So, not necessarily in order of annoyance, here are the things that can really put me off a piece of writing:
- Unnecessary padding. More and more these days, I'm finding books that seem to be longer than they really should be. What's happened to editors, I wonder?
- Too much skipping around between points of view, plot lines, or time periods. Just tell the story, please.
- Characters who seem to be interchangeable parts. I get bored very quickly if I can't distinguish one character from another.
- Introduction of pets or animals (other than human animals!) for the sole purpose of killing them off. This is a very cheap shot, and it can cause me to abandon the book completely, and maybe even the author.
- What I call Hollywood-ization. You know the sort of books I mean -- every female is breathtakingly gorgeous, every male is ruggedly handsome and brave but also caring and sensitive, every child is precocious beyond its years or criminally bratty, plots are formulaic and predictable, endings are happy ever after. If I want formulaic, I'll just watch TV.
- Incorrect use of the word "myriad."