Thursday, December 9, 2010

Literary Blog Hop: Pet Peeves

Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. If you features book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion, you too can join in!

This week's question is:


What is one of your literary pet peeves? Is there something that writers do that really sets your teeth on edge? Be specific, and give examples if you can.

I do have a few literary pet peeves. One being the use of present tense by the narrator. And when it done in a Historical novel, I want to throw the book! However, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens remains to be one of my all time favourite novels, despite the use of present tense. But every writer, who does that, is not Charles Dickens

I also do not like long sentences. When the prose goes on and on, without line breaks, I am completely lost. And when an author describes pages and pages, and does not show anything for it. I also do not like when there are too long conversation. I also do not care for dialects, which don't make much sense.

16 comments:

mel u said...

yes sometimes the use of the present tense can be distracting in context of a historical novel

LifetimeReader said...

Having grown up in the South with Faulkner reigning as king, I must say that long sentences are one of those things you might have to be exposed to in the womb to make any sense later! I keep thinking I need to read that contemporary novel--now I've forgotten which one--that is written in a single sentence. But as a writer, I completely agree with you!

Em said...

The use of the present tense? That's original, I don't think it has ever bothered me. I'll pay more attention in the future, see how I feel about it.

Amy said...

I have mixed experience with present tense. I know I've read some where it annoyed me, and others where it didn't. Jess Walter's The Financial Lives of the Poets stands as one that works for me; keeping the story in immediate real time contributed to its impact.

Dusky Literati said...

What helps me with dialects and poetry is reading aloud. The reading flows as you get into the cadence of the writing.

IngridLola said...

present tense is just weird, and, in my opinion, almost impossible to pull off.

parrish lantern said...

Was it historical when the tense was used?.

winstonsdad said...

think it was present when written ,but I enjoy long sentence ,but lived in germany and german fiction full of long sentences ,all the best stu

parrish lantern said...

Am with you on long sentences, stu, I like it when an author takes off on flights of prose, as long as they land again

Melody said...

either I don't often read books using present tense, or I don't notice it...I haven't really thought about it before! I do enjoy a long sentence now and again if it makes sense, but not a book filled entirely with them.

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I enjoy a good long sentence I have to admit - like Henry James in Portrait of a Lady or By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolano.

In By Night in Chile some of the sentences go on for over a page. I love it.

I don't think I have ever particularly noticed the use of present tense, although my pet peeve is related to first and third person narrative

Anbolyn said...

Hi, visiting from the blog hop.
I know what you mean about dialects - they bother me too. I got stymied recently reading Their Eyes Were Watching God because of the dialects. Maybe one day I'll try again.

Rachel said...

all good points. Although, the use of present tense doesn't bother me so much.. but too much dialogue does!

Risa said...

Yes, I the use of present tense bothers me most of the time. I find it rather distracting for some reason, and very difficult to get into the story itself.

Alyce said...

Present tense drives me crazy, and there have been very few books that I've read where it works well and doesn't distract from the story.

One of my pet peeves is when the author tells the ending of the story first and then flashes back to the beginning - that hardly ever goes off well either.

Susan (Reading World) said...

Present tense often feels gimmicky to me, although with first person POV it works better than with third person. Once I get into the story I stop noticing it though.