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My lists–pet peeves/favorites in reading

April 29, 2012

Lately, I’ve tried to incorporate new authors (new to me, not to lit) onto my bookshelf. Needless to say, some will be read again and again, while others are already in the yard sale pile. From this experience, I’ve compiled lists of my pet peeves and loves about reading/writing.

The whining part first–the top frustrations:

4. Botched accents. I can handle a few words here and there, but why not describe an accent instead of making me struggle through a sentence? We all know dialogue can be challenging–why make it harder?

3. Place/character names I can’t pronounce. I’ve picked up many books at the store and put them down because I can’t read the character and place names.

2. Too much character description too often. I annoy myself when I write a character description in a big chunk; I prefer to intersperse it in narrative and dialogue. Each writer has a preference, but what bugs me is when I see “her golden hair” or “his bright blue eyes” twenty times in a chapter.

1. Characters who dialogue about things both already know. Two sisters reveal to each other that their mother had a conversation with them last week about their dying grandfather. Come on. That’s why we have narrative.

My joys in reading:

4. New or interesting uses of words and description. I can’t say I like flowery language, but I love it when things are put in a new way.

3. Quirky characters that also seem real. I know someone has talent when I find a character with unique personality but who also is believable.

2. Surprising yet unsurprising plot twists–engaging turns of plot that seem natural to the narrative but weren’t predictable

1. A fantasy world where I really want to live. Fantasy worlds are challenging to write, so I can respect an author who makes one new and interesting and even more so when I think, “What would I be like if I lived there?”

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From → Books, Writing

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