If you’re reading this blog you have an intimate familiarity with the tendencies, biases, and at times irrational peeves that swim around in my head. My condolences.
But what turns you off as a reader? When you’re reading a book, what drives you up the wall?
I hate having the characters’ looks described so obviously. By this I mean I hate when the author TAKES TIME OUT OF THE STORY to tell us what so-and-so looks like, especially when they go out of their way to think of “creative” ways to say it. I want to yell, “HER SKIN ISN’T CARAMEL MOCHA, IT’S JUST BROWN! BROWN IS AN OKAY WORD TO USE!”
I hate getting involved in a story only to be dupped into one of those ‘it was all a dream’ or something similar endings. If it isn’t real, why’d I bother?
Also, noticing a lot of poor editing lately.. misspellings, bad grammar, words that are just missing to complete the sentence. No one’s perfect I know, but it’s SO distracting.
1. Characters studying themselves in the mirror. (Though I can think of examples where this works, so if you’re going to do it, justify it!!)
2. What Laurel Amberdine said above: when the author keeps information from the reader that everyone else in the story has. (Da Vinci Code)
3. Here’s one that has been slowly taking over my brain the last several years, though I’m still fighting it:
When the main character, or main character’s parent, is a writer.
I used to love this as a kid, since I, too, wanted to be a writer. But now I just think, can’t writers think of anything else to write about??
This is my heart’s one true path, but maybe we shouldn’t proselytize to the youth so much. This life can be hard.