Clockwork_Knight

Pet Peeves-What can't you stand

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4 hours ago, Anon said:

Font that’s too small.

Oh, yes!  This! Seriously, if I need to zoom to read what you’ve written, I’m just going to click on by.

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4 hours ago, CloverReef said:

What?! No! Not as long as I have something to say about it! 

Okay… Content warning: I swear.

I actually raged about epithets before. I don’t remember where. People just acted like it was just inane – like I just pulled a random, nonsensical pet peeve out of my ass. I get this reaction whenever I tell people that helper verbs are passive. Yes, I am still on a crusade against overuse of ING verbs. 

But one of my major pet peeves, and this I have developed recently, is something I see in a lot of writing tips articles. It never used to bother me, but I find I get pretty pissed off when I encounter it now. Professionals telling amateurs not to do something. The word lists apply to this. “Don’t use gimmicks”, “Don’t use intensifiers”, “Don’t put rape in there”, “Don’t chop your arm off and eat it” (I couldn’t remember any more...) Of course there are some things that are best avoided, but when you tell a budding, insecure writer not to do something, like BW said, they’ll twist themselves into a pretzel to avoid shit when maybe, just maybe, it would have been fine. There’s a time and a place for everything. To me, when I beta, it’s more important that you’re conscious of your word choice, and when you make iffy choices, like throwing in a ‘very’ (outside of dialogue) that you did it intentionally and well

Plus I really fucking hate it when someone tells me not to do something. 

I totally fucking love you. :wub:

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5 hours ago, Desiderius Price said:

Don’t chew your arm off!  :)

Having some tips are good, especially when they’re word patterns that can indicate a more serious issue, but sometimes those words are the right choice.

 

Absolutely! I love writing tips in general. I wish more writers would follow blogs and stuff. I just bristle when the writing tips explicitly state rules like they’re set in stone. 

 

4 hours ago, BronxWench said:

I totally fucking love you. :wub:

:hug: 

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Agree with all of you: When it comes to fiction writing, there can be no hard and fast rules. Yes, 98% of your sentences should have both a subject and a verb, but there’s that other 2% that are so much better if they have only one or the other, or neither. (“My name is Bond. James Bond.”) 

That said, rule-breaking only results in good writing when it’s done for a purpose, and not just because the writer doesn’t know the rules in the first place.

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     Well that’s unfortunate, unrealistic and highly improbable are my forte.  The rules of writing are more like stable observations, everything is ultimately circumstantial.  I guess my biggest personal peeve is lack of detail.  A lot of internet fiction I’ve read take place in a vacuum, with the setting only vaguely described and characters who lack motivations or identities.  Fan fiction tends to be especially guilty of this because novice or lazy authors may just assume we know the characters and setting.  Failing to fill in the blanks makes immersing the reader into the story difficult.  This makes the story inaccessible to newer readers, doesn’t convey what the author has in mind, and ultimately doesn’t build upon the established lore.  Which I think is the whole point of fan fiction, never mind original works that need to be engrossing right out of the gate.  Other than that, basic literacy errors that should have been corrected in grade school will turn me away.  Such as spelling mistaiks, poorer grammar, missplaced!punctuation, verbing, run on sentances that go on and on and on, and sentences that end before they.

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Pet PEEEEVES, omg you guys do not want to get me to start bitching because I will literally never stop, lol. I agree with so, so many of these. But here’s one that doesn’t happen too often but when it does, it pisses me off SO MUCH: writers who tell you not to describe your character’s physical appearance because it ‘ruins the reader’s mental image’. Fuck your image, my dude :D 

I mean look, I’m not the kind of girl to go off on three-page character descriptions from hair and eye color all the way to the single, curly hair on their left big toe, but firstly, I’ve had readers say they wish they had more physical description to picture the story better in their head and secondly, I tend to write stories set in metropolitan cities with lots of ethnic diversity. That diversity happens to be important to the story and to me! Now unless I give every POC character a ridiculous caricature of an ethnic name, that  is just not going to get across without a physical description so PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU

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41 minutes ago, KassX said:

Pet PEEEEVES, omg you guys do not want to get me to start bitching because I will literally never stop, lol. I agree with so, so many of these. But here’s one that doesn’t happen too often but when it does, it pisses me off SO MUCH: writers who tell you not to describe your character’s physical appearance because it ‘ruins the reader’s mental image’. Fuck your image, my dude :D 

I mean look, I’m not the kind of girl to go off on three-page character descriptions from hair and eye color all the way to the single, curly hair on their left big toe, but firstly, I’ve had readers say they wish they had more physical description to picture the story better in their head and secondly, I tend to write stories set in metropolitan cities with lots of ethnic diversity. That diversity happens to be important to the story and to me! Now unless I give every POC character a ridiculous caricature of an ethnic name, that  is just not going to get across without a physical description so PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I personally like a little bit of description to help me visualize, and in smut, visuals are kinda a priority, so you keep doing you. I tend to throw in little relevant details about character appearances throughout the story. I’d actually prefer to give more description of my main character, I just can never find the right moment. It was so much easier when my main character was a narcissist. Sigh. But yeah, I get readers asking for more description every now and then. Have you ever had a reader ask for less?

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37 minutes ago, CloverReef said:

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I personally like a little bit of description to help me visualize, and in smut, visuals are kinda a priority, so you keep doing you. I tend to throw in little relevant details about character appearances throughout the story. I’d actually prefer to give more description of my main character, I just can never find the right moment. It was so much easier when my main character was a narcissist. Sigh. But yeah, I get readers asking for more description every now and then. Have you ever had a reader ask for less?

Yeah, this is really more wrt my YA stuff. With the smut, I do physical description in more detail than the YA stuff; and I think that does come with the territory. I prefer to sprinkle in details as the story goes along too, but I’ve literally heard people say not to do that either. I personally have never had a reader ask for less, but as a reader, I have sometimes wanted less, only if it starts to go on for too long. It is definitely up to the writer to find balance. 

I totally feel you on the narcissist characters; I have one who will go on and on about his GREAT hair :D :D

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4 hours ago, KassX said:

Yeah, this is really more wrt my YA stuff. With the smut, I do physical description in more detail than the YA stuff; and I think that does come with the territory. I prefer to sprinkle in details as the story goes along too, but I’ve literally heard people say not to do that either. I personally have never had a reader ask for less, but as a reader, I have sometimes wanted less, only if it starts to go on for too long. It is definitely up to the writer to find balance. 

I totally feel you on the narcissist characters; I have one who will go on and on about his GREAT hair :D :D

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  As a writer, I tend to prefer leaning on the reader’s imagination, I mean, they should have an imagination, right?  Esp as that imagination can fill in the detail much more than my words can.  So, my typical description of a character… a sentence of two, because, well, when I’m a reader, I find that  pages and pages of description to be a pet peeve of mine.

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@KassX You’re absolutely right. I’ve never heard someone ask for less, but I have wanted less too, and personally asked for less as a beta. You can definitely have too much, even in smut.  I wonder if readers are just more forgiving of excess, or if they’re sooooo unforgiving of it that they won’t even dignify it with a comment, lol. 

@Desiderius Price That is absolutely my favourite amount of description. Just a sentence or two of relevant or distinct detail. If it were pages and pages, they’d definitely lose me. When I read, I just want to know what I need to know to visualize the scene without interrupting it with huge dumps. 

 

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Sometimes, something about a character’s appearance is relevant, and so I mention it. Maybe his eyes are a shade not customary where he’s living, or maybe he has a unique scar. But on the whole, I describe the minimum about a character’s appearance. As a reader, I don’t want an overload of details. I might not growl about it in a review, but I do prefer being able to put my own mental spin on a character. 

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7 hours ago, BronxWench said:

Sometimes, something about a character’s appearance is relevant, and so I mention it. Maybe his eyes are a shade not customary where he’s living, or maybe he has a unique scar. But on the whole, I describe the minimum about a character’s appearance. As a reader, I don’t want an overload of details. I might not growl about it in a review, but I do prefer being able to put my own mental spin on a character. 

Fair enough. My YA characters also tend to be mythological beings which aren’t quite in the mainstream yet (certain types of yokai, fenrirs, huldra etc) so I really can’t get around doing at least a few lines of description. I think of it like scene setting: when you’ve set such a lush stage, why would your characters be fuzzy blobs moving around it? Alsoooo when you leave it up to the imagination, those imaginations tend to be whiiiiite… :D

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21 minutes ago, KassX said:

Fair enough. My YA characters also tend to be mythological beings which aren’t quite in the mainstream yet (certain types of yokai, fenrirs, huldra etc) so I really can’t get around doing at least a few lines of description. I think of it like scene setting: when you’ve set such a lush stage, why would your characters be fuzzy blobs moving around it? Alsoooo when you leave it up to the imagination, those imaginations tend to be whiiiiite… :D

It’s very true. Sometimes you need to actually prod the readers into realizing things that should be freaking obvious. :D 

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On 4/22/2018 at 3:58 PM, BronxWench said:

Sometimes, something about a character’s appearance is relevant, and so I mention it. Maybe his eyes are a shade not customary where he’s living, or maybe he has a unique scar. But on the whole, I describe the minimum about a character’s appearance. As a reader, I don’t want an overload of details. I might not growl about it in a review, but I do prefer being able to put my own mental spin on a character. 

I like to do a little bit more than minimum, just so that describing “red T-shirt” isn’t obvious that it’s important, but going into an involved description into the intricacies of the stitch/weave pattern is typically beyond where I’ll write to. 

22 hours ago, BronxWench said:

It’s very true. Sometimes you need to actually prod the readers into realizing things that should be freaking obvious. :D 

A little extra is fine, ie, lamp is green … I mean, do I need to remind the readers that a male character has a penis?  Probably not, but I’ll still add in some mention of it :)

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@Desiderius Price Thanks! Yeah, I prefer realism too, to an extent. IE: In a medieval fantasy I'll look the other way if the princess smells like flowers as opposed to b.o. because she hasn’t bathed in days, versus a story where a parent visits a school where his child’s being bullied, finds the kids in question, and threatens them. I certainly understand wanting to smack the bullies, but that is in no way plausible, more so in this case because the parent is an important political figure.

I guess I look for realism in how people react to things around them and how the world responds to their behavior. So the whole “the world bends over backwards to accommodate my precious cinnamon roll” stuff annoys me greatly.

I admit to be willing to ignore spelling mistakes if the story’s engaging enough and the author’s aware of the problem (“I know about the spelling errors, but I don’t have a beta and I’m trying my best to catch them” – I can sympathize. It can be hard to find a beta, especially if you don’t write in a popular fandom). But if there’s enough of them I will max out. Just haven't run into any that have made me do that.The ones that have a ton of spelling errors also tend to have other problems too, so I don’t really get too far with those.

On 4/20/2018 at 4:27 PM, Praetor said:

 I guess my biggest personal peeve is lack of detail.  A lot of internet fiction I’ve read take place in a vacuum, with the setting only vaguely described and characters who lack motivations or identities.  Fan fiction tends to be especially guilty of this because novice or lazy authors may just assume we know the characters and setting.  Failing to fill in the blanks makes immersing the reader into the story difficult.  This makes the story inaccessible to newer readers, doesn’t convey what the author has in mind, and ultimately doesn’t build upon the established lore.

Yes, yes, yes. I see that quite a bit too, and it drives me loco.

Joe looked angry. “I am mad, Max.” Then he went home.

His dog Bart looked at him and said “Woof.”

Joe sat down.

Suddenly Mom walked in. “Joe, let’s go to the movies.”

That’s not much of an exaggeration of the fics I've seen that are like this. Can I get some more story in my story, please?

Edited by Dirty Unicorn

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