Friday, February 03, 2006


I'm a pretty forgiving sort of a reader. As a writer, I know mistakes happen - typos get past even after three or even four people have read the ms, and the occasional bigger mistake creeps in. So I don't give up on a book if, for example, the heroine takes off her sweater and then five pages later, takes off her sweater again. That's not a biggie for me - it doesn't affect the story so I'll let it go.

But right now, I'm reading a book which has made two very big mistakes. One, I told myself to get past - it could've just been a really unfortunate typo. But the second is making it difficult for me to keep giving this book a chance. Here's a synopsis: There's a disaster and the hero and heroine are left without anything. So the hero goes out and hires a hotel room & buys them new clothes. At first, I thought, where did he get the money? Then I figured that since he fell asleep in his clothes, his wallet was in his pocket. No problem. Except a few pages later, the two of them make a big deal about how they don't have any money or credit cards etc because everything was lost in the disaster!!

I actually put down the book at that point and considered never picking it up again. The only reason I'm going to do so is because there's a minor character who I'm quite fond of and would like to know the fate of. I think the reason this mistake affected me so much is because it pulled me completely out of the flow of the story and had me thinking consciously about what was going on. And once that happened, it became very difficult for me to lose myself in the book again. My brain keeps trying to pick it apart.

Would that mistake have put you off? What would?


Emma Sinclair said...

I had a problem recently where a characters eyes changed colors NOT JOKING, a page apart.

I know that's a frequent problem BUT A PAGE APART!?!?!

It was the last page of one chapter and the first page of a next chapter.

I finished and enjoyed the boook but that definately gave me some problems.

Barbara said...

I just had a problem with a book that I was reading this week
" Hidden Gems". The man take off her blouse and two paragraphs later he does it again.
Well it bothers me when that happens because I have to go back to make sure that I didn't read it wrong.
However if the story is well development I will keep going.

Nalini. I order your new book. I should get it today or Monday. I can't wait to read it.

Olga said...

I can forgibe mistakes and still pick up another book by this author if I like the voice and the character. One of my pet peeves is when I figure out who is the villain (love RS) a chap or several before the main characters do. Even worse, when I can see the suspicious signs, but the heroine doesn't and goes right into a trap. Hmm, I noticed I'm becoming less forgiving lately as I learn more about the genre and writing, or I just notice mistakes more easily.

Nalini Singh said...

Emma, one page apart??? Seriously?

Barbara - Hope you enjoy Secrets! :) Let me know what you think.

Re your comment about wallbangers, I definitely have the same reaction if something makes me go back and reread. The spell of the story breaks and it's so hard to get back into it again.

Olga - Yes, yes, yes!!! Can't agree with you more re the suspense, *esp* about characters not noticing things they should notice. On the other hand (putting on my lawyer hat), I read someone else's comment about suspense on another blog and they pointed out that while we know we're in the middle of a suspense plot, the hero/heroine don't, so maybe we're being too hard on them. Hmmm, I don't know if I agree but it's definitely a different way of looking at things.

Angelle Trieste said...

I'd have quit reading when the h/H start arguing about not having any money.

Nalini Singh said...

You're tough, Angelle. But yeah, if I hadn't cared about finding out what happened to that sympathetic secondary character, I probably would have too.

Angelle Trieste said...


I don't know if I'm tough or not, but I just don't have time to waste on books I don't like.

Colleen Gleason said...

I probably would have quit reading at that point. It's just such a big error--the whole point of the story is that they have lost everything, and things are tough, and oh what are they going to do...yet, it's not as tough as they make it appear.

That's a big error. I can even handle eye color changes or double blouse removals...but something that is so pertinent to the plot would make me crazy.