Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bad Sex - It's Really About the Edits

It happens to the best of us.  You read the story too many times and you miss something.  Sometimes you've read that scene so many times that your brain rewrites it to what it wants you to see.  Or maybe that deadline had you rush, you sped read your way through.  Who knows how it happens but we hope that others will catch it, maybe our beta reader or the final catcher, the editor but alas, sometimes they too, are merely human.  As a reader I'm pretty forgiving, I imagine most of us are.  Usually I'll just skim read over the occasional blip.   But in a recent book by an author who never fails to deliver a great story, I stumbled into some pretty big glitches.

The story started out smoothly enough as early on a character goes to another country for an interview.  It was a secondary character so I didn't put much thought into any of it as the character flitted in and out of the story.  I assumed that when she got the job she moved to the country of the interview.  A city was mentioned which is a good sized metropolis in the country of the interview.  However, the city is also in another country and is one of those that can be mentioned without tagging on the country of origin, like Paris and New York.  But why would I assume that it was anything other than the one in the country where the interview occurred?  So when all of a sudden the character is roaming around Europe as a result of the proximity to her job I was stumped.  I had visualized her for half the story in North America in the country she had gone to for the interview.  I had to skim back pages before I realized the problem.  The author assumed there was no city by that name in the country where she was interviewed - wrong.  Okay, one hiccup but the story was still going along great.

And then the characters made love or the sex scene screwup (play on words not intended, really).  If you're going to make an error, I would suggest you make it good - and make your reader laugh.  And this one did just that.  Everyone writes awkward phrases but this topped them all as the hero banged her nub and he kept banging it.

Of course there was more to it but I couldn't get past the phrasing.  t immediately had this image and it wasn't one of pleasure.  After I stopped laughing well, I don't know about you, but that read like something hurtful was going on down there.  If it had been BDSM it might have creaked through, no not even then, the wording was just too awkward.  As it was, I suspect that the heroine wasn't reaching for the bed posts in ecstasy.  In fact, I was surprised that she didn't smack him upside the head and resurrect a tattered copy of The Hite Report or maybe the Joy of Sex or...

So as the result of a lazy afternoon's read, I was reminded of the importance of editing and editing again.  BTW - despite it all, in the end it was still a good story!

Any "interesting" reads in your day?


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