Threads and Signs

XU3XgmzThe last couple of days have been a bit crazy. Ramping up for GRL which means a lot of little things that need doing and me getting them done. Now I have to get back to doing that big thing called writing a book.

I’ve been hitting a wall actually for plot these past couple of weeks. Everything my brain tossed out was very trite and blergh. I got a tickle this morning and am going to hunt it down until I find the end of the thread. Hopefully that will work. Because in order to write a book, you kinda have to be excited about it.

Or at least I want to be excited about it.

Finished the new JD Robb while on vacation. I liked it well enough but there was this thing that bugged me. One of the mechanisms Robb uses to show Eve grew up off the social grid is her lack of understanding or knowledge of things like common sayings or typical social cues. Sometimes it gets a bit stale but nothing out of character.

Until this last book.

Where Eve Dallas doesn’t understand time zones.

I’ll have to admit, it kept jerking me out of the story because I’m all… dude, she’s a fucking LT in the NY Police department. And she’s been to other places like Mexico, Paris and Ireland during the series. All of a sudden she can’t grasp the concept of Oklahoma having a different time zone than New York? Come on… really.

I kept hissing when that thread wove back into a conversation because Dallas is intelligent. And a five year old can understand time zones. It made me angry for the character. And I LIKED the book itself. Just that one small pissy thread.

It’s stuff like that you want to avoid while writing.

There are instances when the author knows something is true but a reader might call shenanigans on for whatever reason. In those cases, you just kind of have to grit your teeth and not respond with a profanity hard enough to make the cat blush.

3365351593_a8772066c2_zCase in point: Someone remarked a Kai’s 69 Mustang Grande Coupe’s back seat was impossible for a pregnant woman to get in and out of. Thing is, I actually owned Kai’s car. For years… until I sold it to a young fireman from Arizona who lusted after it so much I knew I’d just been fostering the Mustang for him. Trust me, a pregnant woman can get in and out of the back seat quite easily. Because I have a friend who seems like she’s eternally pregnant. Love her but she’s become my litmus test on what a pregnant woman can and cannot do. And I adore her for letting me hijack her life for research.

But this person is convinced otherwise. So what can you do? Okay, sure Meegan didn’t give birth in the passenger seat but sometimes I think it was close. *grins*

You’re gonna get people who say no fucking way. Even if you intimately know the situation. In this case, I laughed and moved on. Although obviously it stuck in some way because I once in a while think about it and chuckle a bit.

I do kind of miss the car sometimes. If only because it was pretty. But owning two vintage cars is a financial drain. I am adulting here!

So all of this leads to plotting. And making sure there’s no fuckery whatever threads being woven into the story. I shall go forth and try. That’s all I can do. Really that’s all anyone can do.

Except for the time zones thing. That was just wrong. It made me all grumpy.

17 thoughts on “Threads and Signs

  1. After the book Bane of Boston, I had someone tell me that there’s no way someone would be terrorized for catching a ball at a baseball game to the point they’d have to leave town. I sent them a link to Steve Bartman – which of course is where the idea for Bane came from in the first place. Cubs fans STILL remember that name, 12 years later.

    1. It’s like the tuck rule during the SnowBowl against the Raiders and the Patriots. Years later I was watching a Ravens game and said… fuck me, that’s the ref who ruled against the Raiders. Not a second later, the announcer gave some noise about the ref being on the wrong side of Oakland 😀

  2. Dee Ash

    People are strange. I rarely understand social stuff so I expect people to be confusing. Life is weird. And weirder shit happens because people are weird too. This is it. And don’t judge by Nora Roberts, I mean I like Eve Dallas and all but really, it’s the stuff you read when the frustration needs a little down time, like beans on toast on a rainy day. Really Eve and Roarke should be relaxing with 2.4 and a glass of chardonnay not perpetually doing the same thing with a slight difference. You know when to end on a high. And see if it comes to you, the plot that is, sometimes pushing makes the ideas run away. Do some doodles and listen to mood music while looking at birds out the window. It’ll come.

    1. Oh don’t get me wrong… I LOVE the JD Robb books… I was just all… hey! THAT ONE THING! *grins* It’s a good mystery.

      Not keen on beans on toast but a good mushroom fry is awesome!

  3. I understand what you mean. One of the things that always bugs me is when they say you need to wait 24 hours before filing a police report for a missing person. It’s not true.

    I’ve read it in quite a few books and also seen it on several TV shows and even a movie or two.

    I’m a re-reader & there’s a book I enjoy that has officer of the law missing and his lover is upset because a)he’s in hostile territory, b) He’s never late and never doesn’t answer his phone c) someone had already tried to kill someone close to him. The Lover calls his office and the local police and is told there is nothing they can do.

    Under those conditions I can tell you not only would a report be filed / everyone from the chief on down would be called out.

    And even though I know it’s in there and I love to re-read the book, it still pisses me off when I do. I mean angry ranting to all my friends. Even though it’s not even a true story.

    The truth is, if you as a loved one believe that your friend or relative is missing, a report will be taken and entered. That’s the way it works.

      1. And I do get that it’s a plot device, but there are others that could work better and would be more believable – like report filed but the police are unable to locate. Much more believable.

  4. Mary Sebers

    While on the subject of things that bug a reader regarding a story; what about the ‘reader’ for an audio book? I’m Late to the party but I’ve started reading Jordan Hawk. I bought the audio for Threshold’ and the reader has a nice voice but no idea how to differentiate the characters. Very distracting. If the same person is reading the other audios I’ll stick with ebooks.

    1. See I like Jordan’s voice actor but there are some who are literally reading the book. The narrators that are the most successful are the ones who act it out. Voices and all. I am so very grateful for mine because they’re actors 😀

    2. If you like audiobooks and use Audible, listen to the sample first. Listen to the whole sample to really see if it’s a reading you like. Another thing is to check the reviews. If there is anything there that bugs someone, they will mention it there.

      Greg Tremblay (Rhys’s narrator) is one of the better ones. You will find your own favorites, but I agree with Rhys – Voice actors that act out the story are always the better ones.

      And I say that as an avid listener and a re-listener.

  5. Brenda

    Just finished JD myself and has a slightly different take on the time zone issue. I used to watch Mike and Mike on ESPN and whenever time zones were mentioned one of them went on and on how he would like to do away with time zones as they are annoying. I think because of that I took Eve’s time zone issue to be along the same annoyance line more than lack of understanding. You know why we have them but as they can be inconvenient you become annoyed and ask WHY do we have this it is stupid and makes no sense. Something to ponder.

    1. See time zones don’t bug me. But then I grew up in Hawai’i and most everyone was not in my time slice 😀

      What annoyed me was her perplexing confusion on it. It seemed too forced? loud of an objection? Hard to say.

  6. isisrising4sandra

    I adore Eve and Roarke, but I admit there are times when Eve’s inability to ‘grasp’ some very simple concepts seems uncharacteristic of someone who is brilliant and intuitive. I fully admit to understanding and appreciating her lack of social skills, but things that are job related for her should be second nature and that would include time zones. An irritation? Sure. Something to forget and then remember again? Unlikely.

      1. Mary

        I’ve known people with that kind of brain power & they do have problems with mundane things like time zones. Eve has problems with getting her hair done since she chops at it herself. Why have someone fuss with it. Or make up, what for? It’s annoying to those of use with a regular brain but between the way she grew up & that just different enough brain, it works. Don’t forget how stubborn she is; just because it seems like a simple concept to us doesn’t mean it is to her.

      2. Most of the time, I understand. This time, it seems out of left field because she’s deal with time zones perfectly fine before… in Mexico, Paris and Ireland to name a few. It really kept jerking me out of the story because it was getting beaten to death at some points. The hair thing I TOTALLY understand 😀

  7. Personally, I think Eve does it on purpose to annoy people … or rather, to spread her own annoyance when the world won’t bend to her really quite logical demands. And it amuses me to no end to think that it probably annoys her author as much as it does other characters.

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