When you’re obsessed with reading books like I am, you develop certain tastes and preferences for your stories. Most of the time I really enjoy the book; and then there are times when it can be painful to get through it. Although there are exceptions to every rule, I thought I would list for you five of my pet peeves for novels.
1. Ending in the middle of a climax
Okay, this really bothers me. I get that you have another book coming out and you want people to read it, but this is not how you do this! It’s like watching a movie on TV and just when you’re in the middle of the big ending, the power goes out. I refuse to buy the next book when this happens no matter how much I had enjoyed the book up until that point. It’s just wrong.
[A subsection in this category is a rushed ending. I feel jipped.]
2. One-dimensional characters
Not all characters can have their personal histories and personas listed in the book. The waiter (who has no significance to the story) does not need a full background. However, if the character is an important part to the story, I expect him or her to have some depth. No one is perfectly good or perfectly bad – realistically speaking. Characters need flaws, and they need to be relatable. And unless you are a clone, each person should be different. Even in fantasy novels, I want my characters to be realistic for their settings. I want to be able to understand their motives and thoughts.
3. Sex scenes
I know what you are thinking. But let me assure you, I read sex scenes. The sex scenes that I’m referring happen constantly throughout the book. In other words, there is no story (or a very weak story if any) – only sex. Sorry, but this isn’t going to cut it for me. I have no problem with multiple sex scenes in one novel – even the very generic ones – but I need a story to entertain me.
4. Abuse mistaken for love
Have you ever read a book (usually a romance novel) where the one character forces someone to have sex or perhaps are verbal abusive (even minutely and constantly) and then the other character eventually learns to fall in love with them? Yeah, no. Just no. Not good in my ratings. Unless this story is based on a true story where a point is being made about abusive relationships, I do not want to read it. A book should not being giving out the message (subtly or not) that these types of relationships are normal or should be strived for – at least in my opinion.
5. Grammatical Errors
A few errors in a book – especially self-published novels are fine with me. I’m not a grammar Nazi that will destroy you for one misplaced comma or word. However, repeated problems throughout the whole book is very very very very distracting. I expect to see this online through some fan written fiction or from a young person in school, not a person who wants to be a published author. Not everyone is great with grammar. I get that. I sometimes feel like one of those people. I make mistakes, too. However, there are options for beta readers and even knowledgeable friends that can help out if you don’t want to use an editor. The end result should not resemble a draft. Again, I feel slightly cheated on these types of books.
So….do you have any pet peeves that weren’t listed? Are you in agreement? Disagreement?