Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Credibility

I started reading a book that sounded very intriguing only to lose interesting  a couple chapters in.  The book didn't have credibility.  the world felt forced.  It felt like when my daughter does a puzzle and pounds in a piece that doesn't quite fit.  If you only glance at it you might not notice, but if you look closely things didn't match up. There was no motivation, just an author propelling her character into situations.  I've had this happen before, where authors got freeways wrong, or said their character couldn't eat Mayo because of Dairy allergies (there's no dairy in Mayo, people)  Things like this tell me the author didn't do their homework and the story loses credibility. 

41 comments:

  1. I've experienced that too. I quit reading one very prolific thriller writer for this very reason. Oh, and my hubby had milk issues. We learned the hard way to check mayo labels because some do have milk (or whey) in them. He prefers Miracle Whip now.

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    1. Good to know. I've checked several brands and have never seen dairy. Of course then we discovered my son's egg allergies so we left the mayo alone.

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  2. Lack of credibility does it in for me too, especially when it's obvious the author fudged the details without bothering to do the research.

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  3. Yep, throws me right out of the story.

    A-Z participant blogging from Elise Fallson

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  4. I write urban fantasy, and it vital that I make life real for my characters in the little details: the landmarks, the smells, the lingering bruises and pains of conflicts - a broken finger hurts and stays broken for a loooong time. :-)

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  5. There has to be credibility first. Other than getting a scathing review for all to see, it's the worst feeling having your reader calling you out on a mistake.

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    1. I can imagine it would be mortifying.

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  6. I have to agree and I think some of that comes from bad editing, as well.

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    1. Quite possibly. And I try to give some leeway since I know sometimes things slip through the cracks but some mistakes are just too glaring.

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  7. I agree. I'm a nurse, and it bugs me when people don't bother to get basic medical details right (e.g. treating viruses with antibiotics and describing arterial spray from veins).

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  8. Perfect word! And I totally agree...

    ...which only puts a lot of pressure on us authors! LOL. :)

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  9. Don't you wonder, though, how these books end up published? Sometimes that really annoys me.

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  10. I usually finish a book like that, but I don't recommend it to others. ; )

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  11. I've had that happen. I came across a mystery writer years ago that I just loved, so I started seeking out his other books.

    His early stuff sucked. He didn't develop his characters and painted no picture of the setting. He grew tremendously over the years.

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    1. Well that's good to know we can grow and improve. And that we can get published with less than perfect pieces.

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  12. I agree--lack of credibility can really slam you out of a story.

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    1. It has to feel real to want to spend time there.

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  13. I've been lucky and not come across many books that lack credibility, but maybe I've not read enough!

    (Grover at Inane Ramblings)

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  14. I'm definitely all about credibility, even with my made up towns! I lose interest over things like that too.

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  15. It seems that sometimes writers are more concerned about an interesting or unusual plot, rather than whether or not the story is character driven. Forcing a character into a preconceived plot seems to be a sure fire way to lose credibility.

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  16. The author has to build a compelling plot, setting, and cast of characters to make me "believe" their story, even if the story is fantasy or sci-fi.

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    1. Especially if it's fantasy or sci-fi. Those are the genres we can't generally relate in any way to what we already know so we are at the complete mercy of the author to get it right for us.

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  17. I love your word choice for this C-post.
    Lack of credibility is definitely a serious issue...

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  18. If the book is compelling, I sometimes overlook those sins or, more honestly, I don't notice them. I read a book recently-- a bestseller--and the author made a time-sin. He put a computer and internet in a decade where they didn't exist. Readers jumped all over that and, quite honestly, I never noticed. It does pay to do the homework, though, just for that reason!

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    1. Somethings I know I wouldn't notice either.

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  19. Very well said, and I love your analogy. I've been guilty of trying to pound a puzzle piece into a place a time or two, but you're right, it never really works.

    ~ Rhonda Parrish

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    1. I think we all look for an easy way to fit things together now and again.

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  20. That would drive me crazy too! We all work SO hard to make it perfect so how do these types of things slip through the cracks with all the so-called publisher editing!

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  21. Hi again, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Since you liked the sound of the movie, I hope you did go to the site and play the trailer. It really captures the feel of the movie, and I hope you do get to see the movie.

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  22. Something very strange happens to me when I read a book that's got potential but is poorly written. It makes me write because I know in my heart I can do better. Strange reaction, but it's actually inspiring. Same thing when I read a good book with excellent plot and fabulous characters.

    Happy A-to-Zing, Sara.

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  23. Research is always something that writers seem to slack off on. I guess once the rush of writing has passed, the slow plod of researching if that flower actually blooms at that time of year seems boring.

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    1. I know some authors who spend massive amounts of time researching and are amazingly accurate (as far as I know) But I think they are the minority.

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  24. I have that happen to me also. I read and write fantasy so I expect things not of this world but sometimes something is so wrong or impossible it takes me right out of the story.

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  25. I have to admit that I had one of those moments in my first book. Someone called me out on it. Seriously, I thought I had it right (I won't say what in order to save face). Luckily, it was fixed and I can move on feeling confident. That's why it's so important to use betas/CPs.

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  26. I hate moments like that. However, I know things that I have written are laden down with that exact problem. I tend to drag my feet at researching but it (eventually) gets done.

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  27. Credibility/trust is easy to ruin, but difficult to build back. Many people won't give the chance.

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  28. Ah credibility... it's super important not to lose.

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  29. I've put books down because of a lack of credibility.

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  30. To hold together, a story needs credibility. One slip - and the dream is shattered.

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  31. Love this! I have a very hard time continuing a book when I don't trust the author. Being a military wife I have had this happen a couple times bookswith some military themes. Events happen that are so unrealistic and it makes me mad. Research is such an important step.

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