Repetition and redundancy…

See what I did there? At least I used different terms.

Alright, so I’m going to rant again. I know, I know- I promised reviews. I also warned you I’d be posting my opinions on books.

I’d started to read two books this week that I just couldn’t finish. I didn’t review them officially because I don’t believe it’s fair for me to give a negative review if I can’t make it thru the content. With that disclaimer out there; on my personal blog- I can complain about spending time rereading something for the 5th time in a single chapter!

One story was set on a planet that was almost entirely water. The male character takes the female lead to his island. They discuss twice on the trip to it that he owns the entire island. They get settled in his house, head out to go swimming (because what else would you do on a water planet?), and he tells her again that it’s all his. And she, for some unfathomable reason, feels the need to ask, “The whole island?”

Woman, are you hard of hearing? Mentally lacking? Dory in human form?!? Ugh! I didn’t make it past that.

In the second book I felt like it was a constant see-saw of, “He’s so hot,” vs “He treats me so badly.” Sorry but no one is hot enough to put up with the junk this guy kept pulling. I got real tired of the repetitive back and forth real quick. This particular kind of issue isn’t an uncommon one.

I wish I could say it was only new or less experienced authors that do this. Sadly that’s not the case. Established authors that I love are just as guilty of falling into a redundant rut. And I’m going to call one out.

Laurell K. Hamilton writes the Anita Blake series and she’s caught a lot of flak over how her character has changed thru the years. I loved the first 12 books in the series with a few plot twist exceptions. After that it’s been hit and miss for me, but I still read each new book thru the library.

One thing that doesn’t seem to change enough though is the way the men’s clothes are often described by the female lead. It’s one of the worst redundant writing issues I’ve ever come across. Sometimes I’m tempted to flip back and compare word for word between scenes and even books.

Before anyone reads this and gets too grumpy – yes I understand there are only so many ways to describe someone’s attire and her characters have certain styles. I concede that point. That doesn’t mean you can recycle the same description every. single. time. Pop open that creativity box (or a thesaurus) and come up with a different way to tell me he looks like he’s wearing liquid latex. It stops sounding sexy and starts feeling lazy after a while.

I want to stay engaged when I’m reading. Not suffer deja vu every 3rd page. It doesn’t make the book faster for me to know what they’re going to say. It only makes it more likely I’ll get fed up and put the story down.

That’s just my opinion though.


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