1. Overuse of exclamation points!!!!!!!
This one grates on my nerves. I am of the opinion that unless a character is actually shouting, there’s no need for exclamation points.
2. Redundant physical description of characters, especially when expounding on their “hotness.”
An author can mention that adorable dimple maybe twice before I start to roll my eyes. Attraction is good. Romantic tension is good. But I really want these character to be attracted to each other for reasons OTHER THAN their physical attributes.
3. When internal thoughts interrupt a conversation for so long that I lose track of the conversation.
If characters are truly in the middle of a conversation, there’s only so much free space they have in their brain. You can’t have a three-page inner dialogue and expect us to believe that all happened in the two seconds it took you to answer a question.
4. When an entire plot is centered on a misunderstanding that a five minute conversation could solve.
I’ll buy into a misunderstanding for MAYBE a fourth of a book, then I’m just screaming in my head, “HAVE THE CONVERSATION!” This is especially problematic in books where you have both points of view and thus the reader KNOWS that there is no good reason for this conflict to go on other than stubbornness.
5. Unnecessary dual POV, especially when it repeats the same scene but from the other person’s perspective.
Multiple points of view can absolutely be done right. But when they’re not…
I wrote an entire blog post dedicated to this subject, in case you care.
6. When the heroine and her best friend are the only reasonable women in the book and all others are cliche mean girls, vapid, or self centered.
Not every popular girl is mean. Not every ex-girlfriend of your love interest is a witch. Your main character should not be the only down-to-earth, thoughtful girl around. That’s insulting.
7. Unhealthy relationships made out to look like swoon-worthy romantic relationships.
I’m lookin’ at you, Twilight. There’s a lot I still love about those books, but Edward removing Bella’s car battery to prevent her from doing something that she wants to do is WAY not okay. Also, him watching her sleep without her knowing…
8. When the story is too big or too small for the book length.
I don’t need to read about a character’s every day activities. I get that they live a normal life a lot of the time. Please skip that part and just tell me the interesting stuff.
And when you are telling the interesting stuff, don’t go too fast! Interesting action happens because of complicated situation that you should explain so that we can all ride the adventure along with the characters in full support of what they’re doing.
9. When a character has too-stupid-to-live syndrome.
There’s this scene in the first season of 24 where the main guy rescues his wife and daughter and they’re waiting for a helicopter to pick them up. They’re crouched behind something and the daughter wants to go out into the open. Dad says no, it’s dangerous. Daughter (who has spent the last 12 hours being held captive) thinks he’s being dumb and goes out into the open anyway.
Really? Really, what’s-your-face? You’ve been terrorized by bad guys for the last however many hours and you don’t think this situation warrants just a smidge of caution??
10. When a hero and heroine fight and fight and fight, then kiss, then fight and fight and fight, and then supposedly live happily ever after.
I’m guessing this opinion is less universal than a lot of the others, but I just can’t get on board with a couple who agree to love each other even while it seems they can’t stand each other. That’s probably because I’m allergic to contention and I can’t handle it and it makes me cry when I encounter it in real life.
It’s just not my cup of tea.
So there you go. A random list, in no particular order, of the things that turn me off when I’m reading. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What are your pet peeves?