Reader Pet Peeves + Writer Choices - Page 2

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Thread: Reader Pet Peeves + Writer Choices

  1. #11
    Patron Foxee's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'am View Post
    I feel like writing has ruined a lot of my reading enjoyment in general. Things like small inconsistencies, redundancies, overabundance of -ly adverbs, as well as the larger story problems like unlikely twists and illogical endings, all jump up out at me now. I may as well read with a red pen in hand and make corrections.
    Been noticing in books where authors break out of POV and head-hop to someone else, usually in wrapping up a chapter or something. Oddly enough it doesn't drive me crazy because usually they make it work but it stands out, can't not notice it.

  2. #12
    Yards and yards and yards of two or more people waffling on about bugger all. I don't need scene setting beyond the merest sketch.

  3. #13
    Anything that takes me out of the story. Repetition of words like "as" and pronouns.

    Patterns that repeat too often such as a succession of two clause sentences.

    Long, complicated sentences that need to be read more than once to understand.

    Too many speech tags.

    How to avoid these pitfalls? Knowledge of them and rigorous editing...

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle R View Post
    As a reader, what's a specific pet peeve that always bothers you in a story?

    As a writer, how do you avoid making this same literary mistake?
    Bad use of multiple point of view. This is actually pissing me off in a novel I am currently reading (When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neill). It's a good book in many respects, but each chapter is told from one of two characters points of view and one of them I am increasingly bored with while the other I really enjoy. It really comes down to one of the characters being fleshed out the other just kind of...we're supposed to care? I'm at the point where I almost want to skip through half the book because that character is just so dull but being a mystery I can't.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Norwich, UK
    I have loads of pet peeves for each genre as I read all over the place.
    The way adults are depicted as useless in YA novels and it's left to a sixteen year old with no training in warfare weapons to lead a rebellion against an oppressive Government - and they win!

    Themes that come across as preachy or trying to shove the authors opinions as facts right down your throat.

    Or the brooding, alcoholic detective trying to find a killer stalking women. He ends up protecting and bedding the latest witness.

    But the one thing that is going to make me close a book is a one dimensional, stereotypical main character.

    No idea. I haven't even written anything yet, which is partly why I'm here. But my aim to create a complex character with problems we can all relate to even if my chosen area is fantasy and sci-fi. To come up with something as original as possible and if it's not original to put my own spin on it.

  6. #16
    I previously commented but the book Iím currently reading is driving me crazy. The main character is great, off kilter sense of humor and with great depth... but, the story has no point. Thereís simply no there there. The antagonists have no clear motive, and the protagonist is sort of tricked into going on the adventure... he had no reason to go, but he just kinda did.

    The author also goes on and on about technology, even in the middle of some crucial action, which I end up paging through without reading.

  7. #17
    A story that has a "twist" but no point other than for the author to say, "I tricked you, see!" Stories that attempt to shock for no other purpose than to shock, and end up not making any sense as a result. I see this in flash fiction a lot. Like, Johnny's getting ready to be baptized, or something, but then, like, the pastor drowns him. I think I actually read a flash piece once where that was the plot. But there's no build-up or greater thread, so though I may feel surprised in like a, "Huh, that was weird," kind of surprise, I don't actually care, or have any reason to re-read the story.

    1st person voice that's bland, cynical, or whiny (or all three, in especially bad cases)

    When I get a feeling of veiled distaste or hatred coming from the author, whether towards me or towards the characters/setting. So, like a story set in a small town in the American South, but the author clearly has never met someone from the South and thinks they're all disgusting racists. I always feel like, "If you hate it so much, why are we even here?"

    Needless cruelty. Not graphic violence per say, but when things are just perverse and horrible for no reason, especially when the perverse, horrible things are inflicted on an innocent or childlike character (worst of all, an actual child). This, to me, is pretty obviously evil, but I see it more often than I would expect so I feel like I have to mention it.

    Multiple plot threads, but only one or two are interesting. It's almost worse than a flat-out boring book, because you can't just throw the book away, you have to skip around trying to follow the interesting parts while avoiding all the slog.

    Generally what helps me avoid my own pet peeves is to write what I myself would like to read, and forget trying to be smart. If I try to do something "clever," it's more likely to turn out annoying or nonsensical.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.

  8. #18
    'Social Commentary' we all read on the Huffington Post last month.

    Plots that resemble weird racialist conspiracy theories (white people be tryna steal my bone marrow!) I don't know if I love or hate this one but it's irresponsible to use it regardless
    Dead by Dawn!

  9. #19
    I don't like the narration or character telling me what is going to happen in the future of the story. I am trying to put myself in the story as if it is real, and the author is fighting with me about that?

    I do not do this.
    English is a good language for people who like to be creative and expressive, not for people who want words to fit into boxes and stay there.

    Hidden Content -- Hidden Content

  10. #20
    Member Irwin's Avatar
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    Jul 2019
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    Most literary works have a few technical errors, but sometimes you get a book that's so poorly written that it's unreadable.

    Somebody recommended a book to me, so I bought the Kindle version for a few bucks. I got a few pages in and noticed something that, once I noticed it, I couldn't go on. See if you can spot what it was. Here is a page chosen at random.

    Click image for larger version. 

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