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Old 07-17-2013, 04:10 PM   #151
Lutraa
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No apparent fact-checking resulting in egregious errors.

Authors who include lots of description but who don't bother researching and fact-checking really piss me off. Unfortunately for me, I will often forgive the first few such errors, only to see them accumulate as I get deeper into the book. Like many readers, it can be hard for me to let go once I'm more than a chapter or two into the book.

Current case in point: I'm reading the first book in the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. So far he's got the sun rising particularly early in the morning due to summer time (AKA daylight savings time in the US) -- wrong, these seasonal time zone changes shift daylight into the evening, resulting in later sunrises. Then there's an architectural history error: the house the de Luces dwell in is the successor to an Elizabethan one burnt down by a pro-Catholic mob. The current house is Georgian. The implication is that the house burning took place around 1720 or later (start of the Georgian period), yet there was little in the way of pro-Catholic uprising in England by then. It was far more concentrated a century or more earlier (e.g. gunpowder plot).

Other authors have plants blooming at the wrong time of year, or growing in places they don't exist. Or anachronisms like devices and foods unknown to the period they are writing about (potatoes in 15th century Europe). Or women behaving in ways that just weren't part of their social reality. I'm a feminist but that doesn't mean I think my 23rd great grandmother in medieval Ireland saw herself as possessing individual rights equal to those of her male relatives or the clergy.

If you are going to include detailed descriptions and your book is general fiction, not sci-fi or fantasy, please research your geographical, historical, and sociological settings. Errors in these aspects lead me to believe you are a sloppy writer, with too little editorial support. With so many books to read and so little time, I am not patient with writers who don't want to bother getting their facts straight. I am correspondingly impressed with sci-fi and fantasy writing where the author has created and maintained a reality that is internally consistent where it breaks with the facts of my own reality. This shows a level of discipline that inclines me to invest time getting to know the book's reality.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:01 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Lutraa View Post
No apparent fact-checking resulting in egregious errors.

Authors who include lots of description but who don't bother researching and fact-checking really piss me off. Unfortunately for me, I will often forgive the first few such errors, only to see them accumulate as I get deeper into the book. Like many readers, it can be hard for me to let go once I'm more than a chapter or two into the book.

Current case in point: I'm reading the first book in the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. So far he's got the sun rising particularly early in the morning due to summer time (AKA daylight savings time in the US) -- wrong, these seasonal time zone changes shift daylight into the evening, resulting in later sunrises. Then there's an architectural history error: the house the de Luces dwell in is the successor to an Elizabethan one burnt down by a pro-Catholic mob. The current house is Georgian. The implication is that the house burning took place around 1720 or later (start of the Georgian period), yet there was little in the way of pro-Catholic uprising in England by then. It was far more concentrated a century or more earlier (e.g. gunpowder plot).

Other authors have plants blooming at the wrong time of year, or growing in places they don't exist. Or anachronisms like devices and foods unknown to the period they are writing about (potatoes in 15th century Europe). Or women behaving in ways that just weren't part of their social reality. I'm a feminist but that doesn't mean I think my 23rd great grandmother in medieval Ireland saw herself as possessing individual rights equal to those of her male relatives or the clergy.

If you are going to include detailed descriptions and your book is general fiction, not sci-fi or fantasy, please research your geographical, historical, and sociological settings. Errors in these aspects lead me to believe you are a sloppy writer, with too little editorial support. With so many books to read and so little time, I am not patient with writers who don't want to bother getting their facts straight. I am correspondingly impressed with sci-fi and fantasy writing where the author has created and maintained a reality that is internally consistent where it breaks with the facts of my own reality. This shows a level of discipline that inclines me to invest time getting to know the book's reality.
Interesting. I probably wouldn't notice the plants that much or even daylight savings time

I am pretty sure there have been feminists long before Ireland entered the medieval period. I am sure they didn't see themselves as having the same rights, but I am equally sure that many women thought they should have those rights, just as today there are still many women who believe that women should not have any rights.

I liked the first Flavia de Luce mystery, but it never occurred to me that it was meant as a historical work. Light entertainment was what I expected and what I got. Give me wit and humor over historical accuracy any day, but I can understand why you would feel outraged if you thought it was a history book, especially if it was as riddled with such errors as you imply. Speaking for myself I have no problem with the authors altering the facts to suit the story, but when I find a books with a great story and accuracy on other times and cultures as well, I appreciate it twofold.

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Old 07-17-2013, 08:25 PM   #153
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I am pretty sure there have been feminists long before Ireland entered the medieval period. I am sure they didn't see themselves as having the same rights, but I am equally sure that many women thought they should have those rights, just as today there are still many women who believe that women should not have any rights.
No one makes rules for something no one does. In the past, women who thought they ought to have these same rights tended to be presented as "shrews". I think it would be really anachronistic to portray all the women as accepted their allotted role in life without question.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:25 AM   #154
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Red flags for me : spelling mistakes and poor grammer

I want a blurbs that shows me basic subject of story and about story characters thats it, nothing more about story.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:15 PM   #155
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Red flags for me : spelling mistakes and poor grammer
Might be useful to note that the word is spelt "grammar".
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #156
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Red flags for me : spelling mistakes and poor grammer

I want a blurbs that shows me basic subject of story and about story characters thats it, nothing more about story.
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Might be useful to note that the word is spelt "grammar".

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Old 07-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #157
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Last edited by Sarah Rielle; 07-23-2013 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Sorry - don't think this was a post for this forum...don't know how to delete
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:36 PM   #158
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Sarah - you'd be better off posting your question in the "Writers' Corner" forum. That's where it would be most appropriate.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:49 PM   #159
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Thanks Harry - sorry, I actually deleted it almost immediately...I responded to the third post before scanning the rest and realising there were no questions regarding peoples red flags.

Eager beaver! Thanks for your patience.

Last edited by Sarah Rielle; 07-23-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #160
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Like most, I have a number of red flags.

Typos and poor writing in the blurb always set me off. If I can't read that, I won't be able to read the book.

A badly photoshopped cover is a red flag but not always a show-stopper.

I generally avoid books in the Romance, Christian Fiction, and YA genres. I've read and enjoyed books with these themes, but the genre conventions often lose my interest. Category romance with an HEA usually lacks enough of a plot to hold my attention; Christian genre fiction is often too heavy on the message, and I'm simply not that interested in reading about the experience of today's youth.

Another factor, which ties into YA fiction, is that I'm not fond of present tense. It's supposed to bring a sense of immediacy, but for me the artifice outweighs the immediacy. I notice it too often, and if I notice the writing the story isn't holding my attention.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:28 PM   #161
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No apparent fact-checking resulting in egregious errors.
Agreed.

Example 1. Historical (can't recall time period but was definitely too early) in which one character experiences an "electric thrill".

Example 2. An alien invasion in which a couple of people have climbed onto the backs of giant monsters, then rescued by fighter jets HOVERING over them. They are WINCHED up (or thrown a rope - I can't recall) and comfortably join the pilots in their cockpits (clearly more spacious than any fighter cockpit I've ever seen) and fly off to safety! Sure, it could have been a Harrier jumpjet but then winching someone up? It was near the end of the novel so I finished it, but I won't be picking up anything more by this author. What really disturbs me is that this was published by DAW and was in Booklist's Top Ten SF/Fantasy for its year.

Example 3. This was a movie which was actually pretty good apart from this one conversation. A nurse talks about the trauma of an operation separating conjoined twins in which the boy died and the girl survived.

I can let go a few errors but too many spelling errors will make a book unreadable. Likewise the inability to construct a sentence.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:27 PM   #162
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[QUOTE=jehane;2584563]Agreed.

Example 2. An alien invasion in which a couple of people have climbed onto the backs of giant monsters, then rescued by fighter jets HOVERING over them. They are WINCHED up (or thrown a rope - I can't recall) and comfortably join the pilots in their cockpits (clearly more spacious than any fighter cockpit I've ever seen) and fly off to safety! Sure, it could have been a Harrier jumpjet but then winching someone up? It was near the end of the novel so I finished it, but I won't be picking up anything more by this author. What really disturbs me is that this was published by DAW and was in Booklist's Top Ten SF/Fantasy for its year.


This reminded me that I read a book (otherwise error-free) where the main character's car was repossessed. The car was hauled onto the tow truck by a "wench". I figure that was one strong woman
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:07 AM   #163
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It is entirely shallow, but I frequently skip fiction books that have amateurish covers, especially those using actual photos or photo-realistic images (particularly in the fantasy genre). I'd rather have a text only one. Ideally, the cover should be drawn or painted. (But I understand that this is a cost issue for self-publishing authors who may not have artist friends.)
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:55 AM   #164
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It is entirely shallow, but I frequently skip fiction books that have amateurish covers, especially those using actual photos or photo-realistic images (particularly in the fantasy genre). I'd rather have a text only one. Ideally, the cover should be drawn or painted. (But I understand that this is a cost issue for self-publishing authors who may not have artist friends.)
It's a cost issue for traditional publishers too. More and more of them are moving away from that sort of thing. TOR still does quite a bit of original artwork, and publishers will pay for it for the more successful authors, but I think it will be less and less common. It's much cheaper to buy stock art.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:48 PM   #165
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Pretty much teen, young adult stuff are red flags for me.
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