Where Do I Start? #amreading #MFRWauthor #Blog Challenge

This week’s prompt in the #MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge is “My biggest pet peeve in a book” to which I can only reply, “Where do I start?”

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Like a lot of readers, I don’t care for the “too-stupid-to-live” heroine. I lose patience with characters like that pretty quickly.

As a historical writer/reader, I often find myself put off by historical inaccuracies. Even if I’m still enjoying the book, I find myself mumbling to myself about incorrect use of titles/forms or address, or historical details I know are wrong. I recently quit reading a Medieval romance because the characters kept saying “Okay.” Okay is American dating from some point in the 19th c. though there are differing theories as to where it came from. But it’s definitely American.

I also don’t like books (or movies) where there is no character I can relate to or root for. I know flawed characters are great for conflict, but do they all have to be unlikable?

My newest pet peeve has to do with love scenes in carriages.

Last year, I visited Prague with a writer friend, and everywhere we went in Old Town, we had to walk on cobblestones. I understand why. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means property owners and city managers are restricted in what they can do. In the old section of Bratislava we saw workmen repairing a sidewalk with, you guessed it, new cobblestones. While they make for a picturesque setting, cobblestones are hard on the feet and knees.

Prague cobblestones

Prague cobblestones, not as smooth to walk on as they look in the picture.

One evening Rebecca and I decided to take a carriage ride around Old Town Prague, though our carriage wasn’t as spiffy as this one.

Prague Carriage

Horse-drawn carriage in Prague Old Town Square

As we rode along, we found ourselves being bounced up and down and side to side, laughing all the way. The experience reminded me of the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, though not quite that bad. At least I didn’t need to find a chiropractor the next day.

At the time I said to Rebecca that I’d never be able to read a love scene in a carriage without laughing my head off! And sure enough, the first such scene I read brought back memories of the Prague carriage ride, and I laughed all the way through the scene. Not my usual reaction to a love scene, I can assure you. At least this is one pet peeve I can laugh about.

What are your pet peeves? Leave your answer in the comments section.


Use the linky list to find more pet peeves from #MFRWAuthors in the 52-Week #Blog Challenge

14 thoughts on “Where Do I Start? #amreading #MFRWauthor #Blog Challenge

  1. Ah yes, the TSTL character. I often wonder how she managed to grow into adulthood and hold down any semblance of a life with the choices she makes in the book.

    The inaccuracies is the driving force behind my reason to write contemporary. I know you can research to get it right, but I’d still worry about getting it wrong.

  2. You do have to wonder that, Meka. Though we occasionally see real life people who seem to fall into that category.

    I worry about inaccuracies, but I’m just not drawn toward writing contemporary romance.

  3. I’ll probably rile some feathers, but “too-stupid-to-live” heroine = Stephanie Plum.

    One variety of cobblestones is deliberately rough: Belgian blocks. They might as well embed tire spikes among the stones.

    • Ed, I couldn’t agree more about Stephanie Plum. It was funny for the first few books, but the shtick got old and she never learned a thing. Just kept making the stupid mistakes. I gave up on the series after 3 or 4 books, but it’s still popular, so apparently some people don’t mind TSTL sleuths.

      Maybe there was a reason for the deliberately rough cobblestones back in the days of “gardy loo”, but they are plenty annoying now.

  4. lol, I never thought about that with a ‘carriage love scene’ but makes perfect sense. I could never write historical because I’m sure I would have tons of inaccuracies. I admire historical authors for the efforts put into recreating an accurate past.

    • Believe me, Maureen, we worry about those inaccuracies, and I’ve discovered it’s always the things you didn’t think you needed to look up that were wrong.

  5. Linda, I love your pictures! Thanks for the tip on bouncing carriages. I can’t say I’ll never have my characters have a romantic encounter in a carriage, but I’ll keep it in mind that it can be pretty “bouncy”.
    And you’re so right about historical accuracy. I live in fear of getting the facts wrong. But gosh, it’s so much fun trying to dig up facts and work them into the stories.

    • After that ride, I can envision lips meeting nose instead of the intended target, head hitting roof, etc. I may have to write a comical attempt at a carriage love scene.

      I worry about getting things wrong, too, but it’s such fun to dig up the facts. You do a great job of it.

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