Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Biggest pet peeve?

What is your biggest pet peeve in novels when you're just reading? What jolts you out of the story, or interrupts the flow, or makes you want to put the book down or even throw it across the room? What red flags raise in your head in regards to amateur writing?

We all have something that bothers us.

For some, it's head hopping (abrupt POV shifts that aren't separated by a chapter or page break, ala Nicholas Sparks - LOVE him, but come on!) For others, it's cliche phrases or predictable plots. For still others, it's a contrived plot, where things happen OH so conveniently (not kidding, I read a romantic suspense not too long ago by a super-famous, best selling, award winning author, and the heroine just happened to find an object she suddenly discovered she needed RIGHT then, in that moment, by chance. There was zero foreshadowing or set up. Uh uh. That's cheating!!! lol)

What is your pet peeve?

Remember, it's always so much easier to find fault in someone else's writing, whether that's a published novel off the shelf or a critique for a friend. Just be careful to search your own work as thoroughly and get trusted friends to do the same for you. He that cast the first stone, and such... ;)


  1. Probably using "that" when it's not needed ("the only one that she wanted" instead of "the only one she wanted") is my biggest pet peeve. But I can agree with the head hopping too, though I've only read one book like that. I was constantly re-reading the paragraph to figure out in which character's POV we were!

  2. I hate when dialogue goes like this:
    Tyler said, "I honestly don't know... What do you think?"
    While "said" is often your best dialogue tag, I hate when it's used at the beginning of a sentence. It just sounds SO awkward to me. :/

  3. I agree Ashley! Love the name Tyler too. :)

    Actually, my biggest pest peeve is the ease in which poor writers can be become "published" and classify themselves with those who have poured years into creating a well-written manuscript. It really does make it much more difficult for traditional authors to make a dent in the sea of books! :) (Sorry, I know this doesn't exactly answer your question, Betsy!)