Random Musings by Frodosco

Top Ten Book Turn-Offs



Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about things in books that rub you the wrong way and make it harder to keep reading.

1. Insta-love – You know my feelings on it if you follow this blog, I can’t stand it, I want it to go away, and I feel like it is a cop-out. Bleh.

2. Repetition – Whether it is a specific word or an entire phrase, if I see the same wording over and over again I’m going to get annoyed. For anyone who has read a certain series that I won’t name they will know what I mean by just saying “sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.” Just no.

3. Tense Changes – This can be switching from first person to third, or from past to present, regardless I want consistency.

4. Whiny MCs – For some reason in YA you find a lot of whiners. They complain over just about everything and yet we are supposed to support them throughout the book. No thanks. Grow a spine people!

5. Information Skips – Oh you didn’t think we would like to know how we got somewhere in the story? Wrong. You jumped right into the action and ignored the buildup? Good grief. Any time in a book where we lose out on information is not a good sign for me.

6. Jargon, Jargon, Jargon – Yes, certain genres utilize jargon more than others (I’m looking at you high fantasy and sci-fi) but some do it to their detriment. Sure, a new language can be introduced and even used for much of a book, but sometimes it is obvious that the new jargon is unnecessary and that’s when it becomes an issue, or when its purpose is not explained.

7. Modern Pop-culture References – Look, I get that you want to appeal to your current audience as much as possible as an author. However, if you use pop-culture references, especially multiple times, your work has a timer on it. Eventually a time will come, usually it doesn’t take long, where that reference won’t make sense to a reader anymore. Will your book stand the test of time?

8. Typos – They happen, inevitably it seems there is one or two in a book, although many seem to be flawless. When I see a typo in an e-book, even though I shouldn’t be I am more liable to give it a pass, but when it is in print, well, it is a red flag. I won’t stop reading the book, but it might be a point I mention in a review.

9. Character 180s – When a character changes, even in a dramatic way, over the course of a book it is a wondrous thing. However, when I see someone in a book I’m reading do a 180, alter their personality in a major way, and do so usually because of something rather irritating (think relationships) it is a huge turn-off. Give it time for a character to change, this stuff doesn’t happen right away!

10. Dull, Boring, Zzz – If your story doesn’t have something to draw me in within the first 75-100 pages I’m probably not likely to keep reading it unless your name is Stephen King. There are very few exceptions to this and I know I’m not alone, especially with the current generation that are reading YA having attention spans that are the most minute there has ever been. The author must stimulate the senses right away in order to capture the reader’s attention. There is just no choice, slow buildups are tough these days.

So those are my top ten book turn-offs! What is your top ten list for this week? Do you have some ones or am I just a lunatic? Are most of the ones you chose technical or more about the story? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

5 responses

  1. Noted! 😉

    October 1, 2013 at 12:16 am

  2. I hate typos. I always see them… it’s as if they are glowing on the page. I go nuts over it.
    I also hate the character 180s. Obviously characters grow and change over the course of a book, but when they do or say something that feels completely out of character it bothers me big time.

    October 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

  3. EXCLA!!MA!TION!!! points. Everywhere. And insta-lust. And everyone in the book being the same tight-jeans-hot-guy or sexy-but-doesn’t-know-it-girl. Maybe I should not read YA paranormals…

    You hit on a lot of good points. Most of the things that bother you are lazy writing or done by authors who don’t know better. Reading is very subjective, though, so what bothers you about a book might be what someone else loves.

    Thanks for sharing your list. Lots of food for thought in there.

    October 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

  4. I agree with your section on character 180’s. People can’t change as quickly as authors make characters change in books. It takes a while for a real person to transition from one personality to the next, so that behavior should be mirrored in literature.
    Check out my TTT list: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

    October 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm

  5. Great list!
    I hate the modern pop culture references. It really dates novels. There’s this one book I love that is so 90’s. I realize that the only people I’ve known who love it as much as I do grew up in that era. Otherwise, no one else can really relate. Why limit your audience?
    Here’s my TTT
    Megan @ love, literature, art, and reason

    October 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm

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