Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Fun Five: The 5 Fatal Mistakes of an Author (Literary Pet Peeves)

The Sunday Fun Five #11

Sunday Fun 5:
Feel free to participate by commenting below or writing a blog post: I wrote up some guidelines for blog participation here.

A Countdown of

The 5 Fatal Mistakes of an Author (Literary Pet Peeves)

5. Preachy or Pretentious
One of the main buzz kills of reading any book is to know almost immediately what message the author is trying to convey, whether it be "Repent all you sinners" or "Did you see what I did there- *wink* *wink* *wink*". I like my books to have a somewhat mysterious message that lingers with me, not a bad aftertaste of having an obvious meaning rubbed in my face repeatedly.

From Writer's Outworld
4. Too Many or Too Few Plot Twists
Ever read a novel where it seems every time you flip a page, it's plot twist time? Then you come to a point where you say to yourself, "This isn't realistic... I usually don't like realism in my books, but good God man- it's too much!" Or you read a book where there needs to be a plot twist (and/or a plot) because every time you pick it up you take impromptu naps. There is a perfect medium to the plot twisting, and the best way to judge is if you think the story could feasibly happen (or has happened).

Well, not exactly... From Wifflegif
3. Stereotypical Characters
Dumb blondes, fiery redheads, cheating exes, evil villains (who do evil just because they want to), drunken Irishmen, the goody-two-shoes, and perfect characters never cease to irk me. It boggles the mind that some authors choose these stereotypes instead of putting work into original characterization into the main players of their books, but it happens. And when it does, I always take it into consideration when I rate the book.

2. Repetitive Phrases/Words
This is one of the most annoying things in books, because once you see it, you can't help yourself from beginning a tally, even as a reader. Although some phrases end up as timeless: "You know nothing Jon Snow", "It is known", and "My precious", they end up that way because they're used for impact, or used in association with one character. If I were to write a book, and put "a bit" every five pages, people would be highly annoyed. However, I write a blog and am able to sneak it in (may I say... quite a bit), because I am the character of this blog. It would never work in a book, and I've had good books end up with lower ratings because of repetitive words and phrases.

From Mashable
1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
This one we're all guilty of at some point. I was rereading A Feast for Crows the other day, and I spotted one in my mass market edition. But once I start noticing them in the dozens, it can completely ruin any book for me. It doesn't matter if you're an English major and have edited your own work for decades: if you're an author, you need a good editor.

Notable Exclusions:
It seems every book blogger I know has a distaste for love triangles, but oddly enough, when they're done well I don't mind them.
I also am curiously immune to symbolism in books (as in, I don't notice it mostly), but don't mind it as long as the author doesn't try to beat me over the head with it (and I didn't have a teacher who tried to beat me over the head with it).

Do you have certain things that irk you time and time again when it comes to books? Are there times you've stopped reading a book because of those things that annoy you? Do you detest love triangles?


  1. I also don't mind the occasional love triangle, as long as it's well done, or if the author plays with the idea a bit (like in Servants of the Storm). I haven't been reading too many self-pubbed works, so I don't usually see a ton of spelling errors. Stereotypical characters do kill it a bit for me, though--depends on how strong the remaining cast is. Cool fun five list!

    1. The only time I like stereotypical characters is when a character defies their stereotype or uses it to their advantage (Sookie Stackhouse and Cat from Night Huntress come to my mind). I've actually had a lot of traditionally published works that have been absolutely butchered when they're scanned into a kindle format (or at least I hope no human actually did those copies by hand, because they ended up awful).
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Benni! :)
      ~Litha Nelle


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