Book pet hates

Recently, I began thinking about the things that annoy me when reading a book. Sometimes you can be reading a really good book, but the author might keep doing just one little thing that keeps niggling at you. Maybe it’s a phrase. Maybe it’s the way they write their sentences. Or maybe it is the constant typo that keeps cropping up.

We all have them. Pet hates. Those things that really frustrate us when reading and sometimes even force us to close the book and stop reading altogether.

For me, it is things like short jerky sentences, really long chapters and sloppy dialogue. And then when you think about the actual content of the story, I cant stand anything too obvious, or things that drag out much longer than they need to.

I took myself off to Facebook and Twitter and asked that very question to my friends. What are your pet hates when reading. I received quite a mix of answers and  thought to myself, people should really know this. As a writer, it is really handy to know what readers like and dislike when reading. So I thought I would list a few of the responses I got:

 

  • Historical Inaccuracies
  • A character playing with their hair too much
  • Character POV too long
  • Character POV not long enough
  • A popular one – Headhopping
  • Extra, unnecessary words
  • Excessive backstory
  • Adverbs
  • Information dumping
  • Typos
  • Fancy words that you have to look up the meanings for
  • Repetition of words
  • Heroes who are hot, sexy and pretty much perfect!
  • Short jerky sentences
  • Obvious clichés
  • Alpha males who are bullies
  • Certain phrases (These were individual to the person commenting)

 

So as you can see, there are lots of things that you can do when writing a book which will really bug the reader. Isn’t writing a book supposed to be easy – oh wait, that’s right, it’s not 🙂

When I read all these comments – which are from both authors and readers – I was surprised at some, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you all.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. Maybe you have some pet hates yourself which haven’t been mentioned. Please feel free to add them into the comments below.

A special thanks to the following people for getting involved and voicing their views on my Fb and Twitter:

Jean Fullerton, Judy Astley, Julie Mccullogh, Sophia Valentine, Jo Cannon, Rhoda Baxter, Sue Moorcroft, Liz Ringrose, Linda Mitchelmore, Berni Stevens, Samantha Tonge, Georgia Hill, Jane Lovering, ReaBookReview, Kate Johnson, Nina Pottell and Julie Cohen.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Lucie x

 

2 Comments

  1. suefortin
    Jul 24, 2014

    The head hopping one is my particular hate. It’s okay if there is a distinct break but when it hops from one to another and back again in just a few sentences, I have a hard time to keep up. On the whole, I try to read a book to enjoy it, rather than dissect it, but it can be really hard to take the ‘writer’ head off sometimes. I know in the past I’ve been guilty of some of the above and I still do the short sentence thing, but that’s just my style. I’d probably add the long, flowery, breath sucking sentences to that list. 🙂

    Sue
    x

  2. luciewheeler
    Jul 24, 2014

    You are right, Sue, I think it is really hard sometimes to shut off that inner writer when reading books.
    Thanks for stopping by 🙂
    Lucie x

Leave a Reply