Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pet Peeves In Writing

I love this video. It's not just because it's fracking hilarious, which it is, but it makes a good point. There are things in writing(and of course, screenwriting) that are way overdone. Some of those things don't even make any sense. For example:

Brad was knocked to the ground by a wicked blow to the back of the head. He reached up and felt the warm and sticky blood as it matted in his hair. Suddenly Rick took a step forward and pressed the barrel of the gun to his forehead.
"Time to say goodbye," he said dryly.
Rick thumbed back the hammer. Brad swallowed. It was not supposed to end like this. He had a wife, a son, back at home in bed. He was supposed to be there too, but he had offered to do his boss a favor, and this was his reward.

OK, so some of that was pretty corny but that was kinda the point. But the part I'm really talking about is where he "thumbs back the hammer" on the gun. This drives me nuts. I understand where it comes from, of course. You see, many of the guns they used to use required one to pull back the hammer. But unless your using one of those guns for your book/story/screenplay, you should just be able to pull the trigger. If you've ever shot a modern handgun you should know that you can pull back the hammer, but it accomplishes nothing.

I suspect my opinion on this will go largely ignored, and that's OK. Some of my favorite authors do it regularly, and I still like their work. It's just one of those things that I think is funny, much like the above video.

So, what are some things that you think are overdone? What gets under your skin because it either is done ad nauseum or doesn't make sense or both?

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