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troszkowsky
19-02-2011, 20:21
As inspired by a discussion in the Dan vs. Graham debate going on in another thread in this Forum:

We've all got them. They seem to appear in every book. The cliche phrases that keep coming up over and over with such regularity that you can almost plan ahead for them. Sorry, Dan, I love your work, but I think Eisenhorn might come up here, with the frequency of him slapping a new clip into his master crafted pistol. :p

Here's one: "The blade passed through the attacker's armour plating like wet parchmant."

Got one you love to hate seeing? Post it here!

-T

BobtheInquisitor
19-02-2011, 20:54
Anything having to do with a 5 am wake-up call by a servitor outside your apartment over Lemuria.

Also, anything about black-pinned yellow eyes.

AvatarForm
19-02-2011, 23:42
Anything having to do with a 5 am wake-up call by a servitor outside your apartment over Lemuria.

Also, anything about black0pinned yellow eyes.

Read Prospero Burns recently? :p

OT: Mine would be a few words which certain authours prefer... some quite uncommon.

"capitulate"

angelismortis
20-02-2011, 01:19
Passages referring to "whickering fire" and continuous use of the word choler in the various HH books.

Son of Sanguinius
20-02-2011, 06:29
Read Prospero Burns recently? :p

Yes, and Abnett really needs to stop using "wet-leopard growl".

ORKY ARD BOYZ
20-02-2011, 06:39
Yes, and Abnett really needs to stop using "wet-leopard growl".

As much as I liked the book that was quite annoying.

BobtheInquisitor
20-02-2011, 07:44
As much as I liked the book that was quite annoying.

Just once I would have like to hear a wet wolf howl. They are Space WOLVES after all.

(Okay, they're not. They're the Rout, alias Vlka Fenryka, alias The Emperor's Executioners, alias Johnny, alias Jack, alias Jacky...Anything but campy "Space Wolves". Because leather gimp-suit clad emo drunks who spout more bad Norse cliches than Marvel Comics' Thor can never be campy!)

ORKY ARD BOYZ
20-02-2011, 08:51
Just once I would have like to hear a wet wolf howl. They are Space WOLVES after all.

(Okay, they're not. They're the Rout, alias Vlka Fenryka, alias The Emperor's Executioners, alias Johnny, alias Jack, alias Jacky...Anything but campy "Space Wolves". Because leather gimp-suit clad emo drunks who spout more bad Norse cliches than Marvel Comics' Thor can never be campy!)

Well to be fair they're going to have to be pretty extreme in the first place, they are viking archetypes after all. Sure, Abnett didn't need to make the point about them being executioners, but then at least it adds a twist and gives them SOME nuance. Making the whole barbaric thing an act is more interesting than them actually being barbarains.

(Yeah the mask thing- I guess it's cool if they're sitting by a fireside drinking ale which is the equivalent of acid for human beings, but wearing them, or bare faces for that matter into battle makes no damn sense, and it can't even be explained in-universe style. On my models I can accept it, but I have higher standards in the written word.)

In my opinion: the thing needed more "murder-make." Get rid of some of the leopard growls to compensate.

AvatarForm
20-02-2011, 11:59
OK. No more Prospero Burns/ Space Puppies references. Its done.

Anything else?

Perhaps the ridiculous sounds and noises that some authors include in their passages in italics... because they are not correct english...

asphodel
20-02-2011, 13:32
From the Malus Darkblade books - "Spite bit and shook (enemy) like a terrier shakes a rat" sometimes altered to "...like a dog shakes a rat".

EDIT - oops, not a 40k book. But still...

Raellos
20-02-2011, 15:05
There is way too much ominous foreshadowing in the Ciaphas Cain books.

BobtheInquisitor
21-02-2011, 01:17
I don't like it when Space Marines punch the air in triumph, either.

Ciaphas Cain is so awesome I'm willing to overlook his constant use of "bowel-loosening terror".

AvatarForm
21-02-2011, 07:52
EDIT - oops, not a 40k book. But still...

Still... simply ask OP to change the itle to BL lit

Da'Mass
21-02-2011, 09:17
Whenever they're describing a particulaly frantic fight against a numerically superior foe it's
'but for every one they shot/stabbed/whatevered another two took their place'
Used so frequently, when I read it, my choler rises, I let out a wet leapord growl and my cat surcomes to bowl-loosening terror.

Idaan
21-02-2011, 15:24
"Swirling melee"

/thread.

nagash66
21-02-2011, 16:31
"Swirling melee"

/thread.

This made me chuckle:D.

magath
21-02-2011, 16:40
Marines being described as having "craggy" features or "features as if hewn from the craggy rock of somecraphole"

McNeill is a particularly bad offender for this.

Shogunate
21-02-2011, 17:17
Lol, I know this is fantasy but the sheer amount of times "ham-sized fists" was used in the Gotrek and Felix series drives me to insanity.

AvatarForm
21-02-2011, 18:51
Lol, I know this is fantasy but the sheer amount of times "ham-sized fists" was used in the Gotrek and Felix series drives me to insanity.

But his fists really are the size of hams... imagine being punched in the head with those!

Xisor
21-02-2011, 21:30
Patrician features. Everyone's either craggy or patrician-featured, especially if you're a ranking space marine.

BobtheInquisitor
22-02-2011, 02:55
You know who's not "two meters tall"? The characters who are "over two meters tall".

x-esiv-4c
22-02-2011, 13:31
@ Dan Abnett

Stop, please stop using the term "Spanked".
-The lasbolt spanked off the stone walls

Stop over using "exploded"
-The lastbolt exploded the cultist's head

Lars Porsenna
22-02-2011, 13:38
I'm going to go with the Sickle Clip catch-phrase, may have been mentioned in another thread. Not only is it silly it's inaccurate: bullets are stored in a magazine, and Space Marines clearly have detachable box magazines, so no need for a clip (much less one shaped like a sickle...)

It's a pet peeve...

Damon.

jackdoud
22-02-2011, 14:43
"subvocalized vox transmission"

Either you're talking into the vox or not. If you're trying to be quiet put your helmet back on and turn off the external vox idiot. :shifty:

AvatarForm
22-02-2011, 18:55
"subvocalized vox transmission"

Either you're talking into the vox or not. If you're trying to be quiet put your helmet back on and turn off the external vox idiot. :shifty:

Exactly. Some authors try to get away with pseudo-vocabulary... or would it be pseudo-verbosity?

Where they attempt to extend words or use them in interesting ways, often incorrect, in order to fit the atmosphere or sounds more learned than they are...

Abnett is not the only one... but 'capitulate' makes me wanna harm him in numerous ways

Bitterman
22-02-2011, 20:22
This thread is gold...Im off from "only lurk" mode.

The only one Ive detected from ADB is "sickening".

LOL at the "fists like hams", so damn true :D. So are the "patrician/craggy features".

Private_SeeD
22-02-2011, 22:40
i'm reading 'Salamander' and during one fight they use "wire slopped from the wound like intestines" about 3 times within a couple of pages apart

sliganian
23-02-2011, 16:23
"exploding mass reactive bolt shells"

An author writing about Marines MUST use the term 'mass reactive bolt shells' at least 5 times in the novel.

Note, the author is never required to explain EXACTLY what the hell 'mass reactive' is, but the editors are pretty keen that you include it.

Shogunate
23-02-2011, 17:47
Note, the author is never required to explain EXACTLY what the hell 'mass reactive' is, but the editors are pretty keen that you include it.

The opposite of Mass Effective of course! :shifty:

sliganian
24-02-2011, 00:08
The opposite of Mass Effective of course! :shifty:

I think that would be "mass pro-active" :D

Hatemonger
24-02-2011, 03:12
Oooh, boy, I will have to start making a list! Some top long-term offenders are "serried ranks" and "cloying smoke". Couldn't some ranks just be ordered? Couldn't we have some thick, hanging fog? I applaud the attempt at synonyms, but at this point, they need to use an everyday term just to be original.

On that note, a current contender is "atavistic", and I'm not sure they're even using it properly. To me, the word implies something like a throwback: a resurgence of style or beliefs, almost where you might say 'retro' or 'old-school' (but likely much older). They're using it as a direct replacement for "savage" or "barbaric", as in "atavistic violence".

Am I wrong?

- H8

Dyrnwyn
24-02-2011, 04:21
What, no mention of C.S. Goto's overuse of 'braying?'

Son of Sanguinius
24-02-2011, 06:25
That one wasn't so much overused as it was incredibly inappropriate. I know he intended to have the Eldar make non-human noises, but there are much better ways to describe such situations without making them sound animalistic.

AvatarForm
24-02-2011, 10:25
What, no mention of C.S. Goto's overuse of 'braying?'

You are a brave individual to read that far into Goto's works in order to recognise any patterns...

Or, you could be insane for recognising any pattern in Goto's ramblings... :shifty:

JackDaw
24-02-2011, 11:08
I'd like to praise Mr Bill Kings copy-and-paste approach to writing...how many times are we told of Gotreks 'ham-sized fists', see him 'knuckling his empty eye-socket' or 'running his thumb along the blade of his axe'?

For that matter, Felix did an awful lot of 'pulling his red Sudenland wool cloak around him' and Ragnar loved to 'thumb the activation rune' on his chainsword.

Good skills Mr King, good skills indeed.

AvatarForm
24-02-2011, 11:41
I'd like to praise Mr Bill Kings copy-and-paste approach to writing...how many times are we told of Gotreks 'ham-sized fists', see him 'knuckling his empty eye-socket' or 'running his thumb along the blade of his axe'?

For that matter, Felix did an awful lot of 'pulling his red Sudenland wool cloak around him' and Ragnar loved to 'thumb the activation rune' on his chainsword.

Good skills Mr King, good skills indeed.

Before there was Abnett, there was King... both cash-cows for BL...

JackDaw
24-02-2011, 11:46
I dread to think what new copy-and-paste fun will be created with King's upcoming Tyrion & Teclis series....

x-esiv-4c
24-02-2011, 13:32
Not so much a phrase but a literal usage.

I hate it when 40k writers do historical tie-ins. I'm currently reading...Oh god, I don't even know what the book is called but it has an Inquisitor Roth in it on some Chaos infested planet.

Roth meets up with a resistance fighter (who was a Doctor before becoming involved in the guerilla movement). His name is Sheh Queshiva.

*facepalm*

Lord Inquisitor
24-02-2011, 16:57
One I remember from Storm of Iron was that every attack had to be made at "salient angles". Exactly why the angles had to be salient was not explained but it had to have been used dozens of times in that book...

sliganian
24-02-2011, 18:35
One I remember from Storm of Iron was that every attack had to be made at "salient angles". Exactly why the angles had to be salient was not explained but it had to have been used dozens of times in that book...

Did the salient angle attacks use mass-reactive bolt shells, by any chance? :D

Barghest
25-02-2011, 04:10
Used so frequently, when I read it, my choler rises, I let out a wet leapord growl and my cat surcomes to bowl-loosening terror.

This is the best post ever.

New Cult King
28-02-2011, 03:42
There is way too much ominous foreshadowing in the Ciaphas Cain books.

You mean Cain ending every chapter of narrative with "If only I'd known at the time that..."

I stopped reading those books because of the regularity of this :(

kurisawa
28-02-2011, 05:29
I thought Mr. Abnett's favourite verb was "shivered". But I quite like that one, and might even try to use it.

For me, the most overly and inappropriately used simile (this seems on topic despite the title being "catchphrases") is "...like a scythe through wheat."

It's always a good idea to match similes to the POV characters' well... POV. Only pre-industrial rural farmers really know what a scythe going through wheat would be like, but it seems everyone from feral-hunter-turned-marine to Dark Elf aristocrats seem to think of it when they cut down enemies.

Most perturbatory.

K.

Wyrmwood
28-02-2011, 12:09
Aaron Dembski-Bowden likes to remind the readers of Helsreach that the Steel Legion uniform is ochre.

Dead.Blue.Clown
28-02-2011, 12:19
I love this thread.


Aaron Dembski-Bowden likes to remind the readers of Helsreach that the Steel Legion uniform is ochre.

It's ochre, by the way.

RobC
28-02-2011, 12:35
I'd like to praise Mr Bill Kings copy-and-paste approach to writing...how many times are we told of Gotreks 'ham-sized fists', see him 'knuckling his empty eye-socket' or 'running his thumb along the blade of his axe'?

For that matter, Felix did an awful lot of 'pulling his red Sudenland wool cloak around him' and Ragnar loved to 'thumb the activation rune' on his chainsword.

Good skills Mr King, good skills indeed.You seem to be assuming these are unintentional.

My reading is that the Sudenland wool and bleeding thumb are intentional motifs.

shadowhawk2008
28-02-2011, 12:52
well in the dow2 book i got tired of the author reminding us that the assault sergeant had stopped going into battle with a smile on his face or how unsuitable aramus is for command.

JackDaw
28-02-2011, 16:32
You seem to be assuming these are unintentional.

My reading is that the Sudenland wool and bleeding thumb are intentional motifs.

As in he was intentionally lazy and couldn't think of anything else for his characters to do when they weren't fighting?

Or are we assuming that both Gotrek and Felix have a set of almost Tourettes-like tics and habits?

RobC
28-02-2011, 16:43
As in he was intentionally lazy and couldn't think of anything else for his characters to do when they weren't fighting?

Or are we assuming that both Gotrek and Felix have a set of almost Tourettes-like tics and habits?They're unabashed sword & sorcery homages. Repeated motifs are part of the schtick.

reds8n
28-02-2011, 19:04
Or are we assuming that both Gotrek and Felix have a set of almost Tourettes-like tics and habits?

Wouldn't they ? I hardly think Trollslayers are going to be the most mentally stable of individuals at the best of times.

... lazy old Superman, pulling open his shirt to reveal the big S symbol as he starts to change. As for Batman... constantly lurking in dark alleyways, and in that TV show he slides down thos polls almost every episode !

Daemonslave
28-02-2011, 19:53
I thought of a good one, but...

I can't say

BobtheInquisitor
01-03-2011, 00:13
Or are we assuming that both Gotrek and Felix have a set of almost Tourettes-like tics and habits?

Actually... yes. Gotrek is clearly OCD about his axe. He always tests the blade with his thumb before a battle. Always.

With Felix, I think it's more of a reminder of the life he left behind and how he tries to cling (unconsciously or consciously) to the man he was. Sudenland wool is supposed to be expensive, and he had his cloak since his days as a rich young snot.

Besides, William King is the kind of writer who can get away with repetition like that because he makes it integral to the characters without overusing it when it isn't appropriate. (Well, maybe he overuses the wool...)



I thought of a good one, but...

I can't say


Why not? Can you at least hint at it?

Raellos
01-03-2011, 02:45
Another one from the Cain books. "A fine example of the distiller's art."

And historical references seem to be nearly required in BL books, and always are crass and obvious. The Siege of Sevastavork?

AvatarForm
01-03-2011, 09:52
I love this thread.



It's ochre, by the way.

LOL...

ADB, I could put more up but Im too polite ;)

Dead.Blue.Clown
01-03-2011, 09:58
And historical references seem to be nearly required in BL books, and always are crass and obvious. The Siege of Sevastavork?

Dunno. I kinda loathe them, myself. Some authors are especially crass with them, too.

Barghest
02-03-2011, 06:17
[QUOTE=BobtheInquisitor;5349398]With Felix, I think it's more of a reminder of the life he left behind and how he tries to cling (unconsciously or consciously) to the man he was. Sudenland wool is supposed to be expensive, and he had his cloak since his days as a rich young snot.

QUOTE]

I always thought the poor MFer was cold. They were always hanging out in mountains and ****.

Bubonic Chronic
02-03-2011, 08:49
"If only I'd known that at the time, I wouldnt of been so eager " - Cain

Once a book at least


An when ultramarine came out i was expecting them too shout for the emperor constantly, disappointingly, they did'nt

Da'Mass
02-03-2011, 12:55
And historical references seem to be nearly required in BL books, and always are crass and obvious. The Siege of Sevastavork?

40K is nothing but rehashed histroical references, movies, books and ancient mythology. Only thing they can lay any credit for are the conversations :p

Dead.Blue.Clown
02-03-2011, 12:56
40K is nothing but rehashed histroical references, movies, books and ancient mythology. Only thing they can lay any credit for are the conversations :p

There are degrees of it, though. Y'know what I mean.

Wyrmwood
02-03-2011, 12:56
It's ochre, by the way.

Ah, thanks for reminding me! I couldn't remember if the uniform was beige, brown, copper, oak, orange, tan or... What was it? Ochre?

Another overused phrase, almost like a prefix, is 'aetheric...' in A Thousand Sons. Aetheric power, currents, energy, force etc - it's especially visible toward the end.

Hang on, it was orange... right?

Da'Mass
02-03-2011, 13:52
Don't get me wrong, it's good for what it does.
It's broadened my knowledge of the classics and such greatly.
Yesterday I found out who the 'real' Abaddon was (actually prompted by adventures in Eve-Online, but knowing the name made me curious)

But GW are so litigious on what they consider their own (like with their list of copyrighted words I used to marvel at as a child 20+ years ago), I find it strange when they are so happy about grabbing almost every noteworthy uncopywritable material for themselves (case in point the Council of Nike).
It almost seems they're making a concsious effort to do so.

BobtheInquisitor
02-03-2011, 14:46
I always thought the historical references were mostly just jokes. The Council of Nikea, as a throw-away line in the earlier fluff, was just one more jab at the Imperial Creed being a parody of the Catholic Church. The problems only start when yesterday's throw-away jokes become the focus of today's 400 page novels.

Daemonslave
02-03-2011, 21:17
I thought of a good one, but...

I can't say


Why not? Can you at least hint at it?

Not a lodge member then I guess? 'I can't say' is over-used in the HH series - I know it's a deliberate catchphrase but it's still over used.

StormCrow
02-03-2011, 22:07
Im sorry this one isn't for 40k literature, but in the Nagash series Mike Lee describes almost everyone as 'handsome'

Dead.Blue.Clown
02-03-2011, 22:13
Some of these are a bit exaggerated, mind you. The Cain ones aren't, and I wouldn't suggest they were - it's just whether you find it part of the charm or not. I saw someone once list that in one of the Cain novels, half the chapters ended with "But if I'd known what was coming next..." and every single chapter had several references to Jurgen smelling bad. And I guess that's good or annoying, depending on how you buy into it.

But, like...


Not a lodge member then I guess? 'I can't say' is over-used in the HH series - I know it's a deliberate catchphrase but it's still over used.

...in 15 novels, it comes up, in what, 4 or 5 of them? I'd be willing to bet that in almost one and a half million words, it comes up 15-20 times maximum.

ExquisiteMonkey
03-03-2011, 01:42
I also rather like the continuity it provides in across the HH series.

alot of the HH books after Fulgrim don't really 'mesh' with any of the other books.

The DA ones are standalone - no interaction with any other legions/primarchs/known events (apart from IW at the end)
Nemesis, Battle for the Abyss, Mechanicum, Legion, The compliation (forget the title), etc etc.

The thing I really like about the first 5 books in the series, is that they showed a set of events from different angles, providing different reactions for each of them, while expanding slightly on each instance.
The latest books, as good as some of them are (especially FH, PB and ATS), they generally feel like standalone books and NOT part of a series of related events.

Wyrmwood
03-03-2011, 02:50
Well. The First Heretic ties into:
Horus Rising and False Gods, with moving Erebus into the company of the Warmaster and then onto Davin. It also provides some information on what the Word Bearers were doing in between the revelations in the Eye and Isstvan/Istvaan. A Thousand Sons does that as well, with the war on Shrike. The brotherhood between Magnus and Lorgar is also expanded on, from Magnus' perspective.
Fulgrim and Raven's Flight with the battle of Isstvan/Istvaan V.
Scions of the Storm, in which we also see what Argel Tal gets up to during the same engagement, as opposed to Sor Talgron (a.k.a The Warmonger, as he's known post Siege). Reading it enriches The First Heretic in that we see Lorgar's first action of hostility against the Emperor, and his renounciation of the Lectitio Divinitatus. Not to mention weaving events that essentially kickstart the Horus Heresy as a whole - by netting some mortal puppets.

However, all of the novels and short stories essentially form a tapestry that lets you see fragments of the whole picture.

magath
03-03-2011, 08:35
there's one that really annoys me, not so much overused, just bloody annoying, I've only ever conciously seen it in BL books, and I don't know why I find it so annoying, I just do:

damn, but they were...
damn, but they are...
damn, but he was...

I've never seen this anywhere else, maybe its just me being a picky muppet, i don't know...

ExquisiteMonkey
04-03-2011, 04:04
Well. The First Heretic ties into:
Horus Rising and False Gods, with moving Erebus into the company of the Warmaster and then onto Davin. It also provides some information on what the Word Bearers were doing in between the revelations in the Eye and Isstvan/Istvaan. A Thousand Sons does that as well, with the war on Shrike. The brotherhood between Magnus and Lorgar is also expanded on, from Magnus' perspective.
Fulgrim and Raven's Flight with the battle of Isstvan/Istvaan V.
Scions of the Storm, in which we also see what Argel Tal gets up to during the same engagement, as opposed to Sor Talgron (a.k.a The Warmonger, as he's known post Siege). Reading it enriches The First Heretic in that we see Lorgar's first action of hostility against the Emperor, and his renounciation of the Lectitio Divinitatus. Not to mention weaving events that essentially kickstart the Horus Heresy as a whole - by netting some mortal puppets.

However, all of the novels and short stories essentially form a tapestry that lets you see fragments of the whole picture.

To be fair, I have not managed to get Raven's Flight, or the latest Garro one (not too fussed on audio product, but will get to it eventually).
Is Scions of the Storm part of the HH series? my local book store where I buy my product doesn't have this listed as part of the series.

With Regards to FH, yes, it ties in with Erebus worming into the Lupercal's court, in that it mentions him being sent to help Horus take his first steps onto the path, but it does not actually tell that story - it is more throwaway lines, rather than another perspective.
Don't get me wrong, thoroughly enjoyed the book - probably my favourite in the entire series, but I would have loved to have seen some story focusing on Erebus and what went on behind closed doors during the first three novels, or Erebus' impression of Loken/Torgadden etc.

As I mentioned, haven't got to Raven's Flight, but if it does tie in to Fulgrim - most excellent.

But, you do have to agree, most of the books I mentioned in my post earlier, barely even have a throwaway mention of events from other books to tie them into the series.


I guess my point would be that after the way the first 5 books seemed to share certain story plot points in the build up to the heresy and its immediate consequences, I felt that the rest of the series would follow in much the same way, yet many of the stories are standalone.

So, I do enjoy when books like FH, ATS & PB throw some linkage in there.

andyg2006
04-03-2011, 11:58
I'm enjoying them, but the feeling I can't help but getting from the HH novels is: "It's all Erebus' fault." and that it's progressed too fast.
(I think that's GW's fault, not the authors though).
None of the Chaos Gods appealing to Horus' martial pride, none of the internal struggle he'd have to do against all of his training, love for The Emperor, etc...Erebus just turns up and (in pretty short order) Horus turns to the dark side.
Could have done at least half a book just about Horus' fall, or signs that he's getting worse (e.g. campaigns where he becomes more remote and where people around him notice that things are changing -e.g. kills people instead of letting them live, or whatever- Instead it's like Horus one day turns round to the Mournival and says "Hi, glad you could make it, here's my new advisor Erebus who you don't really know and he's going to tell you a story..." Then it goes to hell in a handcart, but basically the whole "turning" idea had been explored in a few pages.

Back to the thread though:
One of the phrases I can't stand is: "the butcher's bill was heavy that day".
It's not the imagery (as I'm an adult), but we've inevitably already been told x number of times that it's 'a huge warzone' / 'companies worth of people on either side' / etc
So it's like being told: "Loads of people died...and that's quite a lot of people, y'know..." (as though we'd not already guessed and as though mentioning it twice will have any more impact). <D'oh>.

The other word is "slaughter" when people describe anyone dying. There's loads of other words (and just as good/better ones) for being killed, but quite a lot of BL authors seem to turn just to this one.
Emperor be praised, Mr AD-B is free from such meanderings and has a lot better command of the English language.

Lupe
05-03-2011, 04:20
Is Scions of the Storm part of the HH series? my local book store where I buy my product doesn't have this listed as part of the series.


It's a short story in the Tales of Heresy book, so that must be why it's not listed. Still, it's an interesting enough book, that I always recommend, despite the fact that stories fluctuate in theme and quality...

AvatarForm
05-03-2011, 07:27
Some of these are a bit exaggerated, mind you. The Cain ones aren't, and I wouldn't suggest they were - it's just whether you find it part of the charm or not. I saw someone once list that in one of the Cain novels, half the chapters ended with "But if I'd known what was coming next..." and every single chapter had several references to Jurgen smelling bad. And I guess that's good or annoying, depending on how you buy into it.


I feel it adds to the charm and in the beginning, sets up the character of Cain quite well... later it can be repetitive, but to me it sums up Cain's disinterest in the greater good and confirms his selfishness.

Jedi152
05-03-2011, 08:38
I love this thread.



It's ochre, by the way.

If only we could 'like' posts...

I lost count of the times a 'coterie of the damned' was mentioned in Steve Savile's Curse of the Necrarch.

AvatarForm
05-03-2011, 22:55
If only we could 'like' posts...

I lost count of the times a 'coterie of the damned' was mentioned in Steve Savile's Curse of the Necrarch.

And then have everyone on your Facebook would turn their heads sideways before commenting "WTF?!"

Also, typing *Like* violates the 10-character rule.

On topic - Im reading the Grey Knight trilogy and if Ben Counter described ][ Ligeia as such and such, then Alaric 'very much doubted it were true' less often, the novels would not be so weighty with pages...

eyescrossed
06-03-2011, 03:57
Used so frequently, when I read it, my choler rises, I let out a wet leapord growl and my cat surcomes to bowl-loosening terror.

Sigged! :D

shadowhawk2008
06-03-2011, 04:25
Not a lodge member then I guess? 'I can't say' is over-used in the HH series - I know it's a deliberate catchphrase but it's still over used.
added an interesting mystique imo


Im sorry this one isn't for 40k literature, but in the Nagash series Mike Lee describes almost everyone as 'handsome' and nagash's obsessions with death.


I also rather like the continuity it provides in across the HH series.

alot of the HH books after Fulgrim don't really 'mesh' with any of the other books.

The DA ones are standalone - no interaction with any other legions/primarchs/known events (apart from IW at the end)
Nemesis, Battle for the Abyss, Mechanicum, Legion, The compliation (forget the title), etc etc.

The thing I really like about the first 5 books in the series, is that they showed a set of events from different angles, providing different reactions for each of them, while expanding slightly on each instance.
The latest books, as good as some of them are (especially FH, PB and ATS), they generally feel like standalone books and NOT part of a series of related events.
the first dark angels book has the white scars towards the latter third of the book btw.

The endings for abyss and TFH tie in together as part of the word bearers attack on ultramar.

Abyss and mechanicus tie in together with the construction of the furious abyss.

The first three books and mechanicus tie in due to the prsence of tech adept regulus who was horus' mechanicus advisor.

Legion mentions the ullanor campaign and horus becoming warmaster.

Tales of heresy ties in the custodes characters to ATS, bulveye to the last wolf novel and one of the precursor events to the prospero attack, the sisters of silence short ties in with flight of the eisenstein. Cant remember the others.

But yeah there arent any larger connections such as in the first four books.

It's a short story in the Tales of Heresy book, so that must be why it's not listed. Still, it's an interesting enough book, that I always recommend, despite the fact that stories fluctuate in theme and quality...
on the whole i loved it, especially the custodes and wolves' shorts although the sisters of silence was imo a waste of space.


And then have everyone on your Facebook would turn their heads sideways before commenting "WTF?!"

Also, typing *Like* violates the 10-character rule.

On topic - Im reading the Grey Knight trilogy and if Ben Counter described ][ Ligeia as such and such, then Alaric 'very much doubted it were true' less often, the novels would not be so weighty with pages...
that guy needs something to jazz up his stuff although i have no idea what.

Tak
06-03-2011, 06:45
Whenever they're describing a particulaly frantic fight against a numerically superior foe it's
'but for every one they shot/stabbed/whatevered another two took their place'
Used so frequently, when I read it, my choler rises, I let out a wet leapord growl and my cat surcomes to bowl-loosening terror.

This was going to be my gripe but Da'Mass beat me to it.:) But seriously, it's used WAY too much. Can't the authors think of anything else?

There is another example of writing that is often the cause of a mumbled curse or two and that is when an author uses increasingly ridiculous descriptions for a characters voice such as "his voice was like continents colliding" or "when he spoke it was with a voice like gravel":wtf:.

Does anyone know what I mean? There really is some weird descriptions out there. Has anyone else come across this phenomena or is it just me?

warflag
07-03-2011, 14:42
Not a phrase, but repeated so often, it ruined the reading, in Galaxy in Flames the Emperors Children and EVERYTHING they own, touch, see, step on, all heir weapons, armour, faces, feces, it all is "magnificent".
They have told us in school English profits from its rich vocabulary. Seems like not all of them native speakers heard of that...

As for Dan Abnett, I think he loves las-gunned exploding heads.

asphodel
08-03-2011, 03:01
There is another example of writing that is often the cause of a mumbled curse or two and that is when an author uses increasingly ridiculous descriptions for a characters voice such as "his voice was like continents colliding" or "when he spoke it was with a voice like gravel":wtf:.

Does anyone know what I mean? There really is some weird descriptions out there. Has anyone else come across this phenomena or is it just me?

While I don't disagree that these phrases are over-used, I think they can be fairly accurate in some cases. Take Jeremy Irons, how would you describe his voice? Personally, I'd say it's like gravel or gravelly.

The continents colliding is a bit more of a stretch, since that probably doesn't actually have a sound given that continents don't exactly collide at high velocity. But I think it clearly conveys a sound that's incredibly powerful and ear-splittingly loud, maybe with a thunderous quality to it - I imagine the voice of CSM in Dawn of War (0:14-0:26 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51WKnAWMmhQ)), but somewhat deeper and about a million times louder.

Torpedo Vegas
09-03-2011, 23:49
...in 15 novels, it comes up, in what, 4 or 5 of them? I'd be willing to bet that in almost one and a half million words, it comes up 15-20 times maximum.

Huh. The things you know.
Heheheh see what I did there?

TheDarkDaff
10-03-2011, 01:58
"subvocalized vox transmission"

Either you're talking into the vox or not. If you're trying to be quiet put your helmet back on and turn off the external vox idiot. :shifty:Or maybe blinking at the helmet in a form of sign language that is then blared over the external vox.


I thought of a good one, but...

I can't say


Not a lodge member then I guess? 'I can't say' is over-used in the HH series - I know it's a deliberate catchphrase but it's still over used.

I have to say i missed this the first time. For some reason my brain when straight to "I am Alpharius!"

Barghest
12-03-2011, 06:11
Just reread Iron Hands.

It's like a drinking game. Every time he writes "weakness" you take a shot. See how many chapters you get through.

See if the book is any better, either...

Myrmidon616
12-03-2011, 11:12
The constant references to Jurgen's body odour in the Cain books get a bit repetitive after a while but I suppose it is a good means of signposting when Jurgen is stepping in to save Cain from something only a melta can deal with.

AvatarForm
13-03-2011, 07:42
I just remembered the rubbish in the Malus Darkblade series...

"Pain let him know he was still alive"

"Hatred was his fuel"

etc.

What crap... if it wasnt for his mother's connections, someone as hated and despised as Malus would never have reached any height... I am particularly annoyed by those who read these statements and attempt to employ them irl as their own mottos... just saw someone quote them on their FB profile... yuck!

Wyrmwood
13-03-2011, 13:10
In Fulgrim, the Astartes punching the air is quite funny... And it happens a lot.

AvatarForm
14-03-2011, 11:25
In Fulgrim, the Astartes punching the air is quite funny... And it happens a lot.

I re-read this last weekend... this is true!

Also, the ease which Inq Ligiea succumbs to chaos/Tzeentch in the Grey knights omnibus is very lame...

shadowhawk2008
14-03-2011, 11:27
It was quite jarring indeed.

Nazguire
14-03-2011, 14:55
In Fulgrim, the Astartes punching the air is quite funny... And it happens a lot.

But Ultramarine Learchus will never do such a crude and unflattering gesture...

shadowhawk2008
14-03-2011, 15:04
Of course he wouldn't. He is too much a proper Ultramarine.

Warp Zero
15-03-2011, 17:12
I have one that I feel has appeared too often. The thing is, it's frequency is quite low ... but since it's use is tied to something significant as a name, I feel using it even two or three times outside of its original use is kind of too much.

I'm talking about naming something "Anathema". It's fine when its the name of the dagger that seriously wounds Horus. However, it's also the name of the bolter Talos (a Night Lord in "Soul Hunter") uses. I mean, yeah .... its possible that another soldier has named his rifle "Sharleen" as well as you have, but .... c'mon guys.... this is a major item in 40k history. It ruins the cool factor if other things share the same name. Plus, it can cause confusion. I feel its kind of like having a heavy cruiser class ship called "Enterprise" and then, in the same fleet, having a Frigate also named "Enterprise" Just kinda odd.

eyescrossed
16-03-2011, 02:32
Is it "Anathema" or "Anathame"? Because the blade that nearly killed Horus was the latter.

shadowhawk2008
16-03-2011, 03:19
I have one that I feel has appeared too often. The thing is, it's frequency is quite low ... but since it's use is tied to something significant as a name, I feel using it even two or three times outside of its original use is kind of too much.

I'm talking about naming something "Anathema". It's fine when its the name of the dagger that seriously wounds Horus. However, it's also the name of the bolter Talos (a Night Lord in "Soul Hunter") uses. I mean, yeah .... its possible that another soldier has named his rifle "Sharleen" as well as you have, but .... c'mon guys.... this is a major item in 40k history. It ruins the cool factor if other things share the same name. Plus, it can cause confusion. I feel its kind of like having a heavy cruiser class ship called "Enterprise" and then, in the same fleet, having a Frigate also named "Enterprise" Just kinda odd.

The one that almost killed Horus was Anathame. Is the one in SH anathema or anathame? And I don't recall the word anathame being used anywhere outside of its connection to Horus in the HH novels.

Nazguire
16-03-2011, 13:16
Of course he wouldn't. He is too much a proper Ultramarine.


You're missing the point.

It was by the same author, after he had written Fulgrim. I don't have the book on me, but it was along the lines of what I had previously written, as if he was taking the **** outta his own novel.

BobtheInquisitor
16-03-2011, 13:34
I think he was making fun of himself. Didn't he once say that he got the most grief over Fulgrim for the "punching the air" thing?

Warp Zero
16-03-2011, 13:44
Is it "Anathema" or "Anathame"? Because the blade that nearly killed Horus was the latter.


The one that almost killed Horus was Anathame. Is the one in SH anathema or anathame? And I don't recall the word anathame being used anywhere outside of its connection to Horus in the HH novels.

Woops. I guess I remembered the name of the dagger wrong. I thought it was "Anathema" (which is the name of Talos' bolter in Soul Hunter). Well, despite getting that fact wrong, I still submit the word as part of this discussion. If not now, I feel it's usage is gaining momentum and we'll see it (and it's variations)become common in 40k novels the way 'anomaly' became common in Star Trek Next Generation. :)

Shogunate
23-03-2011, 21:46
Just finished Prospero Burns so I had to come on here and vent about the one hundred occurences of wet leopard-growl/purr (as others have). It started off as an irritant, and it became a source of utter rage. As an author how do you justify using the same descriptive so many times?!? As an editor how does that not annoy the frak outta you?!!:wtf:

Lupe
24-03-2011, 05:04
Well, come on, it's like only 19 times, and two of them are actually wet leopard-chuckle and wet leopard-purr... you're overreacting... right?

/sarcasm

Jim
24-03-2011, 10:39
Just finished Prospero Burns so I had to come on here and vent about the one hundred occurences of wet leopard-growl/purr (as others have). It started off as an irritant, and it became a source of utter rage. As an author how do you justify using the same descriptive so many times?!? As an editor how does that not annoy the frak outta you?!!:wtf:

I saw the thread title and the 'wet leopard growl' instantly leapt to mind - I'm glad it wasn't just me who found it extremely overused. Its a good turn of phrase but it was slightly ridiculous how often it was used!!!

Otherwise I very much ejoyed the book...

Jim

Graeme
24-03-2011, 14:08
Not so much as a BL thing, but more of a studio cliche:

"[People] in [situation X] have been known to [do something a bit desperate]. Sometimes it even works"

Off the top of my head, I'm fairly sure this crops up in the Necromunda rulebook, Codex IG, Codex DE, Codex Orks and at least three times(!) in the BFG rulebook.

johnnyrumour
29-03-2011, 12:44
I'd like to praise Mr Bill Kings copy-and-paste approach to writing...

Good skills Mr King, good skills indeed.

Don't forget Gotrek causing his chain to tinkle delicately, Ragnar's frag grenades being 'deadly egg-sized discs' and so much 'musk of fear' that Thanquol should really be a wizened husk!


Originally Posted by Wyrmwood

Spoiler (Highlight to read)
Also, the ease which Inq Ligiea succumbs to chaos/Tzeentch in the Grey knights omnibus is very lame...

Not really, it suitably indicates the pernicious threat of Chaos... or Cthulhu ;)...

Novrain
29-03-2011, 17:58
In one of the first 3 Horus heresy books, the author uses the word 'ordure' about ten times in 30 pages.

I honestly think it was a bet.

shadowhawk2008
29-03-2011, 18:17
I honestly don't recall that word ever being used, and I've read them like at least 4 times.... perhaps a page number?

Ron Burgundy
30-03-2011, 05:00
Just finished Prospero Burns so I had to come on here and vent about the one hundred occurences of wet leopard-growl/purr (as others have). It started off as an irritant, and it became a source of utter rage. As an author how do you justify using the same descriptive so many times?!? As an editor how does that not annoy the frak outta you?!!:wtf:
Because it was done on purpose, just like all the other repeated phrases and imagery, to get across the feel of an oral saga?
Though it isn't the most pleasant phrase to read, I agree. I hope Abnett recognises his failing and corrects it, for I surely never want to read it again.
Until next winter, anyway.
Perhaps I will inscribe a mark of aversion upon my bookshelf.

Thoume
30-03-2011, 12:52
'Ahriman's subtle body' in A Thousand Sons

eyescrossed
31-03-2011, 02:01
'Ahriman's subtle body' in A Thousand Sons

I didn't really notice that. I loved A Thousand Sons, though.

Novrain
31-03-2011, 12:09
Just from a quick flick through.
Horus Rising: p. 94 & p.184

Athaleon
31-03-2011, 16:09
The Cain novels probably shouldn't count, because if they did the top three would belong to them:

"If I had known what was going to happen next, I'd have run screaming in the other direction"
"I was actually trying to put as many ___________ between myself and the enemy as possible"
"He nodded so vigorously he looked like a scholam pupil"

Rogerio
10-05-2011, 10:15
One that annoys me slightly and i cant really imagine happening is

"He swung his blade in a figure of eight"

Comes up a massive amount and i just cant picture the move in my head, even kasper hawser uses his axe like it in Prospero Burns, Cain, Gaunt and everyone else seems to do it too!

Thanatos_elNyx
10-05-2011, 11:27
Well if I swing a back hand blow from high left to lower right, and then follow with a foreswing from high right to lower left;
my weapon will have formed a figure 8 sideways (more like an infinity ∞).

I assume thats what's happening.

reds8n
10-05-2011, 12:09
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW7b5DUulh0&feature=related

et voila !

New Cult King
11-05-2011, 07:47
It wasn't overused, but apparently calling a character "Erasmus Spooge" in one of the Last Chancers books won Gav T a bet :D

enyoss
13-05-2011, 23:20
I think there is a lot of that kind of thing going on. I can't think of another reason why a character in Nemesis would be named after a default font in Microsoft Office. I expect it from light hearted stuff like Pratchett, but the whole nudge-wink isn't this name clever/funny thing grates a bit. It just seems a bit lazy, like the author is staring around his study for inspiration, giving us Planetary Governor Lord Myd Esque and Inquisitor Sta P. Leremover.

TheMav80
14-05-2011, 18:46
I like to think "wet leapord growl" was a abet or a dare.

Like in Super Troopers when he has to work "Meow" into the conversation 10 times.

Idaan
14-05-2011, 20:11
'Ahriman's subtle body' in A Thousand Sons

That's an actual esoterical concept though:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtle_body

With the Thousand Sons cults being strongly inspired by early 20th Century spiritism, especially Crowley's A∴A∴ and O.T.O. it is to be expected.

Cill
16-05-2011, 09:38
Cain: 'phlegmatic as ever'

Anything to do with Space Marines:

'the ground eating stride an Astartes could maintain for hours on end'

Foolish Mortal
16-05-2011, 14:30
Dawn of War books - Goto has the main characters 'adopt heroic poses' so many times- I could swear it happens 3 times on one page, but I can't recall which book (I think the one they are fighting chaos on a mountain at the end).

Or any time where a large/fat/heavily muscled guy 'moves surprisingly quickly for his size'

stompy
16-05-2011, 18:35
One of my favourites is 'red mist'.

As in, "His shoulder exploded in a puff of red mist."

I'm sure I've read that in at least three different Dan Abnett books, and books by at least two other authors...

Xisor
16-05-2011, 19:33
I think somewhere along the lines folks in here have misunderstood the difference between "most used phrases" and "most over-used catch phrases".

For example: Aaron D-B uses 'honeycomb' quite often in Blood Reaver. It's quite odd to notice. But that's just an author reusing a rather odd word. Not necessarily overusing it. Similarly with Andy Chambers and folks arms 'windmilling' in Survival Instinct.

"Wet leopard growl" fits the bill because it's intended that way. It's to reinforce a really odd/specific idea.

Here's one. "Unto the anvil"

It's a battle-cry, not a replacement for 'okay' or 'alright'.

Inquisitor Aaron
23-05-2011, 23:44
"for the emperor"
/thread :chrome:

MajorWesJanson
24-05-2011, 09:23
Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM

At least if you go by TV tropes :D

Nazguire
24-05-2011, 12:05
Because it was done on purpose, just like all the other repeated phrases and imagery, to get across the feel of an oral saga?
Though it isn't the most pleasant phrase to read, I agree. I hope Abnett recognises his failing and corrects it, for I surely never want to read it again.
Until next winter, anyway.
Perhaps I will inscribe a mark of aversion upon my bookshelf.

I see what you did thar! :p

I don't get all the complaints about Prospero Burns and the terminology used in it. I found it a fantastic book, right up there with Abnett's best work.

Wade Wilson
24-05-2011, 13:32
Im sure in the Space Wolf books Ragnar Blackmane seems to have an urge to rend and tear his enemies every few pages or so...

shadowhawk2008
24-05-2011, 16:42
Actually no. It is mostly a concern in Grey Hunter and IIRC in Wolf's Honour. In the first instance, he enjoys combat a little too much, getting lost in it and all, ends up thinking he might be a berserker because of a comment from his Sergeant. In the second instance it is because Madox is completing his ritual to devolve all Space Wolves into Wulfen.

scarletsquig
25-05-2011, 01:08
"the emporer protects"

"visceral"

Lord Malorne
25-05-2011, 01:40
Whenever they describe something big moving quickly, seemingly they are always shocked but from what I have read moving quickly and being big seems to be the norm in 40k.

Lyinar
25-05-2011, 01:50
One of the things about Prospero Burns is that it's being told as a skald's story, and repetition and kennings figure pretty heavily into that style.

BobtheInquisitor
25-05-2011, 03:30
One of the things about Prospero Burns is that it's being told as a skald's story, and repetition and kennings figure pretty heavily into that style.

One of the other things about Prospero Burns is that it sucks, and repetition and annoying phrases figure pretty heavily into that style.

Freak Ona Leash
26-05-2011, 18:27
One of the other things about Prospero Burns is that it sucks, and repetition and annoying phrases figure pretty heavily into that style.

That was humorous. And I liked Prospero Burns ;)

BobtheInquisitor
27-05-2011, 00:43
I think that the real horror of Prospero Burns is that there's a good book trapped inside it, writhing at the horror of its existence. Kind of like Fulgrim*.


*I'm talking about the character here, but you could probably say the same thing for the book if you didn't like it.


PS: Does punctuation count? Because if it does, I want to nominate the comma, which Gav Thorpe used to a devastating, even criminal, extent in Path of the Warrior. Every single time a character says more than 6 words, his dialogue becomes a run-on sentence. I found a few examples where one 'sentence' was really three or more complete sentences mashed together and fused like some sort of grammatical Brundlefly.

Now, I've read lots of Thorpe's other works and this is the first time I recall seeing this particular predilection, so it must be a stylistic choice on Gav's part. That makes it fair game for this thread. Also, it's really annoying. Hopefully Path of the Seer will be better or else I'll send Gav a word about following the Path of the Editor.

New Cult King
27-05-2011, 02:19
PS: Does punctuation count? Because if it does, I want to nominate the comma, which Gav Thorpe used to a devastating, even criminal, extent in Path of the Warrior. Every single time a character says more than 6 words, his dialogue becomes a run-on sentence. I found a few examples where one 'sentence' was really three or more complete sentences mashed together and fused like some sort of grammatical Brundlefly.

I think it was deliberate, showing the Exarch speaking almost in Haiku. Either way it was a poetic choice, because in almost every case, each phrase had 6 syllables (if I remember correctly). I quite enjoyed it.

BobtheInquisitor
27-05-2011, 03:34
The proper way of writing line breaks without actual line breaks is with a slash. Or Gav could have used some other punctuation mark, like a hyphen or a semi-colon or something more exotic. The commas just really make me want to pull out my hair. Grrrrr!

Okay, it isn't really that bad. The style is definitely very Eldar. When I read the dialog, the voice I hear in my head is always talking like a bad theatre actor trained in the British style, especially one who likes to alter his cadences by speeding up or slowing down his speech counter-intuitively and blurring sentences together for "dramatic effect." In other words, they all sound like Babylon 5's Michael O'Hare, except for Kenainath, who is clearly Satai Dukhat.

So I says to Mabel, "Gav Thorpe can write well/ His Eldar sound like Minbari/ and very British."

EDIT: That was a haiku (Americanized form), not Eldar hexameter.

andyg2006
27-05-2011, 18:45
Guilty as charged...mine was the "ramming home another sickle-clip" and I still find it nauseating.

My new favourite has to be "slaughtered"...every damn time there's a fight, or an evil-doer planning his latest craze, it always involves slaughtering.
How about a bit more variety and these poor folks getting 'hacked', 'chopped', 'gored', 'mutilated', 'maimed', 'dismembered', 'eviscerated', 'left-as-carrion', or just plain 'brutalised'..?

For fun:
At the next BL authors meeting, someone suggests that they've got a storyline about a character who has one of the 'big cat' species as an animal companion that is permanently angry, but also notoriously accident-prone (such as falling into drains, puddles, etc) and/or very fond of bathing.
People could start to discuss what sort of a noise such a beast would make, but everyone apart from Dan Abnett is in a fun sweepstake/betting pool about how long it takes him to suggest "wet leopard-growl" - lol?

forkmaster
28-05-2011, 23:25
I simply loved this thread and it has given me some pretty good pointers of what NOT to write in the future. :)

taffeh
02-06-2011, 09:03
"I have a bad feeling about this...." - oh..... wait...

Hmm all the slagging off of PB... sorry its a great book.. I didn’t want drunken Vikings in space kicking ass... maybe when I Was 15 but not now... It brings a whole new level to the Space Wolves as not mindless killers and is supposed to be interwoven with the 1st book. Wow its told from the story of a non-Astartes, that is just a mechanism to show it from an outsider and their mixed impressions having to live amongst these "savages". I find besides the Wolf King the primary character is that other one who... well... I wont spoil it...

After just finishing Fang it has rounded things up nicely in what I see as "The Godfather triolgy" of the duel between 2 of the most characterful legions...

It shouldn’t be read as a single book - it is Godfather Part 2 to 1ksons - if you pick it up alone you will not understand it...

Although with my analogy I've named Fang "the death of Michael Corleone" it brings about the "20 years after" theme by Dumas...

Finally, I think a great book is one where everyone doesn’t like it / understand it / not get what they expected - it creates mixed feelings especially by arguably the no.1 BL author.

Spider-pope
07-06-2011, 20:10
I think there is a lot of that kind of thing going on. I can't think of another reason why a character in Nemesis would be named after a default font in Microsoft Office. I expect it from light hearted stuff like Pratchett, but the whole nudge-wink isn't this name clever/funny thing grates a bit. It just seems a bit lazy, like the author is staring around his study for inspiration, giving us Planetary Governor Lord Myd Esque and Inquisitor Sta P. Leremover.

Any Black Library authors reading this, if you include a character named Tim Esnew Roman in your next novel i will personally buy 10 additional copies.

Rogerio
08-06-2011, 17:49
"The actinic stink of the warp.."

Its a very actinic stink thats for sure.

Dead.Blue.Clown
08-06-2011, 20:07
Any Black Library authors reading this, if you include a character named Tim Esnew Roman in your next novel i will personally buy 10 additional copies.

I'll take the case.






Legal Notice: "I'll take the case" is not a legally binding guarantee. No cases will be taken.

razormasticator
08-06-2011, 20:19
I don't like it when Space Marines punch the air in triumph, either.

Ciaphas Cain is so awesome I'm willing to overlook his constant use of "bowel-loosening terror".

Agreed, one of my favorite characters in all of the BL' archives.

BobtheInquisitor
08-06-2011, 20:31
I'll take the case.






Legal Notice: "I'll take the case" is not a legally binding guarantee. No cases will be taken.

I don't know... his offer might put you a spot higher on the NY Times Bestseller list. Can you afford not to take the case, Mr. Bigshot?


This is more of a general complaint than a specific catchphrase. Whenever a character describes a wound, cut or amputation as having "surgical precision", he had better not be talking about one caused by a damned chainsword!* As Morbo could no doubt tell you, chainsaws do not work that way.

*Eldar chainswords excluded, of course, because they are made of magic and friendship. Also, monomolecular quantum.

drmarco
08-06-2011, 23:18
I don't know... his offer might put you a spot higher on the NY Times Bestseller list. Can you afford not to take the case, Mr. Bigshot?


This is more of a general complaint than a specific catchphrase. Whenever a character describes a wound, cut or amputation as having "surgical precision", he had better not be talking about one caused by a damned chainsword!* As Morbo could no doubt tell you, chainsaws do not work that way.

*Eldar chainswords excluded, of course, because they are made of magic and friendship. Also, monomolecular quantum.

Finally! The mystery of Eldar tech is revealed!

Some genuine doozys listed so far, but if one more bolter round explodes inside someone with a dull 'krump' I'll call the onomatopoeia police...

Cheers,

Marco

Rogerio
09-06-2011, 09:09
I'll take the case.






Legal Notice: "I'll take the case" is not a legally binding guarantee. No cases will be taken.

You have the best 40k avatar i have seen, makes me chuckle every time.

de Selby
09-06-2011, 18:14
I don'r read enough BL to have noticed any of these, but really a lot of this is the fault of the editor. It's very difficult for an author to spot when he's used a very distinctive phrase or adjective more than once, his editor is supposed to point it out!

Then again, the only bit of BL editor's guidance I've ever seen (posted online in response to a fan story) suggested the use of 'more adjectives' when describing corridors, so I guess it may be difficult to avoid repetition after a while.

I'm excluding cases of deliberate repetition for dramatic effect. If Gotrek always checks the edge of his axe before a fight, that's not bad writing/editing in any objective sense. It's just a character point that the reader may or may not appreciate.

spetswalshe
11-06-2011, 15:57
It's not strictly a 40k deal, or a Black Library one, but I am so goddamn tired of hearing that the guns spoke that I've actually invented my own term for an initial volley of artillery fire. It is appropriate to cannons, mortars, howitzers or any other battery of large-scale firearms. The phrase is;

'bang went the artillery'

I consider this the equal of 'the guns spoke' because every time I read something where that crops up more than once, I read it again replacing it with my version and it is no more or less ridiculous.

simonr1978
11-06-2011, 23:39
It's not strictly a 40k deal, or a Black Library one, but I am so goddamn tired of hearing that the guns spoke that I've actually invented my own term for an initial volley of artillery fire. It is appropriate to cannons, mortars, howitzers or any other battery of large-scale firearms. The phrase is;

'bang went the artillery'

I consider this the equal of 'the guns spoke' because every time I read something where that crops up more than once, I read it again replacing it with my version and it is no more or less ridiculous.

I've followed this thread although I've read hardly anything from the Black Library (And what little I have read didn't make me feel inclined to follow it any further but that's neither here nor there), but I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that this one grates on.

I've actually read "..the gun spoke with authority...", I physically winced reading that one. Authors; People speak, Guns shoot, they can fire, even "chatter" is vaguely acceptable for automatic weapons, but please don't write that a gun "spoke", it's an appallingly chringworthy phrase.

BobtheInquisitor
11-06-2011, 23:50
How about if they roar? It's a metaphor. The gun is a big, dangerous animal, you see...


:V

Frep
12-06-2011, 17:16
This is 40k, it is quite possible for the gun to be a big and dangerous animal, and not simply a metaphor lol

Zoring
12-06-2011, 17:58
I looked at the Chaos doodles and it made my eyes hurt!

Just once i'd like to see them say, we saw the crude images drawn by the Chaos Cultists, and it didn't make us feel anything but contempt for our silly silly enemies.

Also when Lasgun powerpacks are called 'clips' rar. It's slightly irritating but understandable when people do it with solid ammunition Magazines but how can a battery be a clip! (or even a magazine for that matter, it's a battery innit!)

Also 'mass-reactive' doesn't that mean when it enters/interacts with like.. A mass, it explodes. (you know like every explosive projectile ever)

Also the smell of Ozone, how many people are familiar with what Ozone smells like? I assume it's kind of like the smell your computer makes when it has a power surge and blows up a bit. I guess smells are hard to describe.

SomeRandomEvilGuy
13-06-2011, 16:09
I looked at the Chaos doodles and it made my eyes hurt!

Just once i'd like to see them say, we saw the crude images drawn by the Chaos Cultists, and it didn't make us feel anything but contempt for our silly silly enemies.
It's shame that they're not just being silly then. Those symbols have power and meaning, to the extent that they corrupt just by being seen. They're not your everyday drawing, they're inspired by the terrors of the Warp.

Zoring
13-06-2011, 17:22
Psh, nonsense, some random scribbles drawn by an entry-level Chaos cultist why would they bend someone's mind. Hell i hope your child doesn't accidentally draw 3 circles and invoke the power of nurgle! :P

Longtimelurker
13-06-2011, 17:22
Peoples "cholers" seem to be rising an awfull lot in BL books.

de Selby
13-06-2011, 18:49
i hope your child doesn't accidentally draw 3 circles and invoke the power of nurgle! :P

In the 41st Millenium, this can actually happen. Arts and Crafts is a very strictly supervised aspect of kindergarten. It's basically just eagles and skulls.

spetswalshe
13-06-2011, 19:29
Just once i'd like to see them say, we saw the crude images drawn by the Chaos Cultists, and it didn't make us feel anything but contempt for our silly silly enemies.

I agree. Every. Single. Book. Written about or by someone affiliated with Chaos in Fantasy (as well as 40k) has the same tired 'go mad with the revelation' deal. Like the Speaking Guns (which should definitely be a magic item), I actually like this idea but GW writers as a rule have absolutely no self-control. Presumably it comes from having several different writers all working on the same stuff; all of them want to get in on the madness but no one is willing to just say 'yeah, okay, you use it, I'll think of something else'. It makes you wonder why Archaon was considered in any way special.


Also the smell of Ozone, how many people are familiar with what Ozone smells like? I assume it's kind of like the smell your computer makes when it has a power surge and blows up a bit. I guess smells are hard to describe.

I think most people I asked would know the smell of ozone, but I honestly don't know where from. Physics classes, maybe? I know it smells electricity - but I agree it's just lazy writing, using a word that sound science-like and spacey. I bet you'll find more lifelong-planetbound people in the 40k universve talking about atmosphere than you will talking about the sky.

Dead.Blue.Clown
14-06-2011, 11:33
I think most people I asked would know the smell of ozone, but I honestly don't know where from. Physics classes, maybe? I know it smells electricity - but I agree it's just lazy writing, using a word that sound science-like and spacey.

Most of your post drips with a very biased tone, and you kinda sound like you're 100% sure you're right about this, but you might wanna step back and consider other possibilities beyond Instant Laziness. I know, though - Occam's Razor. I'm not arguing, but I don't know any lazy writers, really. No one specifically puts fingers to keys and thinks "Meh, good enough."

Ozone is that unusually strong smell of fresh air before, during and after a storm. That's where most people know it from. It's a thematic reference as well as a scientific one.

EDIT: I have no idea why this sounds so combative. It's not supposed to.

Longtimelurker
14-06-2011, 12:41
is it wrong i know EXACTLY what ozone smells like? i have an "ozone unit" to clean the water on my fish tank.
like people say, its smells of lightning! you can also make yourself quite ill from it if used incorrectly.

anyway thats far too boring and writing about it makes my Choler rise.

SomeRandomEvilGuy
14-06-2011, 16:41
Psh, nonsense, some random scribbles drawn by an entry-level Chaos cultist why would they bend someone's mind.
Except they're being inspired by the forces of Chaos, and hence those symbols actually contain power.


Hell i hope your child doesn't accidentally draw 3 circles and invoke the power of nurgle! :P
I hope Nurgle doesn't actually exist. I also need to first find a good woman and spawn that child, but that'll come later. Hopefully.

spetswalshe
14-06-2011, 21:51
Most of your post drips with a very biased tone, and you kinda sound like you're 100% sure you're right about this, but you might wanna step back and consider other possibilities beyond Instant Laziness. I know, though - Occam's Razor. I'm not arguing, but I don't know any lazy writers, really. No one specifically puts fingers to keys and thinks "Meh, good enough."

I can actually think of two professional writers I know who do say that on a pretty regular basis, but that wasn't what I was getting at. Repetition of terms is a pretty basic flaw, and using popular but terms cribbed from the rest of the genre is on a similar level. Obviously it depends on the text - repetition of terms on a symbolic basis can be great, and using a generic lexicon is fine if it's a deliberate and appropriate choice, but when it stands out (and you get people actually noticing that 'mass reactive rounds' is used again and again because it sounds cool, rather than for any logical reason) then it's probably crossed the line.

There are other possibilities, but if we're going to generalise (and that's what this thread is) then I'm pretty confident that reaching for the metaphorical Space Opera Dictionary or unthinkingly applying something because it sounds futuristic comes under the heading of lazy, or at the very least tired.


Ozone is that unusually strong smell of fresh air before, during and after a storm. That's where most people know it from. It's a thematic reference as well as a scientific one.

Yeah, that's it. I knew it came from somewhere fairly common (i.e. not standing under a transformer or Transformer). I wouldn't have got the thematic angle but then again, having re-read a few passages, most authors don't seem to either.


I hope Nurgle doesn't actually exist. I also need to first find a good woman and spawn that child, but that'll come later. Hopefully.

Nurgle can help with them, you know. I mean it won't be pretty, obviously, but he could probably get the job done. If you're already referring to childbirth as 'spawning' you're halfway there :)

Deakor
15-06-2011, 17:28
Currently reading the second Space Wolf omnibus and if I had a dollar for every time Ragnar, Torin, or Haegr send someone to hell, contemplate taking someone to hell with them, or otherwise imagine/discuss/consider hell and its future inhabitants, I'd be a rich man.

Dead.Blue.Clown
15-06-2011, 17:39
I can actually think of two professional writers I know who do say that on a pretty regular basis, but that wasn't what I was getting at. Repetition of terms is a pretty basic flaw, and using popular but terms cribbed from the rest of the genre is on a similar level. Obviously it depends on the text - repetition of terms on a symbolic basis can be great, and using a generic lexicon is fine if it's a deliberate and appropriate choice, but when it stands out (and you get people actually noticing that 'mass reactive rounds' is used again and again because it sounds cool, rather than for any logical reason) then it's probably crossed the line.

I was totally charged up to argue, but found myself completely agreeing.

BobtheInquisitor
15-06-2011, 17:45
I thought I smelled ozone, but I guess I was mistaken.

bound for glory
15-06-2011, 20:57
most over used? "this next HH book is gonna be great!"

BobtheInquisitor
16-06-2011, 01:11
most over used? "this next HH book is gonna be great!"

By that standard, so are "New York Times Bestselling series" and "Dan Abnett".

bound for glory
17-06-2011, 17:46
oh, just the greatest books in print, right?

Dogface
18-06-2011, 02:03
Ciaphias Cain has some of the most formulaic writing, which annoys me because I enjoyed the books the first time I read them but the author has never really expanded his diction or Ciaphias' character.

I read Blood Reaver recently and there were like, two mentions of severed heads pissing blood. It was just such an odd way to describe arterial blood spray that I made a mental note of it. Wasn't really annoying though.

AvatarForm
20-06-2011, 00:52
By that standard, so are "New York Times Bestselling series" and "Dan Abnett".

Dan Abnett is great... NY Times Best Sellers not so much...

Vidzero
22-06-2011, 20:54
The term, "cooked off" whenever ammo explodes....

BobtheInquisitor
22-06-2011, 22:50
The term, "cooked off" whenever ammo explodes....

That's actually the term for it, though. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_off)

Freak Ona Leash
23-06-2011, 00:24
"And then his killing became methodical..."

I have read a variation of the above so many times, beyond even BL books.

"Forget the Socratic method class! Today we're learning the Khornate method!"

:D

Wyrmwood
23-06-2011, 14:41
'Turned on his heel' Optionally followed by 'and walked away/shouted to his men/and ran'. Also, 'turned' can be swapped out for 'spun'. Speaking of which, 'he spun low'.

BobtheInquisitor
23-06-2011, 18:22
oh, just the greatest books in print, right?

I thought you were referring to Black Library hype. If so, just the name "Dan Abnett" counts, judging by the way they try to conjure sales with it. And they can't mention "NYT Bestselling series" enough. Hence, if standard press release sales speak counts as an annoying catchphrase, then the junk they throw on most of their covers/blog entries/events should count, too.

The only reason I'm not throwing ADB on that list is his name isn't annoying. Yet.

darkstar
23-06-2011, 22:02
The next time I hear of a mutant/demon/chaos spawn mewl I think I'm going to have a coronary. Chaos is supposed to be terrifying. Kittens just aren't. Unless they're Chaos Kittens of course.

Dead.Blue.Clown
23-06-2011, 23:52
I thought you were referring to Black Library hype. If so, just the name "Dan Abnett" counts, judging by the way they try to conjure sales with it. And they can't mention "NYT Bestselling series" enough. Hence, if standard press release sales speak counts as an annoying catchphrase, then the junk they throw on most of their covers/blog entries/events should count, too.

I think you're confusing "The way Black Library acts" with "The way every publisher ever, anywhere, acts". If something makes the NYT bestseller list (which is a huge thing for a novel) then it always gets mentioned in advertising. It's just how it goes.



The only reason I'm not throwing ADB on that list is his name isn't annoying. Yet.

I dunno. My name annoys me. Takes ages to spell for delivery guys.

Revanchist13
24-06-2011, 01:15
This actually the reverse of the topic, but I've been reading the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, and I'm at book 9, and I've noticed that it's been mentioned several times (by characters such as Varl and even the summaries on the back of the books) that Gaunt loves to spout the phrase "Men of Tanith, do you want to live forever?" But in the first 9 books, he's only ever said it once, maybe twice....

BobtheInquisitor
24-06-2011, 05:24
I think you're confusing "The way Black Library acts" with "The way every publisher ever, anywhere, acts". If something makes the NYT bestseller list (which is a huge thing for a novel) then it always gets mentioned in advertising. It's just how it goes.

Actually, I had responded to this

most over used? "this next HH book is gonna be great!"

with this

By that standard, so are "New York Times Bestselling series" and "Dan Abnett". .

It was intended as a subtle rebuke, but maybe the sarcasm wasn't as obvious over the internet, because the poster then responded with his own sarcastic reply about the quality of BL novels. (He doesn't like them.)

My response to that was more straight-forward, if still facetious. Basically, I was pointing out exactly what you are describing; if the poster is going to complain about how BL promotes its books, then by that standard even authors' names would count as "annoying catchphrases".

I did not seriously imply anywhere that I agree with him. I happen to enjoy a lot of Black Library novels, including yours and most of Dan's. I also know that Black Library is actually pretty tasteful about promoting its novels compared to some publishers out there. Frankly, I was just ticked off at the whole "Black Library sucks hurf hurf amirite?" attitude that permeates most of these threads.*

I consider it exciting that Black Library has so many bestsellers and Gemmell Award-winning authors. Unfortunately, Aaron, that means it's up to you to step up and take it to the next level--you're going to have to win a Hugo Award.



I dunno. My name annoys me. Takes ages to spell for delivery guys.
Dembski-Bowden? That's considered a difficult name in the UK? It spells just like it sounds. Heck, it even had vowels. Come to the US and you'll fit right in, at least in one of our big, coastal cities.


*If we are going to discuss annoying catchphrases in the larger pool of literature books things you read, there are very few annoying catchphrases that can top "the distinctive snap-hiss of a lightsaber". Maybe Psylocke's "focused totality of [her] psychic powers".

Dead.Blue.Clown
24-06-2011, 09:53
*If we are going to discuss annoying catchphrases in the larger pool of literature books things you read, there are very few annoying catchphrases that can top "the distinctive snap-hiss of a lightsaber".

I actually love you. That's so agonisingly true.

reds8n
24-06-2011, 10:35
I dunno. My name annoys me. Takes ages to spell for delivery guys.

When you get married you could always take your wife's name. ;)

DeadlySquirrel
24-06-2011, 11:25
When you get married you could always take your wife's name. ;)

That is wrong on so many levels. So very, very wrong.

johnmcl7
25-06-2011, 19:30
The one that particularly annoys me is 'Courage and Honor' in the Ultramarines book, after reading through this thread I can only assume was a bet that Graham McNeill won by a substantial margin. The book is has the phrase as its title then starts off with annoyingly frequent use of it and proceeding to get just completely silly with its overuse of the phrase with Ventris, his sergeant and the Imperial Guard all repeating it to each other...I'm surprised the Tau didn't join in as well. Also Ventris' chest swelling with pride was daft the first time and no better after the 50th, the daemon descriptions all seem very copy/paste as well.

John

BobtheInquisitor
25-06-2011, 20:08
Well, you know how those Ultramarines are, all steel and doom and everything.

New Cult King
28-06-2011, 04:02
When you get married you could always take your wife's name. ;)

Nah 'cos my surname is even worse!

:shifty:

I know snap-hiss might be over used, but damn it's the perfect description of a lightsaber that's firing up.

BobtheInquisitor
28-06-2011, 04:15
I know snap-hiss might be over used, but damn it's the perfect description of a lightsaber that's firing up.

I disagree. A lightsaber neither snaps nor hisses. Seriously, go watch Star Wars (it's always good to have an excuse) or just make some lightsaber sounds with your mouth right now. Did you hiss? No. Did the saber make a snap? No. It was more of a spark-hum, wasn't it? It certainly wasn't a snap-hiss.

That's the irritating icing on the cake of annoyance for me.

Now, I love Timothy Zahn (Well, his books...so far as I can love any Star Wars books), but "snap-hiss" was the biggest blunder he made since he decided that the GALACTIC Empire was roughly 60% Unknown Regions.

Revanchist13
28-06-2011, 06:20
[QUOTE=BobtheInquisitor;5610722]Did you hiss?[QUOTE]

Actually, yeah...XD Definitely didn't snap though.

New Cult King
29-06-2011, 04:15
I see the spark-hum while it's activated, and in combat, but the snap hiss is a very distinctive sound... although seemingly moreso when it's powered down.

But I haven't read many SW books, so I don't really have an opinion on how it affects the stories.

Xisor
29-06-2011, 14:51
It's just...very obvious. I think, like colour, onomatopoeic descriptions in text change over time. Homer's bronze skies?

Of course, I vaguely remember thinking 'snap hiss' wasn't right either. My mates at school always said 'skizzy-wahw', but that's not quite right either. How about the Tardis engine noise? Vworp vworp vworp? No, yet that's how it's been described.

Describing sounds in text is, in my mind, a pretty difficult one to get right. Describing by analogies makes more sense yet...well, it's easy to get them wrong. Or to irritate people with them. Wet leopard growl indeed.

Revanchist13
29-06-2011, 15:13
If there WAS a wet leopard growling, I think I'd be a bit more worried by the smell...

BobtheInquisitor
29-06-2011, 16:08
The wet leopard growled when he heard the distinctive snap-hiss of a lightsaber...

So it goes.



(But at least it's not this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnMKHf0WM98).)

Revanchist13
29-06-2011, 17:12
(But at least it's not this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnMKHf0WM98).)

We should replace all the Bolters' sound effects with this.