Sunday, October 21, 2012

How Picky Are You?

I've been thinking lately about something someone told me a few years ago and wondering what my blog pals think.

If you're reading a book and a little detail is wrong, how much does it irritate you?  What about big details?

Are you more likely to get irritated if the detail is about a place you lived or a job you've done or some hobby you're familiar with?

Personally, I don't think I'm all that easy to irritate.  Let's say I'm reading a crime novel.  Everything I know about crime I've learned on TV, so let's just say I'm not the best expert.  I wouldn't know if someone got something wrong unless it was glaringly wrong.  Like a veteran cop gets a tip on the location of the murderer and he rushes right over - without calling for backup or telling anyone where he's going.  That would probably make me want to chuck the book at a wall.

Unless the story really grabs my attention - so much so that I don't really notice he's just done something no self respecting officer would do.

And maybe that's the 'get out of jail free card'.

Let's take Grey's Anatomy.  I lurve that show.  But I also recognize they get a lot of things wrong.  The end of the musical episode where Callie wakes up after all that brain trauma and answers the question Arizona asked her in the minutes leading up to the accident??  Yeah.  That would never happen.  I've never met someone with brain damage who remembers the time around the accident that caused their brain damage.  Personally, 27 days of my life went ba-bye forever .  Heh, and the musical episode is still one of my favorites.  Grey's is so awesome, it gets a whole deck of 'get out of jail free cards' from me.

So, I'm guessing the answer to how picky a reader is would be subjective.  Still, I'd like to know the answer.

How picky are you?


  1. I agree, it depends on the strength of the story, but usually I'll just roll my eyes and read on. After all, I've been wrong on details before. ;-)

    If the story is strong, I may not even *notice* a glaring problem until I've had time to think about it. I'm too caught up in real life, I mean, the novel that's so much more interesting than my mundane life.

  2. I guess I'm not that picky. I read for the characters, not procedures. Of course, if the MC did the stupid thing (secondary characters can be more forgiving), it may make me rethink buying anything else from that author, especially if the story was only so-so. Now, if I loved the story, it probably wouldn't make a difference.

    FYI - I really hate your verification thingy. Half the time I can't even read them!!

  3. If the characters are compelling, I can overlook a lot of things. Think I'm more forgiving with books than I am movies or TV shows though.

  4. For me it depends as well, but not based on the strength of the story, characters or writing. If the story is sci fi or fantasy or paranormal, then I go into it expecting that things are going to differ widely from reality, so things don't bug me. It all falls under the suspension of disbelief. But if it's a historical or contemporary novel, and the author screws up bad enough for me to notice, then I'm pissed because just in the noticing I am jarred out of the story and can't fully get back into it.

  5. OK, I can't believe I didn't comment...I was here, reading and then must have popped out without adding my two cents (and I know you want my two cents ;)

    Pickier now that I've been writing - before, never bother me at all (I am all about suspending belief for a good story - you're talking to an ex-soap opera addict). Now, much pickier, but it's more about the mechanics than the fiction. And if it's a great story - yeah, I'm there all the way no matter how many weird things happen!