Most readers I know have at least a short list of what an author can do that will result in a book being thrown across the room with cries of "NOT AGAIN!" reverberating throughout the house (or coffeeshop, or workplace - wherever one can sneak in a few pages.)
Granted, I can be tempted to chuck a book when a favorite character dies, or a wrong choice is made - but those aren't the eye-rollers. Here is my list of what can just stop NOW!
1. Stupid Titles: The <occupation’s> <relationship> and anything with GIRL in the title. Get away from me, gimmicky publishers. This <Retired Computer Programmer>’s <Daughter> is the Girl Who Won’t Be Having It. (THIS is a deal-breaker for me at this point.)
2. When someone asks a character a question and they respond, “Yes. No. I don’t know!” Can we think of a new way to show conflicted emotions please?
3. Someone padding into a room. (Have you ever actually heard someone say this in real life? I did, once - my Granny described padding into her parents' bedroom when she was little. I had trouble looking at her for the rest of the visit.
4. Every single male character in a book turning out to be an awful human being. Men don't have a monopoly on evil and women don't have a monopoly on....being a decent person.
5. Overuse of a word. The book I'm currently reading is AMAZING, but the word "furtive" finds its way into every chapter. A Thesaurus! Find it, use it, love it.
5. Cheesy character nicknames that don't ring true. This is often found in YA novels when the male love interest wants to give the female love interest a sweet nickname that can be referenced again and again in intimate moments, tear-jerking good-bye letters, angsty fights, or on a gravestone. I’m looking at you, John Green. Green eyes. Johnny Green. John Boy.
This concludes my first listicle! I feel like BuzzFeed will be ringing me up any minute to hire me to write about which continent has. the. cheesiest. pizza. EVER!
Tell me what dumb author habits are on your list!!
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.