Bombs Away!

I finished The Slow Burn of Silence by Loreth Anne White the other day and have some things to say.

First, I’m more disappointed when a book I like annoys me than when I give up by page 10 or so. I stuck with TSBOS all the way through because I really dug the storyline and characters, but dammit why…

(Second) Why why WHY would White choose to write in “normal” third person past tense for most scenes yet inexplicably switch to first person present for the heroine’s POV? There was absolutely no reason for this. Rachel’s POV sections could easily have been written the same as the rest. It was maddening when the shifts occurred (despite being in separate scenes). Totally distracting.

(Third) Too many coinkydinks, especially those happening all at once. Just as the SHTF in one area, someone else’s wife just happens to stumble upon a pile of clues in his workshop though they’d been there for years. And the entire violent past incident/evidence/conviction that caused the whole mess was a series of flimsy coinkydinks piled atop a turtle and just… ugh. Yet, I suppose it illustrates how a person can be framed for a crime he didn’t commit if everyone involved manages to keep silent for years. Irritating regardless.

(Fourth) I was gonna say that the sex scenes were totally unrealistic, but I have been schooled on Facebook that some men are indeed capable of performing after getting beaten with a tire iron and left to burn in a fire, so nevermind.

(Fifth) BOMBING. Omg. Bombing. Early on, White uses the phrase “bombing down the mountain” to describe fast, reckless driving and I liked it. A cool, fresh usage. Wonderful! But then she used it again. And again. And again. For driving and bike riding and rain and whatever. It drove me insane. I would have given TSBOS four stars on Goodreads, but this knocked it down to three.

So here’s my rule: when you create a clever new turn of phrase, you get to use it once per story. ONCE. No exceptions. One bomb per book. That’s it.

Bombs

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11 responses to “Bombs Away!

  1. In Portland, Oregon, in 1966, I first heard the word bombing used to describe fast driving. (“Bombing down the road,”) I think a little later in the Bay Area, too. Of course, there were the Bay Area Bombers Roller Derby team. I have no opinion about the tire iron/burn thing.

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  2. My dad used to say “bombing down the road” all the time, too. And I see Roy also heard it in Portland, so perhaps it’s an Upper Left Coast-ism. I think men are capable of performing under unusual circumstances if they are also on a stimulant drug of some kind, but otherwise, probably not. I’ve known a few people who were able to stand and deliver after physical exertions and/or abuses that would have left most people wailing by the side of the road, but the guy in question was on cocaine in one case, and amphetamines in the two other cases. I suppose a massive adrenaline surge might have the same effect. I don’t intend to find out.

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  3. I think twice would be okay, sometimes. Definitely not constantly.

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  4. OK! OK! Twice, unless I’m first hit with a crowbar. Then probably just once.

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  5. Your reviews of bad writer moves make me feel as though writing for publication must be a cinch, just tell that story, be good at it, and avoid stupid errors. But I quietly suspect there is more to it.

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    • It’s easy to critique… harder to write my own. I just found a mistake in one of my books… couldn’t find the file I uploaded, grabbed the latest backup, and am fixing it to resubmit. Such a fucking pain. But I *must*!

      Actually this might inspire me to write Book 2 in the trilogy after all…

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  6. As a Dirty Old Lady I am here to tell you that guys are more likely to invoke their trials as an excuse than an incentive. Just the voice of experience weighin’ in here. In most cases, they bomb. Which may explain the other usage.

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