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Badly edited books.


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#1 Caribou

Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:45 PM

I was re-reading hunger games books tonight bc, I felt like some mind numbing drivel. Except, I didn’t realise until tonight how badly it was written. How many times in dialogue do you need to say ‘I say’ ‘gale says’ I say’ surely surely you could evoke a bit more than that?

I recognise it’s popular bc of its unique dystopian world, but I’m sad, It reads poorly.

Are there any other popular books i should never read again to save myself the misery of badly edited work?

#2 lazycritter

Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:49 PM

Probably most teen angst books I'd say

#3 Reader

Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:50 PM

A Little Life - needed a machete taken to it.

#4 robhat

Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:53 PM

Harry Potter 5?

:D

#5 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:54 PM

View Postrobhat, on 13 September 2019 - 08:53 PM, said:

Harry Potter 5?

:D

You take that back.....

#6 Caribou

Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:59 PM

Scandalous!

I refuse to hear a bad word about HP. :lol:

I heard the handmaids tale was poorly edited but not read it myself.

#7 Ayr

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:17 PM

Have not read the hunger games but I found that with the twilight series! I don't know what was wrong with me when i read them the first time but I didn't mind them. Maybe the fact I read them at work in a mind numbing job.

I then thought I'd give them a re-read a year later and couldn't believe how badly written they were. I couldn't finish them the second time around.

#8 IamtheMumma

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:21 PM

I got about 20 pages into 50 shades of domestic violence. Very poorly edited from memory.

There was another one that I couldn't read because it was just trash. Maybe it was Twilight?

#9 Sugarplum Poobah

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:35 PM

View Postrobhat, on 13 September 2019 - 08:53 PM, said:

Harry Potter 5?

:D

And 6 as well. Man they need more editing. Badly.

If you're looking at YA lit though, the writing tends to be different to adult books. Which is why something like the Hunger Games (I assume) seems too spelt out (for want of a better way to put it).

Ironically I have a (slightly ironic) theory that what actually defines literary fiction is the absence of attributed dialogue.  Check out the Peter Temple novel that won the Miles Franklin. I had to annotate a couple of passages to work out who was saying what...

Edited for clarification, because what I meant to say is that YA writing is often structurally different to adult fiction, but it came out as different editing. The perils of posting after a couple (ahem) of glasses of wine

Edited by Nasty Poobah, 14 September 2019 - 07:27 AM.


#10 Jane Jinglebells

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:39 PM

See for me, lots of "said" - or "say/says" if we're in the present tense like Hunger Games - is good, because it melts into the background and helps make the speech seamless.

What I can't stand is when authors (or PR people, frankly, they're worse) decide that they can't run with nice, ordinary old "said". Then you've got people adding, commenting, expostulating, explaining, exhorting, and in the end jarring me out of whatever it is I'm trying to read.

#11 Crombek

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:40 PM

Most series of books that continues on beyond book 10 or so. Editors (and authors!) seem to feel they no longer have to invest any time and effort into a decent book, and that they can get by on the goodwill of loyal readers. There’s been a rather big one recently with 2 very obvious continuity errors - vital to the world building. How did it get past, not once but twice! Sometimes I even suspect a ghostwriter.

#12 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:54 PM

Not a badly edited book, but a case of editors stuffed up.
A favourite fantasy writer of mine, Mercedes Lackey, released last year a first book of a new trilogy.
The synopsis on the dust jacket didn't match the storyline in the book at all. Apparently a very old plot overview was used ( like while the book was being written). Misty actually addresses it on her website apologizing. The next print run corrected it. I borrowed it from the library and had a laugh as their copy was the one with an error.

#13 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:11 PM

View PostCrombek, on 13 September 2019 - 09:40 PM, said:

Most series of books that continues on beyond book 10 or so. Editors (and authors!) seem to feel they no longer have to invest any time and effort into a decent book, and that they can get by on the goodwill of loyal readers. There’s been a rather big one recently with 2 very obvious continuity errors - vital to the world building. How did it get past, not once but twice! Sometimes I even suspect a ghostwriter.

Hey hey hey, nope, do not blame the editors not wanting to invest the time and effort into the book.  That's rarely the case.  Rowling was at a point in her career she could ignore her editors.

The standards for editing YA are the same as for editing any other book.

#14 Crombek

Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:17 PM

View PostAcidulous Osprey, on 13 September 2019 - 10:11 PM, said:



Hey hey hey, nope, do not blame the editors not wanting to invest the time and effort into the book.  That's rarely the case.  Rowling was at a point in her career she could ignore her editors.

The standards for editing YA are the same as for editing any other book.

I actually didn’t think the later HP’s were that bad! Nah it’s J R Wards recent release I’m thinking of - a character can suddenly do something twice that he has never been able to & should not be able to & it’s a pretty big deal in earlier books.

#15 Chocolate Addict

Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:43 PM

Fifty shades of crap. Horrible, horrible book with bad writing and bad grammar.

#16 Starflash

Posted 14 September 2019 - 07:04 PM

Boys Will Be Boys.  I loved Fight Like A Girl but thought the second book needed more tightening and framing!

#17 Daffy2016

Posted 14 September 2019 - 07:45 PM

The most recent Phryne Fisher novel - murder and Mendelssohn, I think? I was so disappointed, I love the other books and this one was meandering and not well plotted - really needed a sharp knife to it.

#18 JBH

Posted 14 September 2019 - 07:55 PM

Shantaram. A great yarn, but the writing was terribly distracting.

#19 StartledFlamingo

Posted 14 September 2019 - 08:16 PM

View PostNasty Poobah, on 13 September 2019 - 09:35 PM, said:

Ironically I have a (slightly ironic) theory that what actually defines literary fiction is the absence of attributed dialogue.  Check out the Peter Temple novel that won the Miles Franklin. I had to annotate a couple of passages to work out who was saying what...

Have you read any of the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fford. I can't remember which but in one of them the characters use unattributed dialogue to figure out who are real people v book characters- whether or not you can figure out who's speaking by the end.

Isobel Carmody's last book in the Obernewton series is the worst edited book I've ever read. Most of the book could be cut losing nothing at all, then it ends in a rush that does not match with the foretelling of the entire series.

#20 archyandmehitabel

Posted 14 September 2019 - 08:24 PM

Fifty Shades was not so much badly edited, as impossible to edit.  You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ...well the saying is 'ear' but in fact dung is a better description.

Appallingly written, boring, misogynistic, poorly researched, naive drivel which should never have been published.

#21 Ozquoll

Posted 14 September 2019 - 08:49 PM

View Postarchyandmehitabel, on 14 September 2019 - 08:24 PM, said:

Fifty Shades was not so much badly edited, as impossible to edit.  You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ...well the saying is 'ear' but in fact dung is a better description.

Appallingly written, boring, misogynistic, poorly researched, naive drivel which should never have been published.
I read about ten pages of 50 Shades when it first came out and wondered how the hell anyone could get aroused by such bad writing! It is *meant* to be erotica, isn't it?

#22 onetrick

Posted 14 September 2019 - 09:14 PM

Haha- 50 shades was my first thought for repetitive descriptions. It was so badly written! I know it was a twilight fan fic and twilight wasnt amazing either, but it was so much worse!

But I have noticed this with a number of books that I've re-read as an adult. The stories are fine, but the writing is just harder to get into...

#23 GingerbreadWoman

Posted 14 September 2019 - 09:15 PM

View PostStartledFlamingo, on 14 September 2019 - 08:16 PM, said:


Isobel Carmody's last book in the Obernewton series is the worst edited book I've ever read. Most of the book could be cut losing nothing at all, then it ends in a rush that does not match with the foretelling of the entire series.

That last book was just so incredibly disappointing. It is certainly the worst edited book I have ever finished reading. There are multiple places where the wrong character names are used, and the main character has different coloured eyes than in the rest of the series...

#24 kimasa

Posted 14 September 2019 - 09:48 PM

My big YA editing pet peeve is when a book reads like a grouchy man yelling "YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN" through the point of view of a teenager.

It's both poor writing and poor editing. It's especially poor editing when pages upon pages are dedicated to taking selfies. It's your job to go "We don't need to do this 8 times in the book, it adds nothing".

I look to awards like the Inkys where the judging panel are made up of teens, there are no shortlisted, longlisted or winners that are just pages upon pages of selfies and monologues about how phones are so much more important than parents, and it's because it's just grumpy adults who don't have a clue.

As far as books aimed at adults go, The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover told a few of the anecdotes multiple times.I can't remember which ones exactly, it was a January read for me, but I remember flicking through it a few times going "I'm sure I've already read this paragraph... oh look, I did, it's in here again!"

#25 rosie28

Posted 14 September 2019 - 09:58 PM

My brother left the first Twilight book in my apartment in Tokyo years ago and I ran out of books so decided to read it. Someone really should have taken a red pen to it before it was released...could have been half the length. I got on Amazon and in magical Tokyo, had a pile of new books on my desk when I arrived at work the next morning.




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