Inconsistencies and Disappointment

I finished re-reading a book yesterday that I thoroughly enjoyed the first time through.  I even own the entire trilogy, and kept it, which is saying something.  So, having rediscovered it while moving, I chose to enjoy it again.

Unfortunately, I have become a writer since I read it the first time. 

Apparently I am now much more critical than I was before.  Perhaps I just notice more details, now that I focus on them in my own stories.  My tolerance threshold is definitely lower than before.

First, though this wasn’t a red-pen book – you know the type, so riddled with spelling and grammar errors that you are just itching to attack it with a red pen – it had a nearly unacceptable level of awkwardly-worded sentences and paragraphs with repeated words.  Did we really need two sentences in a row to end with “in the stream?”  Couldn’t the character “pass” something instead of using the word “hand” twice in one phrase?  This demonstrates it; I’ve clearly become too picky.  (This is also why I won’t read Twilight – too many warnings from friends that the writing is not so great.)

The other thing that now jumps out at me infuriatingly are story inconsistencies.  To be fair, I probably have some of my own that I didn’t catch.  I see them everywhere now; not just in books, but in movies, too.  But really, if you go to the trouble of saying the saddle has a hornless pommel, your main character can not later have the pommel horn jab her in the stomach.  Too picky again?

Another one that bugged me this weekend was not from the book I read, but from a movie.  Ocean’s Eleven (the Pitt/Clooney one).  I like the movie, don’t get me wrong, and I watched all three this weekend.  (Okay, I only watched Twelve to put Thirteen in the right context.  But I did watch it.)    I would give you a spoiler alert, but honestly, the movie is 9 years old.  If you’re planning to see it, you probably already have.  And if you haven’t, well, my apologies, as you may not completely understand the next paragraph.

Here is the part that bugs me: how do they get the duffels full of flyers into the vault?  You know, the ones that are supposedly full of money, that get sent up in the elevator and the security guys put into the white van?  I’ve looked for how they do it the last 3 times I’ve watched the movie – no one ever takes them down!  Yes, the majority of the team comes in as SWAT with similar duffels and takes out the money – but the bags of flyers are gone before SWAT arrives.  The only three guys in the vault when the bags appear are Ocean (Clooney), Linus (Matt Damon), and Yen (the grease man), and none of them came in with much of anything.  So where did the flyers (and their bags) come from?

And that random tirade clearly demonstrates that I am now way too picky when it comes to consistency of plot. 🙂  I just hope that I manage to live up to my own standards, at least most of the time.