Here we are with another top ten. This time we’re chatting about how to lose me as a reader. As always, this is in no particular order.
1. Unlikable characters. I think I’ve mentioned this somewhere before, but believe me it so bears repeating. If the main characters in a book have no redeeming value, you’ve lost me. I have to, at least, like the main people if I’m going to keep reading. And, let me say, if the main guy who’s supposed to be the hero is a real jack-wagon and treats the woman he’s supposed to love like shit then there’s no redeeming him. Unless you can prove he’s been under some kind of alien mind control and even then he’d better do some major league groveling.
2. Gigantic plot holes. If an author has something happen that doesn’t make sense and doesn’t explain it, I’m done. For instance, the tragically poor heroine who has a fabulous iPhone or somehow travels. How is this possible? Or someone who suddenly has some incredible skill when, you know, there’s no way. Lost me.
3. Descriptions that goes on and on. Setting a scene is one thing, waxing poetically about the scenery, a dress, wallpaper, or whatever totally kills the flow of the plot. Oh, and constantly naming fancy brands in a book is totally boring. I don’t care he’s wearing an Armani suit or his watch is some kind of fabulous brand that only the very wealthy would have. If you say it, it better have something to do with the story.
4. Mysteries that aren’t very mysterious. You know the ones where you figure out who did it the first chapter? And, yet, the characters in the book are totally stumped. I hate that!
5. Heroines who constantly need to be saved. Or, the heroine that every man in a ten mile radius wants with a desperation that borders on obsession. Both of these tropes make me toss the book. The woman is sooooo beautiful that men can’t help but try to kidnap, rape, marry, carry off, whatever and she somehow puts herself in the position to have this happen. And, each time, the luckless hero has to save her. Helpless makes me angry.
6. Pointless, never-ending sex. I read a romance for the romance. I want the couple: girl/boy, boy/boy, girl/girl, whatever to have true and honest feelings for one another. The sex should enhance or demonstrate those feelings. If I want porn, I’ll read porn. If two characters bang like jackhammers for 100 pages, then declare their love for one another, I better understand why they love each other, how they love each other.
7. An author that behaves badly. If a writer acts like a jerk at conferences, attacks others on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever else. Gets his/her followers to do the attacking. Or just generally acts like a total and complete assface then, no matter how well he or she writes, I am done. I don’t act like that and won’t support someone who does.
8. Lack of editing or proofreading. OMG! I cannot stress enough how much this annoys me. Every author, no matter how amazing (or how amazing s/he thinks he/her is) needs an editor. Oh and for the sake of the gods use spellcheck!! Poorly edited work, no matter how good the story, will turn me away and keep me away.
9. An author that steals from someone else. Okay, this is huge. And, I’m not talking about basic plot ideas: vampires, kidnapping, forced marriage. I could go on and on. What I’m talking about are the books you pick up and you know you’ve read it before or read something like it before, but the book just came out. The people who obviously lift entire plots from others, change a few things, and claim it as their own. So not right!!! If you don’t have a full original idea, don’t write a book. End of story.
10. Authors that drag out a series even when you know it could have ended 2 or 3 or 5 books ago. An author Sis and I started reading was writing a trilogy. Yeah, seven books in we totally gave up. Obviously, the author was doing it for the money since the books sold. They were just so damn boring and nothing ever happened. The series had a blue million characters and this person would spend 1/3 rehashing what happened in the last book and the rest visiting each of the characters for a brief amount of time. Nothing would ever happen. So damn boring.
Now go check out what the other ladies have to say.