Friday, March 19, 2010

Frumpy Frocks and Mullets...OHHHH NOOOO

Have you ever started reading something and you think...hey, great book and THEN you read what the heroine is wearing and it takes you back to your youth and the days your mom wore a paisley caftan around the house? And that hero with the mullett...oh boy...blast from the past huh? Funny thing though. You aren't reading a book from the 1970's or 1980's are you? You are reading a new release. I constantly have those WTF moments when reading something and it totally takes me out of the story. It is one of my biggie pet peeves. Nothing ages an author more than not doing her homework when setting the scene in a book.

It doesn't have to be hair styles or fashions either. It can be the way the entire scene is set. Lava lamps and little touches are a-okay if the apartment you are describing belongs to a character who loves quirky little things here and there. Not a biggie. But when his/her 'pad' has Austin Powers place stamped all over it, you know you are reading something by an author who has her head stuck in the past. Imagine this, the hero brings the heroine to his place for a romantic dinner and a little seduction. In his pov he thinks, damn, she is so hot, so sexy, she looks like a rocker chick from an 80's girl power band.
Or better yet, he thinks...I can't want to get her out of smokin' hot dress with the white pilgrim collar and the big cabbage roses all over it. Ummm Hmmmm what a smoldering hot temptress. I'm going to carry her across my shag carpet to my black satin-covered heart-shaped bed and screw the perm right out of her hair. She will run her fingers through that big wad of hair on the back of my head, too. It gets me hot just thinking out it.

This is one of my big writing/reading pet peeves. Everyone has them so it's okay to bitch and whine about it here. I do it all the time. Let's face it, we all have our pet peeves, those little detail things that take us right out of a story. What are some of yours?

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11 comments:

Cecile said...

Great post... that took me back, lol. Not sure if this is a pet peeve or just irritating as all h3ll... when the scene is flowing and everything is going good.. and then out of left field the author throws something "that just does not belong" kinda thing in the scene... I have a few more.. but I do not want to ramble...
TGIF!!!

Regina Carlysle said...

TGIF to you too, Cecile. And hey...ramble away anytime.That's pretty much what we do around here most of the time. Yeah. I think it's just a 'stuff that doesn't belong' thing. You just know it doesn't fit into the scene and you wonder why the author does it.

Patsy said...

The only thing that really bothers me and will make me put down a book before I finish reading it is when the author gets too detailed. He or she will go on page upon page,discribing whatever. I keep waiting for them to tell me what color the fleas on the dog are! That is my pet peeve.

Regina Carlysle said...

I know. No one wants to be able to count a hero's steps to a door, watch him reach out, grab the knob and turn before stepping inside. Yeesh. Minutae!!!! Nothing slows a scene more. We don't need to know her toothpaste has red, green and white stripes and that it smells 'minty fresh'.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

ROTFLMAO! I love your post! Linda Howard is my favorite romance/suspense author, especially her older stuff and every time I re-read, I have to redesign the clothes on her characters and bring them up to date. I can't bear polyester and panty-hose! I pretend I didn't just read that....

Madison Scott said...

HA! Great post, Reg. You hit one of my pet peeves. Another is when they write the male POV and he doesn't sound like a man. Men think, sound and act completely different than women and it drives me crazy to read a man who sounds nothing like one.

Von said...

That outfit you have on the blog reminds me of Mrs. Roper from Three's Company..I am cringing...OMG. I know exactly what you mean though. If you want me to see the character as being hip enough to have toe curling sex and do some of the things described in the story, then you need to make sure they character is not stuck in a time warp....It makes it hard to accept it you know. Because often times I will read something and think there is no way in heck that a person like him/her would ever get down like THAT........ :)

Connie Northrop said...

LOL I've read a few books like that. I usually make sure I check any future books I might buy from the author, if I even bother.

Now, what's funny is to find an older book that was accurate at the time. Those can be a real crack-up. GRIN

Adele Dubois said...

Too funny. I admit I haven't read books with out-of-date settings and fashions, but I've read plenty with old-fashioned language. Most recent was the book whose hero thought, "Hells bells", before having sex with the heroine. I nearly laughed myself sick. Who says "hells bells" in the new millenium? Certainly not a sexy alpha male.

Best--Adele

misskallie2000 said...

When I look back over the last 55 yrs of being an avid reader, I have read a little of all genres and the style of writing has changed, just as fashion. What was called sexy is now normal. We have to go with the flow or just pick out the books we want to read if you can find them. LOL.. Clean writing has almost been extinguished so we have to go to YA books if that is what we want to read. I don't mind sexy, but there is a limit to what my mind can take in. LOL.. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes so to each his own..

Anne Rainey said...

fashions don't bother me. But Patsy has a great point. I hate when an author seems unable to shut about all the crap she learned researching the story. Details, details, details, details, details...yes, good for you. You can describe things right down to the last bloody cell. Can we get back to the damn story now? LOL I hate that!

Also, another pet peeve when reading is when the author writes in the hero's pov, but it seems she forgot he's a guy and NOT a girl. Change the name and suddenly Jay is Jane. You can't tell the difference because Jay is the most feminine freaking dude ever. For the last time, men do not think or act like women, so stop writing them that way! There's a reason we women love a masculine man. Because, well, we're women!