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Pet peeves in stories.

Severusmax

Any particular pet peeves occur to you as a writer and reader? If so, what are they and how serious are they to you? For me, a major one is when are a poly guy somehow abruptly adopts a monogamous lifestyle without any clear reason, simply because the writer thinks that this is the only stable arrangement for the long run.

Another is whenever one person of either sex meekly accepts a double standard imposed on them for any reason and does nothing to assert principles of basic fairness and justice or seek vengeance.

As Saturninus commented in Titus Andronicus, "What, Be dishonored openly and basely put it up without revenge?" The Bard summed up very accurately the pagan ethos of vengeance as noble and a moral virtue instead of a vice, as the Christian ethic would assume, quite well done given his own Christian prejudices.

awnlee jawking

Pet cats.

I agree with the writing expert (whose name I can't remember) who said to never give your protagonist a pet cat to show their softer side. It's lazy and it's a cliche.

AJ

Replies:   PotomacBob  Ross at Play
Reluctant_Sir
Updated:

@Severusmax

One of many is dialog.

While I am sure I fall short of my own ideal with depressing frequency, it just annoys the hell out of me to read poorly written dialog.

Beyond the obvious 'Fourteen year old talking like a 50 year old English professor, there are things like over-exposition. Yes, exposition is critical to providing background, character thoughts and to moving the plot forward, but when every damn conversation has the character spouting off about unrelated stuff, it takes the reader completely out of the scene.

"Let's go shopping," Mary said, perking up, "I need a new swimsuit if we are going to the beach!"

"That sounds like a capitol idea, Mary! In fact, since we are going to the beach we once visited when I was just five, and that was the trip where my Dad and Mom first started having marital problems, I thought it would be neat to go to that ice cream shop we stopped at on our way home down that long and winding road that we had to take before the highway went in. And don't forget to get some sunscreen while we are at the store because you, being a redhead, are especially susceptible to sunburn and I don't want my future wife, and the mother of my children, to get skin cancer! You know how horrible that would be, your grandfather had pancreatic cancer and that reminds me, I should check the tires and the what have you before we go, better to be safe than sorry! Have you seen my keys?"

"No, dear, but look what I have for you! A ball gag and divorce papers, please choose one."

Replies:   richardshagrin
Keet

Blatant brand fandom. I stopped reading several stories for really obnoxious apple fandom. Brand fandom has no place in a story if it's not functional and required for the story. At the point where it becomes obvious that the author is a worshiper of a specific brand I quit reading because it gets really annoying. That goes for any brand but I mentioned apple because it's the most obvious.
And yes, I deliberately wrote that brand in lowercase ;)

Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Blatant brand fandom.

In general, I agree. But sometimes a brand name says a lot for you without you having to say much. Something like saying you buy your girl a Wicked Weasel swimsuit or Victoria's Secret lingerie says a lot more than just saying you bought a swimsuit or a bra and panties set. Where the brand or model name carries more than just a basic meaning it's useful.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

In general, I agree. But sometimes a brand name says a lot for you without you having to say much. Something like saying you buy your girl a Wicked Weasel swimsuit or Victoria's Secret lingerie says a lot more than just saying you bought a swimsuit or a bra and panties set. Where the brand or model name carries more than just a basic meaning it's useful.

True, but that is not the obnoxious fandom I was talking about. If Victoria's Secret is thrown around a lot in a story, without giving extra meaning to the context, it's obvious that the author has a thing with VS and it's not contributing to the story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

It seems we have this kind of thread every 2 to 3 months :)

- overuse of giggling/snorting/cackling/ etc.
- censoring swear words in a sex story
- use of accents after it was established that a character uses an accent
- verbal demeaning of your partner in ROMANTIC BDSM stories. Sorry, but I don't think verbal demeaning is a prerequisite for BDSM, especially not in a story that is a romance.
- "We are destined to be together since our childhood, but you should get your sexual adventures taken care off, until you slept with every female in the school, we can only be friends. Oh, and I will be chaste until you are ready, if not you can throw a tantrum and set me aside."
- homophobia of Harem leads.
- the "understanding women" type of MC who must, therefore, be a doormat.
- character stupidity for plot's sake.
- sex for quota's sake that makes no sense plot-wise or doesn't take the impact of a particular event, the time-critical element, or location into account

- more like a personal preference, but I am sick of Mind Control stories that cheap out and use a more powerful character as an antagonist.

Ernest Bywater

@sunkuwan

It seems we have this kind of thread every 2 to 3 months :)


Yeah, a lot of threads end up covering the issues you mention, usually when a newbie author who wasn't in the last discussion raises them.

richardshagrin

@Keet

apple

There are lots of good apples. I like golden delicious.

Replies:   Keet  awnlee jawking
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Reluctant_Sir


capitol idea


from Merriam-Webster

"Capital and Capitol: Which One to Use Where

What a pair these are: they sound identical and look nearly identical and both have meanings that relate to government. Mastering their use, however, is simple.

The key is this: capitol, the one with an "o," is very limited in use. It appears in the term Capitol Hill, and is used to refer to one very particular and famous building, to some other similar buildings, and, occasionally, to a group of buildings that includes those similar buildings. For all other meanings, the word you want is capital.

This means that in a state's capital city is a building or group of buildings properly referred to with the word capitol, with an "o." In this use capitol is synonymous with statehouse: both refer to the building or group of buildings where a state legislature meets. The phrase capital city utilizes capital because it refers to a city, not to a building or group of buildings.

Capitol with a capital "C" refers to the particular building in Washington, D.C. where the U.S. Congress meets. It often appears before other nouns in phrases like the Capitol building and Capitol police, and is very frequently used in the term Capitol Hill, which refers both to the legislative branch of the United States government as well as to the location of the Capitol building. The Capitol, like many state capitol buildings, has a rounded dome that is somewhat reminiscent of the top of an "o," which may help some remember the "o" spelling. Note that the word capital as used to describe an uppercase letter, like in the phrase capital "C", utilizes capital.

The word capital has three distinct homographs, two for noun uses and one for adjective uses. Readers should consult those entries for the various meanings of capital, but can be assured that they all end in al, rather than ol."

PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

The point sounds odd to me. I do a lot of reading and don't remember a single one where a protagonist got a pet cat to show their softer side. I do remember one of the villains in one of the James Bond books who had a pet cat - but it made him look evil instead of soft.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Pet cats ... never give your protagonist a pet cat to show their softer side. It's lazy and it's a cliche.

Is ten pet cats, like me, to show a protagonist's crazy side a cliche too?

PotomacBob

@richardshagrin

and is very frequently used in the term Capitol Hill,


Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, also refers to the name of the adjacent community, which stretches eastward from the Capitol building, and forms the largest historic residential neighborhood in DC.

Keet

@richardshagrin

golden delicious

Golden delicious is delicious!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Uther_Pendragon

@Severusmax

Pet hates:

1) College stories where the students don't have majors. I mean, some people go to college to have a college experience or to get a BASSOO degree to qualify for the middle class, but most students while they're there have an interest I n what they are studying.

2) Stereotypes outside of humor. I can laugh at "Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe," but I want the lawyer in a serious story to have some positive feelings for obeying the law.

3) Generic churches or ministers. All denominations have their own characteristics. If you don't know them, either learn them or don't use them in stories.

Wheezer
Updated:

It seems to me that there are only two types of football jocks in stories:

1. Vicious brutes who terrorize & bully the MC (usually a brainy nerd) while sexually assaulting every female in reach.

2. The hero & MC of the story who is above average in looks, intelligence & morals. #2's stories usually involve excruciatingly detailed minute by minute descriptions of entire football games from the first game of the season to the championship game - won by the MC, of course. #2 type stories can actually substitute any other team sport and still be essentially the same story.

BTW: Organized team sports bore me to tears and if I never read any mention of sports in any future stories I ever read, It would not bother me. The amount our high schools (and colleges) spend on football & basketball which essentially do nothing more than provide entertainment for sports fans is something that bothers me a lot.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Wheezer

Yeah, it gets more ridiculous if the MC is also a Top-Model and Movie star ;)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@Uther_Pendragon

College stories where the students don't have majors. I mean, some people go to college to have a college experience


If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.
- Frank Zappa

sunkuwan

While I would roll my eyes or groan at those pet peeves, I will still read or finish the story 95% of the time.

But there are a few things that would make me drop a story like a hot coal.
Overly religious themes in the present.
I'm not talking about saying grace or going to church every Sunday. No, I mean the overly preaching type of MC. When you have the feeling that the Author wants to preach to their readers through the MC.

SciFi, Fantasy and abstract religions and religious concepts are mostly ok. Religion in the context of the past depends on the story.

oyster50

First, let me CAT-egorically state that I have a pet named Peeve. He's my #2 cat, my pet, Peeve.

Second, color me with a broad brush, but I do love me some Apple, ever since I bought the first happy little toaster in 1985.

There are other confessions. Most peoples' bet peeves, I've violated once or twice. Some, I keep violating, because it's MY choice, my way of taking the story in the direction I want to go with it.

I'm still doing this for fun because I have a great job with a multi-billion dollar energy company that pays me so I don't have to try doing this for a living.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

Golden delicious is delicious!

Sorry for this one, keet. I'm having problems getting to sleep.

How many errors can the nitpicking editor find in that four-word sentence?

1. Golden Delicious should have initial capitals as it's a proper noun, an arbitrary name chosen to identify a specific instance, in this case a variety, of a class of nouns, apples. Online dictionaries and wikipedia agree that is so.

2. I would use are instead of is. Golden Delicious is an adjective so your sentence contains an implied noun. As a general statement I would say 'Golden Delicious apples are delicious', not 'Golden Delicious apple is delicious'. So I would use are in a version of the sentence with an implied noun.

There are contexts where I would prefer 'Golden Delicious apple is delicious', but your post is not one of them.

Good night. :-)

Replies:   Keet  helmut_meukel
Ross at Play
Updated:

@sunkuwan

a few things that would make me drop a story like a hot coal.
Overly religious themes in the present.

Oh, yeah! Overly religious is my most absolute squick.

I can usually tolerate reading about characters having various objects shoved down various orifices - even those I find personally distasteful - but I will not tolerate anyone attempting to shove their religion down my throat!

Ernest Bywater

@sunkuwan

Yeah, it gets more ridiculous if the MC is also a Top-Model and Movie star ;)


True, but when well done they're good escapist stories.

Replies:   sunkuwan
awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

Dayum, I was hoping someone could remind me of the expert's name and their exact quote. I have a feeling it's quite old.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld was the Bond villain. I've read a few thrillers and cop novels where the tough-guy male protagonist was single or divorced but owned a cat, something which added nothing to the plot but was presumably there to show the character's softer side.

AJ

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@awnlee jawking

owned a cat

Dogs have owners (Masters). Cats have staff.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
sunkuwan

@Ernest Bywater

True, although I liked the Model and Movie parts a hundred times more than the sports part.

Dominions Son

My $0.02

Religious and/or political preachiness. Both are equally annoying.

Stories that advertise certain kinks in the tags, then fail to deliver, though I will generally give a pass on this to incomplete stories.

Remus2
Updated:

Only good cat is a cat in a wok with sesame oil. Just sayin. I suspose that'd make it the antagonist though...

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Where the brand or model name carries more than just a basic meaning it's useful.

True, but that is not the obnoxious fandom I was talking about. If Victoria's Secret is thrown around a lot in a story, without giving extra meaning to the context, it's obvious that the author has a thing with VS and it's not contributing to the story.

It can also say a lot about the character, in the case of Apple, either that they've got money to spare, or that they like 'reliable' products (i.e. new features aren't likely to be abandoned in the next version). The use of Apple, or other brand names, in stories, should only become obnoxious when every character uses the product, rather than just a single character using the same product repeated. After all, if you establish that someone uses an iPhone, you don't switch brands in the next chapter.

I've never believed in extravagance or flashing brand names, but I've always believed that quality lasts longer than cheap, so I don't mind paying extra for something I'm likely to use a lot. I have used Apple and other products in my stories, but it's more a reflection of the individual's choices, rather than my personal preferences.

Also, and not incidentally, authors tend to use what they personally know. Thus an author will first go for products they're either familiar with, or which have a well-known reputation. On a similar note, they're not likely to be up on the latest features of a product they don't use regularly (i.e. you use 'generic' brand names like "iPhone" vs. "iPhone XS", or "Samsung" vs. "Samsung Galaxy S9+").

It IS famdom is they list specific models, and go on and on about the features, rather than focusing on what they're using it for (i.e. it's fine to reference a character using an Iphone, as long as they've using it to advance the plot, rather than merely showing off).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Keet
Col. Jack Harrison

One definite pet peeve of mine is when someone who has hurt or harmed another person then presumes to lecture their victim on how "two wrongs don't make a right."

Also, perpetual victimization of a character without any relief, revenge, or karma is annoying as well.

Just two that come to mind.

Oh, and blatant historical inaccuracy. I mean, ridiculous, Xena Warrior Princess-level historical inaccuracy, if you know what I mean. (Xena only gets away with it because I, like most fans, enjoy the whole Xena-Gabrielle quasi-romance subplot, the fighting action, and the character development. It's still staggeringly, laughably inaccurate about the Greek Gods and actual human history, among other things.)

REP

Several as a reader:

1. Authors who add totally unrealistic details to a story.

I just struggled through the first chapter of a story with the author describing his first female character as a teenager from a Mexican family, educated on the continent and in Japan, who speaks and writes 7 languages, studied Bushido, is a Kendo master, and other unlikely characteristics.
Ended the chapter by introducing a second female character who he says spent 70 years with the Navy and then moved on to the NSA.

Add in all of his grammar errors, and it was just too much.

2. Stories filled with so many grammatical errors that it is difficult to understand what the author is trying to say. Especially when they apparently don't use an editor.

Replies:   Uther_Pendragon
Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

- censoring swear words in a sex story

Stay away from FineStories then, as the FS submission engine censors 4-letter words for you.

- verbal demeaning of your partner in ROMANTIC BDSM stories. Sorry, but I don't think verbal demeaning is a prerequisite for BDSM, especially not in a story that is a romance.

'Emotional abuse' in a romantic relationship means that only one partner is invested in the relationship, while the other resents their partner for 'limiting' their options. It's evidence of passive-aggressive hostility, than often erupts into actual violence. None of those are romantic to ANY degree.

- homophobia of Harem leads.

Alas, just like the comment about 'fandom' rants, many times authors insert those 'homophibia' elements simply as a way to either define the character, or conversely to explain their choices in the relationship (i.e. "It's fine if you fool around with other chicks, but if I cross swords with another guy, I'm outta there!").

- character stupidity for plot's sake.

That's kinda like complaining about an author because you dislike the bad guy. Often, the reason why a character is hateful, or simple-minded, is because you're supposed to dislike them (so you'll side with the good guy in disliking and distrusting them). But, that said, there are subtle ways of accomplishing that, and hamfisted techniques.

- character stupidity for plot's sake.

Me too. I much prefer where the bad guy in mind control stories is the character's hangnail and STDs! 'D (Seriously, though, I get your point. It's just easy to make fun of.)

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

What a pair these are: they sound identical and look nearly identical and both have meanings that relate to government. Mastering their use, however, is simple.

While you're absolutely right about which word to use, if the error isn't consistently repeated, it's likely a simple typo rather than a lack of knowledge. Those are the cases where it's best to drop the author a note, pointing out the error so they can correct it. Either they already know the correct word, but mistyped it, or they don't, and it's less a less embarrassing way of pointing out the difference.

Crumbly Writer

@Uther_Pendragon

1) College stories where the students don't have majors. I mean, some people go to college to have a college experience or to get a BASSOO degree to qualify for the middle class, but most students while they're there have an interest I n what they are studying.

Not only that, but a college protagonist without a major is essentially a cardboard cut out (i.e. lacking basic defining characteristics like ambitions and life goals). If they aren't looking for a job, then the author should establish WHY, so we understand how the character thinks and how he'll react to students who are struggling to succeed, rather than just drinking and sleeping their way through school.

Replies:   Ava G
Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

But there are a few things that would make me drop a story like a hot coal.
Overly religious themes in the present.
I'm not talking about saying grace or going to church every Sunday. No, I mean the overly preaching type of MC. When you have the feeling that the Author wants to preach to their readers through the MC.

Just like at family gatherings like Christmas, mentioning religion and politics is a touchy subject that must be handled subtly, rather than with brute force.

As I've said before, it's often best to do it indirectly. Sci-fi stories are popular (for the authors, at least, because they can set a current day situation in an alien world, so readers won't come to the issue with their minds already made up, and you can often convince them of something as long as you don't spout the same old stereotypical lines.

Crumbly Writer

@oyster50

Most peoples' bet peeves, I've violated once or twice.

My bet peeve is the Trifecta. If you like a horse, bet on the damn horse, but trying to predict ALL the winners simply means you aren't invested in the contestant! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Remus2

Only good cat is a cat in a wok with sesame oil. Just sayin. I suspose that'd make it the antagonist though...

I like it when the cat is the villain in mind-control stories. It breaks the mold and you never expect it! 'D

Replies:   Mark Gander  Barahir
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

It can also say a lot about the character, in the case of Apple, either that they've got money to spare,


I've seen only one good use of Apple as a specific product in a story, and that was where the character specifically bought the iPhone and iWatch as a pair to use because they were the only such fancy combo. That made sense, but otherwise I just say they buy a cell phone and leave it at that.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Mark Gander

@Crumbly Writer

Never seen that. It could make for a very interesting plotline, at least if the cat is sapient/sentient for some freakish reason.

Replies:   Remus2  imnotwrong
Mark Gander
Updated:

A pet peeve that occurs to me is when characters or the narrator judge people for "revenge affairs." Maybe it's me, but I don't think that there is a huge lack of empathy or honor involved in getting some of your own back. It's the sanest way to do payback, anyway, rather than doing violence or emptying an account, burning clothes, committing credit card fraud, divorcing, or ruining one's career. Revenge affairs are actually the one act which doesn't really constitute overkill and doesn't preclude reconciliation, at least in my view (hopefully through an open marriage/relationship).

Remus2

@Mark Gander

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailchaser%27s_Song

Replies:   Mark Gander
Mark Gander

@Remus2

Fucking awesome idea. Thanks.

Keet

@Ross at Play

Golden delicious is delicious!


Sorry for this one, keet. I'm having problems getting to sleep.

How many errors can the nitpicking editor find in that four-word sentence?

1. Golden Delicious should have initial capitals as it's a proper noun, an arbitrary name chosen to identify a specific instance, in this case a variety, of a class of nouns, apples. Online dictionaries and wikipedia agree that is so.

2. I would use are instead of is. Golden Delicious is an adjective so your sentence contains an implied noun. As a general statement I would say 'Golden Delicious apples are delicious', not 'Golden Delicious apple is delicious'. So I would use are in a version of the sentence with an implied noun.

There are contexts where I would prefer 'Golden Delicious apple is delicious', but your post is not one of them.

Good night. :-)


You obviously didn't get the double 'delicious' jab in my comment ;)

Replies:   Ross at Play
helmut_meukel

@Ross at Play

Hmmm, for me 'is' is appropriate. I go by the saying: 'An apple a day keeps the the doctor away'.
Consequently I eat one apple per day, so Golden Delicious is delicious. How would I know if all the other Golden Delicious apples are delicious too? ;-)
BTW, I prefer Pink Lady, so I eat Golden Delicious rather seldom.

HM.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

It can also say a lot about the character, in the case of Apple, either that they've got money to spare, or that they like 'reliable' products (i.e. new features aren't likely to be abandoned in the next version). The use of Apple, or other brand names, in stories, should only become obnoxious when every character uses the product, rather than just a single character using the same product repeated. After all, if you establish that someone uses an iPhone, you don't switch brands in the next chapter.

Mentioning a brand can say something but be aware that that can expire over time. In the example of Apple I should say it's not what it used to be so be careful to use that as a characterization in a story. Someone reading your story next year possibly doesn't get what you tried to write. "Top-of-the line smart phone" says the same but lasts longer and is time independent.
I specifically mentioned Apple because I stopped reading "Conductor" because of the religious fandom of Apple. It went way over the top. When even non-existing Apple products were mentioned I quit reading. It was obvious that the MC should get the best of everything but realistically that would have been a mix of brands. Just count the number of times the brand is mentioned in the story. If you see the number you get what I mean.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

Hmmm, for me 'is' is appropriate.

I did specifically state there are contexts where I consider 'is' is appropriate.

You know me well enough by now! If I'm not allowed to argue about politics anymore, I'm going to find points of grammar to "discuss". :-)

The point of grammar I was raising is this: It is acceptable to use a noun phrase consisting of an adjective and an implied noun, but when doing so agreements with the noun phrase, e.g. singular or plural verb if the noun phrase is its subject, should be the noun which is implied.

As a stand-alone statement, I would not say 'Golden Delicious apple is delicious'. I would say 'Golden Delicious apples are delicious' instead. Therefore I would choose to use 'are' instead of 'is' in keet's sentence.

This is one kind of content where I would use 'is':
I have two favourite apples. For cooking, I like Granny Smith. For eating, Golden Delicious is delicious.

To me, the implied nouns in that are not apple or apples, but variety of apples, which is singular, so therefore I use 'is'

Ross at Play

@Keet

You obviously didn't get the double 'delicious' jab in my comment ;)

I got the joke all right. :-)

I probably repeat words like that as a form of humour more than anyone else here.

Ernest Bywater

@helmut_meukel

I go by the saying: 'An apple a day keeps the the doctor away'.


Especially when he also owns the orchard and the sales help to pay for his holiday trips.

sunkuwan

Oh, another thing:

- when the MC has knowledge about the future (like in a do-over or time-travel) and shares it with someone without any care. Siblings or family in general may be okay if it is handled intelligently, but the girl you have been banging for 2 weeks? Doesn't matter if you think she is "The One", she will never be a prime candidate for a secret of that magnitude until she proved her loyalty a 100%, or has a life debt to the MC
- same thing with superpowers or even just insane technological power. Unless you have the means to silence them (like mind control) it is not safe. It is mind boggling how naive and trusting most MC's are.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@richardshagrin

A dog is a wife substitute. A cat is a child substitute.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Wheezer
awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

I remember UK TV ads for a perfume called 'Golden Delicious'. The ads used Granny Smith apples, since the colour of Golden Delicious is as anaemic as the taste.

AJ

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Remus2

You've never experienced 'chicken' from a dodgy UK Chinese takeaway ;)

AJ

Replies:   PotomacBob
Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

Hmmm, for me 'is' is appropriate. I go by the saying: 'An apple a day keeps the the doctor away'.
Consequently I eat one apple per day, so Golden Delicious is delicious. How would I know if all the other Golden Delicious apples are delicious too? ;-)
BTW, I prefer Pink Lady, so I eat Golden Delicious rather seldom.

The choice has nothing to do with how many you eat, but rather with whether the word is a plural verb or not. However, I differ from Ross' view on this. He sees "Golden Delicious" as a stand-in for "Golden Delicious apples", whereas I see the term as referring to the specific type of apples. And, since Delicious is only one type of apple, then the singular, in this one instance, is not only acceptable but the correct choice. However, once you insert the word "apples" into the phrase, the whole noun phrase changes.

Sorry Ross.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I specifically mentioned Apple because I stopped reading "Conductor" because of the religious fandom of Apple. It went way over the top. When even non-existing Apple products were mentioned I quit reading. It was obvious that the MC should get the best of everything but realistically that would have been a mix of brands. Just count the number of times the brand is mentioned in the story. If you see the number you get what I mean.

Yeah, that's a valid point. I was just suggesting where the use of brand names might be acceptable. But here, you nits aren't with brand names, or even with Apple products, but with author fanaticism in general. Even if he went on and on about penny loafers, Birkenstocks or American football, you'd tire of it just as quickly.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

A dogs is a wife substitute. A cats is a child substitute.

And a Ferrari (sorry "A Ferraris") is an erect penis substitute?

Replies:   richardshagrin
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Sorry Ross.

I cannot agree, but you understood the point I made so there's no reason to debate it further ... unless someone can cite some reference.

Uther_Pendragon

@REP


Ended the chapter by introducing a second female character who he says spent 70 years with the Navy and then moved on to the NSA.


Even if you're immortal, you can't spend 70 years in the navy. Also, if it's the USN, when did they start accepting women? It must have been WWII.

Replies:   REP  AmigaClone  Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

didgy


wha dat?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

Ferrari

My High School Latin class was at least 50 years ago, probably more, but using alumnus/alumni as the singular and plural, likely the singular for Ferrari is Ferrarus. And it might have something to do with iron, ferrum.

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ferrum can refer to:

Iron, for which ferrum is the Latin term and the source of its chemical symbol Fe."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
red61544

@richardshagrin

"Capital and Capitol: Which One to Use Where

I know this isn't the place but since you know most stories on here, I'll ask you. Good revenge story; woman divorced husband then alienated the daughter toward him. Family patriarch and the sister of the mother connived to set things right at the daughter's wedding. Patriarch always ended conversations by saying "Capital, capital!"

Replies:   anim8ed
anim8ed

@red61544

Was it https://storiesonline.net/s/76346/cest-la-vie ?

Replies:   red61544
Michael Loucks

@Ernest Bywater

I've seen only one good use of Apple as a specific product in a story, and that was where the character specifically bought the iPhone and iWatch as a pair to use because they were the only such fancy combo. That made sense, but otherwise I just say they buy a cell phone and leave it at that.


I'll use specific brands/models to remind people of the timeline. A 'top of the line' computer or cellphone in 1990 is WAY different from the same thing in 2018! :-) And computers, back in the late 70's and early 80's were a wild mishmash!

awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

Meant to type 'dodgy'. Original post edited.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

likely the singular for Ferrari is Ferrarus.


And the singular of scampi is scampus, the singular of concerti is concertus etc, the singular of paparazzi is paparazzus ;)

AJ

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


likely the singular for Ferrari is Ferrarus.



And the singular of scampi is scampus, the singular of concerti is concertus etc, the singular of paparazzi is paparazzus ;)


Ahh, but if you use my Italian rule it's concerto, paparazzo, scampo, and Ferraro ;)

HM.

Don't believe those northern Italians claiming it's Ferrero!

red61544

@anim8ed

That's it. Thanks, I couldn't remember it. It's a good read if anyone is interested.

Wheezer

@awnlee jawking

A cat is a child substitute


A cat is a 'crazy bitch who gets pissed off every day, changes moods 3 times a day, trashes your apartment and steals your shit' substitute.

REP

@Uther_Pendragon

She would have been about 90 when she started with the NSA. I can accept some unrealistic scenarios but that was just too much.

AmigaClone

@Uther_Pendragon

Even if you're immortal, you can't spend 70 years in the navy.


While that is true in the US Navy, one of the many stories I have been reading has the same immortal man as the head of a navy for 2800 years. Another immortal man was in the same navy for over 2700 years.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Dominions Son
sunkuwan

@AmigaClone

Surely this post was meant in regards to present time navy.

Crumbly Writer

@Uther_Pendragon

Also, if it's the USN, when did they start accepting women? It must have been WWII.

Woman weren't allowed to join the Navy (or other service) during WW II and subsequent wars, instead they created a separate 'women only' branch called the "WAVES" (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service—an overly cute name denoting how they were treated at the time). However, it wasn't a branch of the military, but a 'Reserve unit' similar to the U.S. Reserves program from which the Military can draw people for specific purposes (a clever way of using them for nurses while still excluding women entirely from most benefits).

Essentially, women have only been free to join the military on an equal basis once the service switched from a conscription basis (aka: the Draft) to a purely voluntary service and they needed more people (i.e. women and blacks) to make up for the severe drop in new recruits).

Replies:   PotomacBob  AmigaClone
Dominions Son

@AmigaClone

While that is true in the US Navy, one of the many stories I have been reading has the same immortal man as the head of a navy for 2800 years. Another immortal man was in the same navy for over 2700 years.


On earth in a historical period, a near immortal who has to hide his immortality (vampire, certain versions of werewolves,...) would be hard pressed to spend more than 20 years in one navy. That said, the historical earth contains a lot of navies. And new identities and starting over in different navies could easily stack up.

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

"Join the Navy and Ride the WAVES"

Replies:   oyster50
AmigaClone
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Essentially, women have only been free to join the military on an equal basis once the service switched from a conscription basis (aka: the Draft) to a purely voluntary service


During WWI the US Marine Corps, US Navy and the US Coast Guard had a number of women serving as reservists. They received the same pay and benefits as their male counterparts of the same rank, and after they were demobilized treated as veterans.

Most of those women were either in clerical type positions or as nurses. They all were discharged after the end of the war, although some may have continued doing the same type of job as civil servants.

The services became gender integrated in 1948 with the Women's Armed Services Integration Act - much earlier than the end of the draft in 1973. Many of the positions were not open to women initially though.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@AmigaClone


During WWI the US Marine Corps, US Navy and the US Coast Guard had a number of women serving as reservists. They received the same pay and benefits as their male counterparts of the same rank, and after they were demobilized treated as veterans.


True, but while after 1948 the service became 'integrated', few received the same benefits, or earned similar awards (some nurses and reservists only recently won silver stars and Purple Hearts for their actions during that time, as the military wasn't about to recognize their actual sacrifices.

Although not a vet myself (I wasn't eligible due to Type 1 Diabetes), I come from a family with multiple people who served, and who continue to serve in the Civil Service, and the list of complaints by older veterans and reservists would set your brain on fire. :(

But, I'm not about to argue the point. People are gonna believe what they want to believe, so it benefits no one arguing over the details.

PotomacBob

@Severusmax

Authors who, in this forum, refer to their stories by their initials, assuming that any intelligent being will know what they're talking about. Even if I've read the story, I probably won't recognize it by its initials alone. On the other hand, I have no right to claim the moniker "intelligent being."

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@PotomacBob

Authors who, in this forum, refer to their stories by their initials

I hate that too.

I had a WTF moment today when AJ used 'YMMV'. I'd have been pissed if an internet search didn't tell me what it meant.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I had a WTF moment today when AJ used 'YMMV'. I'd have been pissed if an internet search didn't tell me what it meant.


Your Mileage May Vary. This is a common saying in the US, common enough to almost be cliche.

oyster50

@PotomacBob

PotomacBob

"Join the Navy and Ride the WAVES"


"Private, if the Army wanted you to have a wife, we'd've issued you one." (Spoken by me and hundred of other drill sergeants in the old army)

Replies:   Uther_Pendragon
Ava G

@Crumbly Writer

Not only that, but a college protagonist without a major is essentially a cardboard cut out (i.e. lacking basic defining characteristics like ambitions and life goals). If they aren't looking for a job, then the author should establish WHY


At my college, students couldn't declare a major until the second semester. Since they might become interested in something they didn't have a chance to study in high school, it wasn't a good idea to force them into decisions too soon.

Other students might have trouble deciding on just one major out of several areas of interest. First-year students aren't all cardboard cutouts.

imnotwrong

@Mark Gander

Anne McCaffrey's barque cats come to mind.

imnotwrong
Updated:

Most of the pet peeves people have given here are what I'll call Yellow Alert issues for me. Annoying, but if nothing else happens and/or I'm enjoying the rest of the story, I can deal with it. There are many tropes and clichés that also fall under Yellow Alert issues. Too many the list, so if you think you know one of them, you're probably right.

Red Alert issue, those with at least a 50% chance of making me leave in their own, include:

- This one does not happen much here, but it is much more common at other site I read at: Failing to start a new paragraph when changing speakers. I don't need to explain this one here, right?

- Writers who deliberately withhold story codes they know will happen until the first event the code applies to happens. Although, thanks to this site's code exclusion system, all that usually happens is the story disappears from my updates page, it is still damned annoying and disrespectful to the reader.

- The type of best friend forever best described by sunkuwan :

"We are destined to be together since our childhood, but you should get your sexual adventures taken care off, until you slept with every female in the school, we can only be friends. Oh, and I will be chaste until you are ready, if not you can throw a tantrum and set me aside."


- Truly bad and lazy anachronism. I don't mean misremembering by a year or two, like J.K. Rowling did with Dudley's PlayStation. I mean things like what happened to a story I dropped on a different website: The story is set in 2002. The two co-lead characters, teen almost lovers, watch a movie to set the mood for the rest of the night. And the movie is . . . "Fifty Shades of Grey". Fifteen years before it was made.

- Heavy-handed religious or political preaching. While I'll admit to being human enough that I'm more likely to leave stories with preaching I don't agree with, I've left stories I DID agree with because it became too damn much.

- Completely ignoring well-established plot-points and characterization just so the writer can include a plot twist that is SO contradictory as to be Vince McMahon/Vince Russo laughable. This doesn't mean I don't like surprises. Well-written surprises don't need to break this rule, as they manage to work within context the reader hasn't been giving yet without ignoring what came before. But I have read stories, here and elsewhere, where the writer was so desperate to include his or her favorite trope plot twist, the writer completely ignored and shattered some very important plot points and character elements from earlier. Sorry, but there is only so much continuity breaking I can accept before it becomes too damned insulting.

I think I covered all of my Red Alert issues.

Barahir

@Crumbly Writer

Now I'm so tempted to write a mind-control story in which a cat has the ability, but all the cat can do is sit and watch while humans bend to its will. Dozens of sex scenes with a cat placidly licking its paws on a nearby dresser!

Replies:   REP
REP

@Barahir

Make the cat a lioness, and she can join in.

Replies:   Barahir
Barahir

@REP

Sounds more like a food fetish story.

Uther_Pendragon

@oyster50

Private, if the Army wanted you to have a wife, we'd've issued you one." (Spoken by me and hundred of other drill sergeants in the old army)


I used that quote for a story title. Issue You One wasn't a military story, though.

Uther_Pendragon

@Ava G

At my college, students couldn't declare a major until the second semester. Since they might become interested in something they didn't have a chance to study in high school, it wasn't a good idea to force them into decisions too soon.

People who haven't declared a major aren't cardboard. Characters who are "college students" without being there to study something -- unless that makes them distinctive among their peers, are.

Other students might have trouble deciding on just one major out of several areas of interest. First-year students aren't all cardboard cutouts.

Crumbly Writer

@Ava G

At my college, students couldn't declare a major until the second semester. Since they might become interested in something they didn't have a chance to study in high school, it wasn't a good idea to force them into decisions too soon.

Sorry, I missed the 'first-year' reference. The first year is essentially, for your more advanced students, when they take the required courses (advanced math, general overview courses, etc.). Many instead take the virtually useless courses (like advanced basket weaving), but those with a basic idea of where they're going will be preparing to enter a particular field (i.e. sciences, design, etc.) and will therefore focus on 'gearing up' for those, even if they're planning on the more esoteric fields.

Crumbly Writer

One huge pet peeve is a quick fuck story without any character development or story plot. I know it's erotic stories but I like a good plot and especially enjoy good dialogue.

Yeah, even if the only plot is 'screw more hot chicks', you still want to see some organization, plot and character development, and/or character advancing over time. Otherwise, the same slobe was started out in the first chapter is the exact same slobe after 30 chapters.

The bigger problem, which is hardly uncommon, is that most readers are drawn to SOL because of the stroke stories. But once they've been here for a while, their tastes get a little more refined (by the other stories they read while waiting for the next chapter in their favorite stroke stories), and they start demanding more.

Luckily, SOL has plenty of both, and because many of SOL's authors started out in exactly the same place, but figured out that they could write 'a better story than this', there are more and more authors rising to the challenge.

Thus it's not so much a deterrent to the site, as an 'open invitation' for readers to throw their own hats in the ring. Not everyone needs to accept the responsibility, but if it wasn't for this one particular peevish (small but somewhat wilder peeve?), you wouldn't have so many terrific stories to contrast them with. :D

However, on the flip side, as those same authors develop, there seems to be a natural tendency towards less and less sex, and they become ever more focused on plot. And if the sex doesn't advance the plot … :(

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

[one] slobe ... [then] the exact same slobe

is not a typo, you portly slob.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

is not a typo, you portly slob.

Hey, I'll have you know that my port is safely sheltered from storms beneath my protruding overhanging mountainous protrusions (as well as my mighty battleship and it's two little tugs beside it)!

Replies:   Ross at Play  joyR
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Hey, I'll have you know that my port is safely sheltered from storms beneath my protruding overhanging mountainous protrusions (as well as my mighty battleship and it's two little tugs beside it)!

Sorry. I thought 'fat slob' was too clichéd.

Switch Blayde

One huge pet peeve is a quick fuck story without any character development or story plot.


That's why the old definition of "stroke story" was better. You knew what you were getting when it was coded "stroke." And it was intentional on the author's part to have sex without plot.

joyR

@Crumbly Writer

(as well as my mighty battleship and it's two little tugs beside it)!


Really..?? Looked more like a WW2 submarine trying to steer between two mines...

helmut_meukel

I stumbled – again – in my reading when I read

"I want you to go to the sick birth room"

.
This author always writes 'sick birth' instead of 'sick berth'. Another however minor speed bump: in most cases he writes 'to' instead of 'too'.

BTW, this story was posted in 2014 and had more than 29000 downloads, so I assume some other readers had already informed him about the errors/typos and he doesn't care to update the story. :(

HM.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

This author always writes 'sick birth' instead of 'sick berth'.

Was the story written in British English and set in 1954 or 1956? If not then even 'sick berth' or 'sick berth room' are a poor word choices. I can't imagine why the author did not use 'sick bay'.

This ngrams suggests 'sick berth' has hardly ever been used in British English except in those two years. I have no idea why. In AmE it has been virtually non-existent.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Switch Blayde

I'm reading a very enjoyable story that I read years before. However, I keep getting pulled out of the story because he keeps switching tenses between past and present. It's quite jarring (to me).

Ernest Bywater

@helmut_meukel

BTW, this story was posted in 2014 and had more than 29000 downloads, so I assume some other readers had already informed him about the errors/typos and he doesn't care to update the story. :(


You'd be surprised how many readers do not report errors they see to the authors, and how many times people read over them without seeing them.

In one of my stories first posted in Feb 2015 that has 136,000 downloads has a typo recently spotted I've not yet corrected and reposted (it's on the list to do) that's been there since day one where the word insulated is typed as insulted and the story has had numerous edits due to having been reviewed and revised five times since first posting for various reasons. The funniest thing about it was one of my editors was re-reading the story for leisure when he spotted it and told me, then we both laughed when I checked my historical copies and pointed out he'd previously edited the story 6 times without spotting the error. - The point here is people don't always see the errors, and then they rarely reported them, and this is especially true if they like the story.

Michael Loucks

@Ernest Bywater

The funniest thing about it was one of my editors was re-reading the story for leisure when he spotted it and told me, then we both laughed when I checked my historical copies and pointed out he'd previously edited the story 6 times without spotting the error. - The point here is people don't always see the errors, and then they rarely reported them, and this is especially true if they like the story.


I still get occasional corrections for a story that's been up on SOL for nearly three years, and had several hundred thousand downloads (aggregate for all chapters) and been through an editor and two proofreaders. :-)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Michael Loucks

and been through an editor and two proofreaders. :-)


I've four regular editors (one is an excellent proof reader) and several readers who regularly reported errors. The current version on Sol is the 6 the version for the chapter involved and each time it's been through at least two editors and a proof reader, yet it got missed in all of that. Also, while writing the story and reviewing it I must have missed it over a dozen times myself until after it was pointed out to me. The key part of the sentence was meant to read 'well insulated' but came out as 'well insulted' which makes it even funnier asit goes from being heat resisted to heavily abused.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

The point here is people don't always see the errors

True, tough ones will always slip through, but I think authors should at least make some efforts to find those that are easily found.

I recently saw two incorrect possessives in one sentence. The author used both "monsters" and "it's" as possessives. Word highlighted both of those grammatical errors. Surely a reasonable minimum is look at whatever your spelling/grammar checker is reporting and fix the obvious error it finds!

helmut_meukel

@Ross at Play

Was the story written in British English and set in 1954 or 1956? If not then even 'sick berth' or 'sick berth room' are a poor word choices. I can't imagine why the author did not use 'sick bay'.


It's not only this one story where he used 'sick birth'.
The space ships used have small crews, five to twelve crew members and just a room with an autodoc and maybe two berths with monitor equipment.
To me it makes sense not to use 'sick bay' for such a small
and functionally restricted facility.

HM.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@helmut_meukel

To me it makes sense not to use 'sick bay' for such a small
and functionally restricted facility.

I agree. If it's sci-fi and 'berth' is used for other areas, then 'sick berth' would be natural. I'm not sure about 'sick berth room' though.

Argon

My 2 cents (Euro cents):
What makes me drop a story after the first 1-2 chapters is when the MC picks up some frozen/wet/hungry girl half his age or less at a truck stop, brings her to his well appointed, palatial home (with impregnable security features and an arsenal of minutely described weaponry), wines her and dines her, and before the dawn's first light, she's fallen hopelessly in love with him. Then she learns many advanced skills from him in mere hours, flies aeroplanes, becomes an expert shooter, and graduates summa cum laude from Princeton. Of course, she's very pretty, but nobody else has noticed it before, and she's cherry. Sorry, too much Pygmalion for my taste.
This often happens in post-apocalyptic stories too, only without the graduation from Princeton.

Vlad_Inhaler

If all of that is crammed into the first two chapters, someone is really working at it.

As to the actual topic, I started looking at the current contest stories a couple of days ago and one of them broke one of my several unwritten rules: Someone looking and admiring themselves in a mirror, with measurements.

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