Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022
Jarred Out of a Story

I’m listening to the book GOOD AS DEAD on audio. It’s listed as a domestic thriller, and I’m really enjoying it. The twists are coming at a rapid pace, and every one reveals something else about the main characters that’s a little shocking. It’s definitely keeping my attention.

But at one point, one of the male POV characters was describing a house just like a woman would. It jarred me enough to stop what I was doing and check my phone to confirm the author was a woman. I’d go back to find exactly what the character said, but I’d lose my place where I am now (because yeah, I’m technically savvy like that, LOL) and I don’t want to miss any of this book.

I mean no shade at all to the author. In my opinion, she’s written a stellar book and this is a nitpicky little thing. I probably noticed it more as an author who has written male character point of view and I know what a struggle it can be. I’m dead certain that I’ve made the same mistakes in my characters too.

Has that ever happened to you while your reading? Your really enjoying a book, almost hanging on the words, and something the character says jars you out of it for a few seconds?

6 comments to “Jarred Out of a Story”

  1. Silver James
    March 9th, 2022 at 9:08 am · Link

    Yes! YESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE when authors do this. There’s a best-selling author who’s very “manly-alpha” male POV characters wax poetic about women’s clothes and shoes and furnishings/decor. Drives. Me. BATTY! Men don’t care. They just…don’t. Does she look good? Yes. That’s all he cares about. Yeah, high-heels can be sexy but a biker dude should not recognize Loboutins or the fact they are “lip-stick red” in color. Ask a guy what color his true love’s eyes are? He’ll say “Blue.” “Brown.” “Green.”

    And yeah, I admit some of my males wax a little poetic about eye or hair color but that’s because they are supernaturals. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! And they wouldn’t know Kate Spade from whatever the Walmart house brand is. Just sayin’… 🤣

  2. B.E. Sanderson
    March 9th, 2022 at 2:19 pm · Link

    Eh, the other day I got knocked out by a shift in tense. Poor wording. Characters acting against their nature. Loads of stuff can knock me out of a story. If the story is holding me tightly, though, I can get back in easily. If it’s already not holding me, stuff like that can make me quit the book.

  3. Viki S.
    March 9th, 2022 at 3:22 pm · Link

    Oh that drives me crazy. I think the fact that you write makes it more annoying. Why doesn’t the editor point out how WRONG it is for our manly man to suddenly be shot up with a mega dose of estrogen?

    Well, I’m glad you are still able to enjoy the read :).

    Sure hope you are having a great Wednesday!

  4. Jenn
    March 9th, 2022 at 5:13 pm · Link

    Silver, same here! I’ve seen cases where the character was set up to know these things and/or care about them (grew up in high fashion world or was a photographer in the past, that kind of thing), but otherwise it’s odd that the character is thinking about it.

    Wizard knows a lot of about kitchens because he’s been married to me for decades and like eating. It’s logical. But a guy who lives alone and gets all his meals at restaurants wouldn’t (nothing in his backstory suggested he would). It was so strange.

    Waxing poetic about eye color can be a guy thing. When one of my sons met his wife, he told me about her smile. I knew then he was falling hard. It wasn’t something he normally noticed. There’s a place for unusual behavior because it’s telling us something unusual is happening with our main character. So you’re right on target!

    LOL on the Kate Spade :-) I know who she was but I doubt Wizard would remember her name even though we talked about it when she passed. Although sometimes he surprises me that way.

    Hope you’re having a good hump day!

  5. Jenn
    March 9th, 2022 at 5:21 pm · Link

    B.E., grrr, tense shifts. I have found myself rereading more sentences or paragraphs because of that trying to figure out what happened. Tense is one of those things I don’t pay attention too in a book until it wrong, then it’s like being slapped.

    I don’t know why editors don’t catch this stuff. In my books, they most definitely do and if it got through, it’s almost always my fault. My editors are brutal. But I’ve screwed that up with too much editing at the last minute.

    Characters going against their nature unless it’s set up and motivated by the story and character arc, drives me mad too.

    I quit books way too easy these days. But most of the time it’s in the first two or three chapters. But characters doing something irrational for them will make me close that book.

  6. Jenn
    March 9th, 2022 at 5:25 pm · Link

    Viki, editors should catch it. I just guessing from my experience, but I suspect a lot of times editors do catch it, and the author “stets” it which means leave it as I had it. I knew one or two authors like that. If the book was self pubbed, then who knows if it was edited, or maybe not a professional. Or the author just ignored the advice.

    I’ll admit if the book is good enough I’ll read past a couple issues, but if it happens over and over then I shut it for good.

    My day is going well, hope yours is too!

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