Saturday, December 10, 2011

new ways to annoy a reader

Now, I understand that Marcia Muller has been around a long time, so this isnt something new in the world, as far as writing goes, only to me.  I've noticed in many of her books (someone was cleaning out a book stash and gifted me with a stack of these) she uses some very strange word constructions, based, no doubt, on the way English is Spoke, not  how it's written. 
I'd've,  should've,  words're, people're (as in "people are strange")

And now that Ive seen her doing it, I notice that other newer writers're doing it too. Wish I'd not've seen that, it's threatening to make me crazy and stop reading her stuff, which isn't half bad, even if it does get a bit complicated...

Sue Grafton annoys in another way, by her incredible use of the personal pronoun.  "I walked out my door, taking my bag and my gun with me, went down my steps to my new car, got in, turned on the key, and drove away." 


  1. One can assume, then, that she drove herself away, I suppose?

    I'm sure that what she meant, but she clould've been more clear.

  2. There're a couple of writers I've stopped reading altogether, now that I find the only verbs they know are walked and grabbed. Nobody ever picks anything up, moves it, selects it, handles it, nope, they all grab it. While walking to the car and then walking to the library and then walking through the stacks. Gosh this is boring already and it's only a para long...I'd've done better not to start

  3. I gave up on "The Natural" by Malamud, when I realized how hard I was working to wade through his ghastly prose. When I came to a descriptive passage where the hero panted and shirted himself I quietly closed the book before he finally discovered his socks and shoed himself...

    Sometimes the writers we think are wonderful appear to have only the most fundamental grasp of how a novel should be written.