1. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Inconsistancies In Novels....your thoughts.

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Ashleigh, Jan 6, 2010.

    Are they forgivable? I think not!

    I just read two books in two days. Yes, Yes, they're not exactly challenging reads...I read them for the vampiric/girly/slightly erotic value. What can I say? I love the TV show TrueBlood, and so I thought it'd be appropriate to read the books the show was based on, by Charlaine Harris.

    The first one was good, but there was one inconsistancy - she read a vampires mind when she is apparrently blocked from them.

    The second was fruitless and messy. There were many, many inconsistancies - some large, some minor. She seemed to go with one narrative, disreguard it, and then move onto another without resolving the first. There were pointless interactions and characters that didn't fit, and the attitude of the narrator changed at the flick of a switch!

    One of the inconsistancies was ridiculous - she'd fallen asleep at Dawn, the vampire went to his coffin. She awoke twelve hours later - and then described it as being four o'clock in the morning!

    What's up with this?!


    The whole book felt rushed, messy, and unsatisfying. They can only be described as...Paranormal romance/mystery novels. They aren't by any strecth thought-provoking, or even very original; however, they're an entertaining read, so i'm reading them.

    However, given that it's easy enough to read that I managed to finish two books in two days, I'm left wondering - were those inconsistancies necessary? I mean, she can't possibly have been editing properly. I just feel that the entire book was wasted because of such silly little things.


    What are your thoughts on inconsistancies in books? Do you think they're sloppy and neglegant on the author's/editor's part, or is it forgivable?

    For me, it ruins the entire illusion of the story...if I got anything from this book, It's that I've learnt to be a more attentive writer.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Something like this is definitely sloppy and negligent. I blame the author more than the editor because an author should be able to see inconsistencies in his/her own book. Not only does this spoil the experience for readers, but it can also tarnish the writer's reputation and ruin the writer's chances for awards, grants, etc.

    I'm guessing the books you mentioned were rushed during the publication process just for the sake of getting them out on the market and making money. However, major inconsistencies are unforgivable. I can't believe the author didn't think the book through, and I'm surprised the editor wasn't able to catch those mistakes.

    This is sort of a tangent, but I've noticed that writers and casual readers pick up different things when reading. For example, I can spot plot holes or any other inconsistencies a lot easier than my other friends who like to read. (As far as I know, none of them are writers.) Writing has really helped me read novels/stories from a writer's perspective, which is helpful when writing my own stories.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Some inconsistencies are probably inevitable. However, glaring inconsistencies with timeline or significant plot elements do interfere with the reader's enjoyment.

    I read quite a few mystery novels, and timelines are absolutely crucial, so something like that would really be a showstopper.

    On the other hand, some inconsistencies arise from revision. At some stage, it is very possible the author had her fall asleep in late afternoon. I can see how it could slip through the cracks after half a dozen revision cycles.
     
  4. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    I catch inconsistancies alot. In movies especially, it drives me mad. My novel has alot of dates written in it to show passages of time, and I have been a stickler about it lining up (how annoying would it be if I said someone got pregnant in January, and then had the baby in December? An eleven month pregnancy is not gonna happen. haha) It's not hard, just write down your plot as you go, and if you skip around fill in the holes. Of course some minor things can get by, but major ones annoy me. It's like, if the writer didn't care enough to be thoughtful about it, then why am I being thoughtful enough to read it? A few is passable, but alot of it is laziness, in my opinion.
     
  5. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ I agree. Small inconsistancies might be inevitable, but more than one over the course of two books is just too much for my liking.

    It's actually a frequently asked question on her website! I can only think that the first book had alot of success, and so the others were rushed. Either that or she just rushes them anyway - she's written alot of Novels before this saga.

    Still, you'd think that as a woman who primarily writes Mystery novels, she'd be a bit more tactful, especially with times and dates...

    I too agree that if the author couldn't care enough to make sure there were no inconsistancies, then I don't see why I should care enough to keep reading them...if the next couple are just as bad then I won't bother buying the rest. It's a shame really. :(
     
  6. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    Inconsistencies are inevitable when you get into a large number of books. Dragonlance is notorious for this. I've seen quite a number of books where the author clearly didn't read too much of the source material and got things glaringly wrong. But since they're usually some newbie writer that the series just used for a book or two I don't particularly care. It's when the the main writers make several noticable errors is when I realize if they don't care about the books enough to make them accurate most of the time, why should I (aka I stop buying them)?
     

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