I probably ought to title this post "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" because I feel like I’ve SBD‘d about this a million times. And yet I’m doing it again.
Or content editing.
Whichever it is.
Dear NY Publishers, please pay attention to the words appearing in the books you want me to buy.
In one recent European historical, really a historical fantasy (kudos to Growly Cub, who gave me that label) novel, the heroine contemplates buying a new pink dress in the shade of primrose, rather than ruby or poppy. *sigh* Although there are pink primroses (Asian), the commonly accepted usage is that primrose (as color) is yellow, like the European primrose. This is like the usage of "rose" as a color — there are a lot of different colored roses, but rose (color) is generally thought/used as a reddish pink. Also, the pale pink implied is kind of inconsistent with ruby and poppy. (My twitter complaint resulted in a long conversation about this yesterday, if you’re interested.)
In an urban fantasy novel I read last week, a character howled. Which is not a big deal…except in the last book of the series, readers were told that his vocal chords were so damaged that he would never howl again. And that is NOT the first consistency error scattered in this author’s books (hello, percentages that add up to more than 100% and clothing that switches from a sleeveless shirt to a sweatshirt within a single scene).