Author Topic: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves  (Read 3307 times)

Offline 510bhan

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Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« on: July 11, 2011, 03:01:35 PM »
Came across this when I was browsing through CP Anthologies -- thought it might strike a chord with folk

Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves

http://anthologies2011.blogspot.com/2011/03/author-dont-care-agenteditorreader-pet.html

Offline A.W.M

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 04:43:16 PM »
some  information we all need to be aware of.  Thanks for sharing.  And oh...that Honey Badger?  One bad dude.
Most people live and die
with their music still unplayed.
They never dare to try.

~ Mary Kay Ash

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 05:59:34 PM »
I liked the blog spot too. I just wish the badger would have taken out the narrator.  ;D

Skip

Offline ma100

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 06:29:33 PM »
One thing that did concern me was this.
Quote
“Information dumps disguised as dialogue.”

So am I wrong in thinking you are showing back story etc with two characters chatting about the past?

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 06:32:04 PM »
One thing that did concern me was this.
So am I wrong in thinking you are showing back story etc with two characters chatting about the past?

I wouldn't think so Ma -- more when a character delivers a spiel that's really exposition I suspect or rants on about a certain belief or opinion. :-\ :-\ :-\

Offline Don

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 06:36:09 PM »
Quote
I just wish the badger would have taken out the narrator.

 ;D ;D ;D

Quote
So am I wrong in thinking you are showing back story etc with two characters chatting about the past?

There is nothing wrong with back story if it is information the reader needs to push the story forward. Keep it as brief as possible. Break it up into smaller chunks if you can and intersperse it throughout your story. Creating characters just for the purpose of exposition is the red flag.
I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 07:00:19 PM »
One thing that did concern me was this.
So am I wrong in thinking you are showing back story etc with two characters chatting about the past?

No, that's not what agent's hate. They hate this:


"Jim, you know our daughter, Laura, who is our second child, is a straight A student. I mean, isn't it amazing how she became Class President after all that campaigning last year? And I'm so glad she is unlike our son who is a drug user and abuser. Remember when he married his first wife, in Vegas, and divorced her the next year to marry her sister?"


That is an information dump in the disguise of dialogue.

This is different:


"Can't believe Jim's gone."

"Yeah."

"Keep expecting to hear his voice. Remember his laugh?"

I covered my face to hide the tears.



Information dumps happen between two character who know the backstory since they experienced it together. However, the impatient author, has the character 'voice' these experiences not for the story, but for the reader's knowledge. It's something people who have real conversations would never do.

The information dump is for the reader, not the story or plot.

Excellent article. Thank you for posting it.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 07:10:33 PM by Wolfe »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 07:15:46 PM »
Wolfe - loved your dialogue info dump example. Cracked me up and I can imagine such horrors have been written for real ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Wolfe

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 07:22:40 PM »
You'd be amazed and horrified how often they come across the desk.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 02:49:00 AM by Wolfe »

Offline ma100

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 07:36:19 PM »
Thanks Wolfe and Don. I do get confused with these writing rules. I'll have to get a clever head like Worzel Gummage. :P
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 07:39:56 PM by ma100 »

Offline PretzelGirl

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 07:43:35 PM »
Rape scenes? I didn't realise they were a common mistake...
Smoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!
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Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 08:29:43 PM »
Wow, great stuff to know.   ;D

Offline BBBlogger

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 02:20:59 PM »
Great info! Thanks, Siobhan, for the link. :)

Offline ChalkDust

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 05:44:36 PM »
Thanks for the link, there's some really useful stuff there.  The only thing is, it slightly scares me because it makes me think about everything I've done wrong, although I hope I've not done anything quite as bad as Wolfe's description of info dumping in dialogue  :D

Offline Michael M Dickson

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Re: Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2011, 10:42:17 AM »
I'm beginning to think that writer's, editor's, and publisher's have to be the most thoroughgoing group in the entire world. Not only are writer's expected to give their writing a unique touch, one that has never been done before, but they must do it while following strict guidelines.

It can be overwhelming.

On the flip side, what an exciting challenge!! - oops.