody is good and benevolent and beautiful and peacefull.

    I don't like pre industrial societies living on their own planet and having supposedly unique culture having the same beauty standards as 21 century earth.
     
  2. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Got a lot of them.

    Explanation points cheese me off.

    95% of prologues.

    Farm boys who are the chosen one and become great sword fighters very quickly.

    Villains who talk too much.

    Fiction that is too comforting.

    Could go on and on...
     
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    What do you mean by this?
     
  4. Holoman

    Holoman Troubadour

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    I don't have many things that annoy me in fiction, but these are a few.

    - Boring things happening with no conflict, especially at the start of stories. You need to be cleverer and find a better way to let me know how things were before and get me straight into the action

    - Rape. Having the villain rape someone just makes me cringe, it always comes across as contrived to me

    - Characters that you know are powerful enough to do something, but for some weak reason they "cant", until of course things get so bad that they finally relent and use their super dangerous power.

    - Typos - I'm amazed how many I find, can't remember the last time I read a book without one

    Other than that, I'm pretty forgiving. I don't mind tropes and stuff.
     
  5. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    People who complain about tropes and cliches :p Okay, sure, they're not in the actual books, but I swear I read more people complaining about the cliches than I do the actual cliche...

    Hmm.

    Fiction That Is Dark For the Sake of Being Dark -

    In the words of Le Guin:

    “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”


    Not a lot of time for the use of present tense either.


    I very much dislike books that try to do too much too quickly. 95% of the time that an author has big action scenes or discusses big setting things before establishing their characters, I put the book down.



    I don't really have many dislikes. As long as the author has a decent voice, decent characters and a decent story, I don't really care what else they do. If they don't have those things, nothing on earth will save them. And I believe its possible for something to be completely unrealistic and remain interesting, or something I've seen a thousand times and still remain interesting. Maybe I'm very forgiving.

    Getting other cultures right is very, very hard and getting them wrong gets you criticised, with reason. Its not as simple as going "Balls to NW Europe" - not that borrowing heavily from other cultures is all that original these days anyway.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    I don't enjoy fiction that is just there to support or reinforce the status quo. I think fiction should push a reader to think about things, to reconsider aspects of themselves, their culture or their society. Good fiction can be transformational or at least have the power to make you a little bit uncomfortable about something that matters.
     
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  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    —Short, random scenes thrown in only to show some aspect of a character. (Somewhat rare. But a recent download from Amazon, of an indie naturally, had this. Early in the book, the scenes cover only a few minutes of the narrative—just enough to show the MC grumbling about something or to have the MC react in a particular way to something. Then it's skip to the next scene with the MC, which probably occurs less than an hour later in the narrative, where some new aspect will be shown. It's a kind of stuttering; there's no flow in the narrative and actually no sequels to those scenes.)

    —Long passages printed in italics. I'm talking, 2+ pages. The longer, the worse.

    —Starting an excessive number of sentences with conjunctions, presumably in an effort to heighten tension and/or to make what's being described seem stark or of Great Significance™.

    —Anachronistic language.

    —Characters in a fantasy milieu who speak in the modern idiom. Basic, plain English is fine. But don't tell me that another character is a "dork." (See above re: anachronistic language.)

    —Long lists during description. Okay, I remember the poet Auden mentioning in an essay somewhere that he liked that sort of thing. But I don't. GRRM's lists of banners and houses present led to glazing over of the eyes and skimming forward for me.
     
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Sorry I haven't read all the posts fully, but I wanted to put mine in before we moved on. I promise to come back and read them all fully.

    Inconsistency/ Character 180*
    I read a book a couple years ago for our MS book club, and the thing I HATED about it was that the MC was a pillaging, raping, murderer...which I was okay with...and then he saw a beautiful woman and became obsessed with her and how "different" she was. Okay, I'll buy that she was pretty, or a princess, and therefore an attractive mate for societal reasons, maybe. But what I will not buy is that a character who wantonly commits acts of violence (especially sexual violence against nameless random women), is somehow interested in loving a demure girl because he thinks she's cute. Either make the character consistently immoral, or tone that shit down and make him a lover. What a mess. I didn't buy the next book because I knew it was going to have a messed up romance in it that would redeem him in some way? OMG, falling in love doesn't pull a creepy dude back from the dark side. HA!


    You are your career, nothing more
    Another thing I hate is characters defined by a single circumstance Say, their race (like the inherently evil orc, for example), or the mercenary soldier who must obviously be a gruff brute and abuser...because that's how all mercenaries are, right? OMG! No! Don't define a character based on a single stereotype. Make them unique! Sure, make him/ her a mercenary...but think about WHY they became such. Did they have a talent that made them perfect for the job though they didn't particularly want to do it? Did they get dragged into their career (any career...insert herbalist, priest, or anything short of a hereditary title like KING here, because they're all equally offensive if it's ALL the character's about)? Did they strive for the chosen career against the odds of their success? I think all characters need to have a good background, a reason to have become who they are. The reader doesn't necessarily need to know all the WHYs of it all, but the writer should understand the background so they can more convincingly write the present circumstances.
     
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  9. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    +10 for this.

    Usually, "love" is just another occasion for the creepiness and will even compound it or turn creepiness into true evil. I put quotes around the word because it's debatable whether the love is actual love.

    However, a person can change. It just takes a lot of work. (My usual go-to inspiration, the one that always pops immediately to mind, is the slave trader in the movie The Mission.)
     
  10. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    You know what ticks me off? Ignorant and idiotic comments like this.
     
  11. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Why not just post examples of non-European-based fantasy that you find appealing or well-done, rather than slinging insults at the OP?
     
  12. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    Comments can't be idiotic; only, people. So it's ad hominem. BUT I thought it was a joke in line with the topic, kinda meta.

    Hope so, I guess.
     
  13. Hurling insults automatically discredits any point you might be able to make. :/
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
    Ireth likes this.
  14. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    So maybe "this" refers to itself....? I don't know.
     
  15. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    —Unintended ambiguity.

    —Heavy-handed obscurity (to represent something mystical, Deep™, and so forth)

    [Just to return to topic....]
     
  16. if so, shouldn't have used quote (and cut off part of the OP to highlight a particular part)
     
  17. Aspasia

    Aspasia Sage

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    I haven't been following the thread, but this comment caught my eye. Is there interest in starting a thread for rec'ing/discussing diverse fantasy novels? If so I'd be more than happy to start it & drown you all in recs :) I spend the vast majority of my time online discussing diversity in literature. I don't enjoy debates so I usually stay out of those kinds of discussions here. But I'd be more than happy to run a rec & friendly discussion thread.

    On-topic, I sometimes get annoyed with how easily everyone trusts one another in fantasy. Were I an average young farmboy, I'd be super suspicious of the random old dude claiming I need to run away with him from my entire community because I'm the only one that can save the world from a formless, vague evil. Maybe this is why I like low fantasy better than high fantasy at most times--thieves and assassins are rarely so trusting of one another!
     
    Creed likes this.
  18. Sure, that sounds great! I would be more than happy to participate. I have plenty of thoughts to share.
     
  19. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    I'd still hold that borrowing/taking wholesale from other cultures is not original and that the glibness of the comment ill-serves just what a sensitive subject it is.

    I'd also add that there's a fair number of European cultures that have been far, far less drawn upon for inspiration than a goodly number of non-European cultures. Lumping everything together serves no one well.

    Huh?
     
  20. Creed

    Creed Sage

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    Totally agree. I would love it if Eastern Europe fueled more ideas for mainstream fantasy: it's such a vibrant and diverse region of the world. And of course, that is precisely because of its massive history of interacting with different cultures. So take Russia and Bosnia and Georgia as examples of what real-life cultural fusions can look like, and see if our own worlds can form something so interesting. Doesn't really cover the "white people" comment (nor would I necessarily want it to, and besides, any writer worth their salt can figure out a way to fit diversity in a setting if they so desire).

    One of my biggest pet peeves includes the "child genius." Makes reading the beginning of books like The Name of the Wind a little difficult for me, especially when the child genius who learns magic super quick suddenly forgets it when it's useful.

    I also get thrown off when a POV switch happens and it's not marked by a page break. The Twilight Reign series is guilty of that.

    Speaking of which.. That series also suffers from a huge pet peeve of mine: badass syndrome. Every character is amazing. They can dual wield swords, heft massive axes, and use magic powerful enough to kill gods. There's one character who isn't a badass, and she dies.
     
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