Open Book Blog Hop – Pet peeves

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This weeks topic is: ‘What are your pet peeves regarding grammar and spelling?’

I’ll tell you a secret, I am a forgiving reader. If a book has an engaging and interesting story line and I enjoy the characters I frequently don’t even notice small things like the odd spelling error or punctuation hiccups.

My own spelling has never been a strong point although I do try to ensure my spelling in posts is correct. I often type quickly and then I can make careless mistakes, but that is a function of my always trying to do to many things at the same time. Did I ever tell you that I read both of my blogs at the same time, one on each of my computers. I also read both of my twitter accounts at the same time. It usually works for me, but occasionally I get into a small muddle.

The most important thing about a book for me is a unique plot. There are so many books out there that are a rehash of old story-lines and, as I have been reading avidly all my life and have read thousands of books, that is a turn off for me. I was reading a book of short stories compiled by Roald Dahl the other day and I came across a story that reminded me of Stephen King’s book The Dark Half. I wondered if he’d ever read this story.

I do like a book to be well written and appreciate good English and descriptive language. Those of you who read my blog regularly know I have a passion for classic books and enjoy books with a strong dystopian and political message [even if I don’t necessarily agree with the message]. I have always found classic books to be well written even if they contain the odd typing or spelling error.

I have been most fortunate in my writing and blogging community and nearly all of the books I have read by Indie authors have been properly edited and mistakes are rare. I often pick up at least one error but that does not bother me and I certainly wouldn’t point out one or two minor errors in a book review. I will comment if the book is full of errors, obviously, as that would become annoying and I would feel obligated to do so.

What are your pet peeves with writing and reading?  Please click on the link below to find out what other writers think about this topic.

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
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46 thoughts on “Open Book Blog Hop – Pet peeves

  1. Robbie, my pet peeve for writing is the same as for movies: the use of a swearword as an easy “out” for conveying emotion or frustration. I have NO problem with swearing, it’s the laziness that comes with the use…OK I’m fine now…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t come across a lot of swear words in most books I read, John. Stephen King, of course, uses a lot of swearing but it is usually in keeping with the circumstances and type of character he is writing about. He doesn’t use swearing all the time for everything or everyone. Your point is well made, and I don’t like swearing either.

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  2. My spelling has never been a strength, that I why I edit more manuscripts thirty and forty times before sending them out to literary agents. So, Too many mistakes would really disturb me. I would have no patience for that.

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  3. For me, grammar and spelling are an important part of every written message. Yes, I mess up like every writer and appreciate constructive feedback. When it comes to books, I believe a professional edit is essential.

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  4. When something is badly written, that probably bothers me the most. I like writing to stand up to rereading, something that makes me stop and think. Interesting characters and a good plot are the other 2 important components. A book needs 2 out of 3 to engage me. (K)

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    1. I also don’t like an obviously badly written book. I can understand all the comments about head hopping and other irksome things I didn’t know about before I started writing books, but the story is paramount for me and I can forgive a lot if its a great one. Thanks Kerfe. I always enjoy your comments. They make me think, just like your poems.

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      1. Yes, I’m well. Thank you for asking, Robbie. I had a good writing weekend. I worked on the opening of the new novel and wrote a new tanka without even intending to! I was in quite a giddy state by suppertime.

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  5. I love a solid plot which moves at a steady pace and which is enhanced by good, descriptive scene setting, not excessively long and followed by natural dialogue – all helping to prevent me, the reader, losing track of the plot. There are many Indie Authors whose books I enjoy, and for the most part, punctuation and edits are okay with the occasional lack of a comma or something, but because the British and American Punctuation rules don’t always agree, I tend never to judge a book on its punctuation. One thing I really don’t like though, is excessive everything, especially when it comes to using the F— word or other, constant profanities in every sentence. Sometimes, if justified, it can be acceptable but for me, it remains a pet peeve.

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    1. Thank you, Maretha, for joining in with your thoughts. I also don’t like bad language in a book, but I don’t come across it often due to my book choices. I can’t think of a single book I’ve read recently that has any bad language which is probably why I never even thought of it when I wrote this post.

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      1. I was doing a favour for someone from my local book club, prereading his WW2 fictionalised biography W.I.P. and there were a number of ‘choice’ words, but I’ve come across a few of those words lately when reviewing books, not of necessity from our online club, and was disappointed to come across bad language which somehow one does not expect to find much of in historical fiction. That is probably why I mostly review children’s books and/or classics these days.

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      2. That is good to know, Maretha. I don’t mind bad language if it is for a particular scene in a book or type of character, like a drug dealer, where it is appropriate and necessary. I don’t like it just sprinkled through out a book. I came across a bad swear word once in a children’s book I reviewed. VEry odd, indeed.

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  6. Wow, you are an amazing multi-tasker Robbie. I agree with you, I can ignore the odd spelling mistake or grammar mistake if I am engrossed in a story. If it is not the best story, then those little mistakes are the straw for me. I am also not one who likes to see swearing in a book, unless it is for a characterization and not overdone. I have a few little grammar things that drive me crazy though. Use of the word to and too as well as things like “he did it on accident”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Carla, the sort of language error you have mentioned in your comment would also irritate me. I don’t like books that are badly written. I have noticed that people who write in English that has been learned as a second language often use more formal English than I would, but I don’t mind that. Incorrect use of language is something else entirely. It is important to have books properly edited before you publish them.

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  7. It didn’t used to bother me as much, but now if I find a book full of errors, i close it and don’t finish reading it. I have better things to do with my time.

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    1. I agree, Patricia. I will forgive the odd error, especially if it is an obvious typing error or where the editor or author has just missed something, but a book that is not edited at all and is packed with errors is another story entirely.

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  8. A year or so ago I started experimenting with writing from different POVs and tenses and such. I drove myself bonkers off and on when I would switch from a short story in first person, to a book I was writing in third. I’m glad I did it, but boy was I making mistakes left and right while I learned!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Okay, I’m going to dodge the clams in this because I baited my post with them. BUT, for Roberta and Richard and anyone else who has “an original thought”, sorry. Original locale, original devices. Star Trek was Bonanza in space. This kind of information is dangerous in the wrong hands. People who hope you are unaware will charge you money. Read this, follow the links, don’t be too smart for it because the only real difference is how you flesh it out.
    https://thepulp.net/pulp-info/the-pulp-companion/summer-2003/plots/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No reason to agree or disagree, not my post. I will embed links in my own but try not to advertise on other’s sites. I submitted that link as a reference/ links to other references regarding plot. Conscious or not. “The Great Gatsby” and the Four Elements go back to Pre Socratic Empedocles 2,400 years ago. The form of the same book is structurally the same as one of FSF’s influences. The costumes and locale were changed. Tolstoy said, “All great literature is one of two stories; a man (subject) goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” Try it on your own work or on any other’s. Start with Pulitzer and Nobel winners. I was merely offering suggested academic discourse on craft.

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  10. I’m not a terribly forgiving reader. If the book has an exceptionally good plot, yes I’ll forgive a couple of mistakes, but if they’re consistent, no, I’ll chuck it in.
    I guess for me the most irritating is ‘sentient limbs’ (‘Mike’s hand reached out and grabbed Jack’ – instead of ‘Mike reached out and grabbed Jack’). I hate sentient limbs. Pops me right out of the story.
    Not a big fan of passive voice either (‘Thunder could be heard outside the castle’ – instead of ‘thunder crashed outside the castle’).
    Those really irritate me and make me consider putting down a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have to admit that bad grammar bothers me; perhaps it’s from years of having to grade student papers. And what is ironic is that it could be a case of the kettle calling the pot black, because I sometimes wonder how good my grammar is. I’m usually OK with the spelling part of it, it’s the rest I’m not so sure about…

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    1. Hi Jim, I was always good at English language but not as good with spelling. I learned to read very young using the ITA method (Initial Teaching Alphabet). I became a great reader very early on but my spelling never recovered.

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  12. I agree that a compelling, unique plot is essential. Characters are also important, but I die a little on the inside each time I hear someone say “a retelling of ___ but with unique characters.”

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