Another blog written in
Minnesota: I mentioned that I'd re-read a couple of old favorite books of mine while
I was home in MN. I talked about slang, now I'll talk about a few other things
that make them dated and I don't mean the technology or lack thereof so much as
I've worried off and on about
the technology dating my books. Things have changed so fast that it's hard to
anticipate what to put in when writing a story. What will stay fresh and what
will leave readers going, that's so 2006? Personally, as I read these books
again, the typewriter and lack of cell phones didn't bother me because I knew
the books were older. The hero's attitude, though, was another story.
First, let me say that I still
enjoyed both books and I'd still re-read them. The author released them as
ebooks and I'd love to see if she rewrote them or not. I know, for me personally,
I left my stories as they were written originally. I call them O'Shea Classic
and only fixed a couple of things that really bothered me. My thoughts on this
were that people who wanted to get the original story in ebook format, should
be able to get that. The other point is that I want to work on new stuff, not
rewrite the old—which I could do indefinitely.
Um, but I digress. So anyway,
I'm reading the original 1989 version of these books, and while I'm curious if
the author rewrote them, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't. And honestly,
she didn't really have to although there were a few things the hero did that
made me grit my teeth.
Pet peeve of mine is when the
hero calls the heroine "a little idiot." This is something that
happened a lot in the old 80s era romances I hunted down. There were books
written in the early to mid-80s that I read in the 90s that had me rewriting
the story so the heroine ditched the so-called hero and found a better man.
These books weren't that far gone, but there was the little idiot factor at work.
There was the way the hero
threatened the heroine with spankings and actually did spank her once. Not
because it was a BDSM book or kinky in anyway. It was because the heroine got
too mouthy. This seriously annoyed the hell out of me. The hero wasn't a
full-blown asshole, but there were some lingering wisps of that here.
The one other pet peeve of
mine—and I've blogged about this several times—is the constant use of the
characters names in these old books. Some new books today, too, but I think the
80s were particularly bad for soap opera dialogue where the name is used in
every paragraph of conversation between the h/h and sometimes more than once
per paragraph. People do not talk that way. But I won't digress down that path
any more than I already have.
Reading these older books do get me thinking,
though, about how my own work will hold up to time. I already know one book
where my reference to a website is already dated. It was almost to that point
when the book was released, but I hadn't guessed how fast MySpace would fade
from public use. It dropped like a rock. I've learned and I'll mull over my
re-reading lessons a bit, too.
Labels: books, reading, writing