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Feeling “Series”ously annoyed July 23, 2011

Posted by Realitybypass in Rants.
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Okay universe…why can we not identify books in a series in a standard easy way?  Why do you do this to me?  Why why why why…

So I’m a little peeved.  One of my favorite past times is to buy books for my adorable husband…myself as well, but he’s cuter when I buy him books.  The last three or four times I’ve bought him books I’ve managed to buy books that were NOT the first in the series.  When buying in the bookstore I check the front cover for the book lists.  I check the spine for a number.  I check the front of the book for some CLUE as to where this book attaches or if it stands alone.  And still I manage to continually buy out of synch.  This is one of the things which seriously drives me to the Internet for purchasing because I can figure out which book in a series I’m looking at.  I prefer the immediacy of walking into a bookstore and walking back out with a pile of bright shiny books, but so many brick and mortar don’t carry all the books in a series and then their not marked…thank you Amazon.

Grr…argh…I must go place an order now.

Jana

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Book/Movie Pet Peeves: Stupidity March 30, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Book Review, Musings, Rants, Writing Craft.
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I went to see “Haunting in Connecticut” with a friend this weekend. While I do admit to watching much of it from behind my fingers, or over her shoulder, my fear subsided near the middle/end to simple irritation. The story started well, and you could even understand why everyone ignored the obvious creepiness: the protagonist was on medication that could cause possible hallucinations and “strange and psychotic” behavior. So even the protagonist believes he’s seeing hallucinations, at first, rather than ghostly manifestations. I was pleased with this, it seemed to explain why the family would stay in an obviously terrifying situation, which is usually where horror movies fall down.

But then it fell apart: They all experience these terrifying visions and find light scares it away, but then when drunken husband comes and destroys all lights they huddle in the dark and don’t even try to explain what happened? They don’t /leave/ the house and go somewhere safe? Um… They had it revealed, without a doubt, that the house was possessed; but then… when they’re warned that “spiritual aftershocks” will happen for a few days, not only do they not GO anywhere else, they leave the children alone in the house? Hellloooo. Then the protagonist, who realizes that the dead bodies must be released and burned, returns to the house he, for some inexplicable reason barricades himself in to set it on fire? Again, umm… And the mother goes racing into the barricaded, burning house to sit under a table in the fire while it burns around her, so she can hold her (should already be dead from cancer) son… umm… Blah. The fire department could have saved him, or frankly… he never should have barricaded himself in in the first place?

So… rant off, but my moral is: your characters can be duped, misled and misconstrue information. That makes a good twisty plot, but if you have to rely on stupidity to move your plot forwards, come up with another way! You may want the kids to be endangered by ghosts, but why would any sane protagonist leave them in the haunted house? You may need for your villian to escape custody, but the ‘leaving the door unlocked’ is just not the way. Creativity before stupidity! Woohoo.