Jeffe Kennedy Blog
RITA ® Award-Winning Author of Fantasy Romance
If I had a superpower back in the day, it was picking a book at the library that was not the first in the series despite my best efforts.
I was kinda bummed we never got to see the dudes on the Kushiel covers since they sounded like such hotties but I guess half-dressed chicks sell better. 😉
You have silversteel weapons so steeling your spine should still work, no? I don’t mind fantasy written in modern vernacular. The problem with writing in an older style with thees and thous is that it can make it harder to read. I know it takes me longer to get into it. Poor editing like your yolk/yoke example will knock me out of a story faster than a wizard going “Yo, what’s up, my dudes?” Though one time, an author used “bolshie” in a fantasy book and I did a double-take on that one.
Ack!! Really good point about Silversteel. Oops. Oh well, I’m committed now!
And right on not getting to see Joscelin and Imriel? They could’ve given us ONE cover each of them! Women need eye-candy too. Ah the better to imagine them, I guess.
I agree on the thees and thous and, I tell you what, that yolk thing DID pop me out of the dream every damn time! Laboring under the yolk of Carthage – what an image!
Bolshie as in Bolshevik? Yeah, I can see that.
And I’m with you on that superpower. Picking up the second in the series, not being able to finish a series. #KidsTheseDays have NO idea of that agony!
Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! 😀
I’m picturing a large fried egg hovering over Carthage like the alien ships in Independence Day.
I have a more visceral reaction to swearing when listening to audio books than I do reading in digital or print, but language has never yanked me out of the story.
I do feel yanked out of a story if the author has a character do something or react to something in a way which seems out of character and it is solely to move the plot along. I do stop and think “What?” or even “WTF.” (ha!) I do agree the term “yanked me out of the story” may be a poor choice in this type of situation but I have used it in the past.
I read a series once where the plot of one of the later books revolved around the making of a movie based on the events and life of the heroine of the first book. The pretend film had the same name as the title of the first book and the whole situation made me feel yanked out of the story because it was both too cutesy and forced.
The only other situations I feel yanked out of the story is when I am reading a book (usually an older contemporary but it has happened with more current books as well) where the characters are discussing an actor, sports figure, etc who has since become notorious for poor behavior. Slightly less so if the characters are saying how hot so-and-so is (insert name of famous person here) and that particular person does nothing for me or is one I dislike. But mention of famous people in a positive context in a story when we now know they are total creeps does impact me when I am reading and “yanked me out of the story” is a good description of that feeling.
It can also be really strange when a character is reading a book by a not-household-name author and I know the other author is friends with the author who wrote the book.
I can’t think of a case where I have not finished a book when things like this have happened. But I have set books aside when I had not planned to stop reading. Usually for a few minutes to a few hours, but sometimes for months or more.
But “modern” language in fantasy and sci fi doesn’t bother me.
All of this is to say it is not words by themselves that yank me out of a story with the exception of names as I noted above.
That’s all very interesting – thanks for sharing! I could see that on audio. In fact, I understand that it’s harder to get an audio deal if there’s a lot of swearing, especially in the first few pages.
HATE when characters are bent out of shape to advance the plot. FIE!
Was that one of the In Death books? I think probably not since Nadine’s book had a different name and the movie was named the same. I thought that was actually pretty well done.
I am not innocent of including famous names in my books, but I’ve stopped doing it (also, I’m not writing contemporary) because I heard Angela James advise against it for that very reason. Just like we’re learning not to name awards after people. There’s a tangle. I saw one the other day where a character praised Woody Allen movies and I cringed.
I’ve dropped Easter Eggs to friends’ books (and I know of one that stood out too much, but oh well), but I’ve never seen the actual name drop! Hrm.
No, it was the Adrenaline Highs series by Dee J Adams.
The situation on the In Death series has a few surface similarities, but is handled much better. Plus I adore Nadine so am always happy when she appears.
The actors/sports stars references bug me as they are more often used to describe a character’s looks. Not everyone finds that specific person attractive, so authors are better off sticking with more generalized descriptions IMO.
I’ve come across several mentions of the former White House occupant in older books the past few years. And that’s does not make for a happy reading experience. These were books published in the late 80s/early 90s so who could have known then? But that just goes to show why real people shouldn’t be used.
The author name drop thing bugged me because I know they are good friends in real life and it just didn’t need to be there for any reason. She could’ve said the heroine was reading a romance book or just a book. It didn’t impact the scene in any way.
Ah – I think I read the first of those, but not the rest. I agree on Nadine! She’s awesome. All authors should get a rock star boyfriend 😉
Yeah… it’s jarring to see that FWHO in movies too!
Totally get that.
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