We all have them, of course, but there are some that just irk you more than anything else. I have been compiling this list in my draft folder for a while and think it’s about time to post it. I’ll probably come back and add more as new things start to get on my nerves as well.
- Using Earth-related terminology in fantasy-built worlds that do not take place in our world or any semblance of our world. By this I mean using the names for our months, references to our history and culture, etc. Because in reality, there should be no reference. The months especially get to me. Half of them are named after Roman deities and dictators! Obviously they don’t exist in these made-up worlds! I would much rather it be something like “oh that will happen after the Harvest moon” or “at the turning of spring” or just idk make up some month names….
- COVER CHANGES MID-SERIES. I don’t really have to say much more about that.
- Using LGBTQ as almost plot twist type moments. I’ve seen this happen in a few books lately (a lot being in books by a certain fae-queen writer), and it kind of makes me feel twisted inside. These characters aren’t there to be plot twists. Their revelations of who they are and who they have feelings for shouldn’t come as part of a shock-type moment, or tossed in at the end like an afterthought. If you want to be inclusive, be inclusive from the start. This is part of this character, not all of a sudden, but from the moment they are introduced. If their coming out is an important moment in the book – whether as a relationship development or something, that’s fine, but I should see it coming with small hints here and there. Even if it’s just mentioning a past relationship or having them look at someone a specific way….I shouldn’t have to find out at the end of the book that I have more in common with this character than I previously thought, nor should I feel like it’s being used to shock me.
- BASIC WEATHER PATTERNS. Do you know how many times I’ve read about a raging storm and the protagonist looking at the moon in the same scene? Even if the storm eased up or stopped I think the clouds would still be there. (And don’t get me started on how the phases of the moon work…)
- When authors don’t fully do research about certain professions. I am a lighting designer and in three books alone this past year I have read scenes that take place in a theatre and things happen THAT NEVER WOULD. In one they still had ropes and sandbags for their fly system and like hell that would ever be allowed to exist anymore if OSHA has a say. [EDIT: So as someone pointed out in the comments below, some older theatres, especially schools, still might have these fly systems due to financial inability to update them to more safe systems.] I think also the MC in that book called the catwalks “bridges” and just, ouch (but she’s a 12 year old so I can let it pass). In another, to make it seem like someone was in danger, a light just falls off the pipe and nearly kills the MC and one of the character off-handedly says “oh yeah you have to really tighten those bolts because they’re stripped” LIKE NO WHY ARE YOU HANGING LIGHTS WITH STRIPPED BOLTS THAT SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING AT ALL AND ALSO WHERE ARE YOUR SAFETY CABLES. And then finally in the last one (in which a light also fell, almost killing the MC, and this time in the middle a frickin show run), the MC and the love interest are in the light booth, and the love interest has her “program lights” by having her punch in random number he yells at her and letting the computer “record” it. Nope, nope nope. Not how it works. You have to put channel numbers at certain levels. You build entire looks and record the cue. You don’t just hit a number, watch a moving light do it’s thing, and then sit back while the computer “records” it without giving any more commands. And moving lights don’t just do things without you telling it exactly what to do!!!! Not to mention this was happening WEEKS before tech, which is when you actually record all of the cues because guess what, the actors’ blocking changes all the time before tech week. It just made everything I do as a freelance lighting designer look like child’s play and angered me to absolutely no end.
- SEPARATION DURING THE SEQUEL. So a friend of mine pointed out an interesting thing I had never noticed before about sequels (especially in trilogies) – they usually involve the main characters all being separated for the majority, or at least a large chunk, of the story in the second book. And for some reason, it’s always the second book. There are some cases where it doesn’t happen, but ever since she pointed it out to me, I can’t stop noticing it….
So what are your pet peeves? Any I haven’t listed on here that aren’t ones that others might not think about? Have I ruined your reading experience now in any way (if so, sorry I guess?)?