Literary pet peeves

Sally Odgers sodgers at
Sun Feb 9 20:50:03 EST 2003

> This seems a pretty good rule of thumb. Does it apply to third person
> narrators as well as characters, though? In the first draft of what I'm
> writing at the moment, for instance, I've referred to someone setting a
> 'fuse of rumour'.

I usually find synonyms and metaphor the things to watch in historicals. You
can't put "spreading like a pool of ink" in a time predating ink. You could
put "spreading like blood in water", or "spilled milk" (supposing the
culture has milk and containers).  You can't put "blue as denim" in a book
predating denim, but you might manage "blue as blueberry juice"... if the
culture has access to blueberries.

My peeve is people who don;t know Australia but who set books here and use
all the wrong terms for things - or insert platypuses where they're not, or
put koalas in Tasmania. If using a different ocuntry for a setting I go to
quite a lot of trouble to be accurate.


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