A meme from the Broke and the Bookish.
Today’s topic: Top Ten Book Turn-Offs (You know..you are reading and then SOMETHING happens to completely turn you off — cheating, absent parents, multiple POVS etc.)
1. insta love – Sometimes it works, but it takes more skill than a lot of writers have.
2. overly self depricating protagonist – Making the character miserable and self hating in the beginning, just so we can see how far they come in the end… causes us to never make it to the end.
3. inappropriate POV switches – It is one thing to have leeway. You may be in third person and mostly focus on a single characters perspective and occasionally follow someone else when necessary. However it can’t be just once out of the blue then snap back.
4. forced dialect – Dialect can add interest and character. Forcing an incomprehensible one on a character for no real reason just means we skip what they say.
5. preachy – You can find a theme or moral in any book, sometimes they are put there. It doesn’t mean that you have to beat me over the head with it.
6. misleading back copy – Not always the author’s fault. I appreciate something vague, maybe the occasional slight misdirection but completely giving me the wrong idea about the entire feel of the book… no.
7. super dated things that were tryinging so hard to be cool at the time – Someday we will laugh when we see iPods in all the novels. Like we now laugh at detailed entries about AIM and floppy disks.
8. spoilers within the book (or back copy, etc.) – Sometimes you get a tantalizing glimpse of the future but I have never been so angry as when a FOREWARD told me that a character died in the end.
9. lack of attention to detail – Create your own world, mess with someone else’s, do whatever you want… but don’t leave holes. If you have teenage zombies and all of them are flawless but then one shows up damaged with the remains of his wounds, so we know they all still have them. We will truly doubt that so many teens died happily in their sleep.
10. forced diversity, parents, etc. – I’ve seen some other people’s lists and there are some things that I just cannot relate to. There are people who rage when there isn’t diversity but I would rather see a convincing world without diversity than one where it is forced in simply for the sake of itself. Absent parents, even bad parents work for me, because a character with a perfect life isn’t necessarily interesting.