Thursday, April 19, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: Pet Peeves

This week's BTT question was suggested by Bookish Sarah, and it's something I've been thinking about lately: "What are your literary 'pet peeves'?" I suppose my main "literary" pet peeve is not having enough time for reading, but I don't think that's exactly what this is all about.

So, not necessarily in order of annoyance, here are the things that can really put me off a piece of writing:
  1. 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?
  2. Too much skipping around between points of view, plot lines, or time periods. Just tell the story, please.
  3. Characters who seem to be interchangeable parts. I get bored very quickly if I can't distinguish one character from another.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Incorrect use of the word "myriad."
I'll end it there. I could probably keep blathering on and on, but that's one of my pet peeves, too (see No. 1, above).


  1. I love your comments because I can so totally relate. The myriad reasons you've listed make sense to me (hope I used that correctly). It especially pisses me off about the pets. Just leave them out of it!!!

  2. It looks like you've thought about this a lot. My mom complains about all the gorgeous, perfect characters all the time.

  3. LOL, I'm the same way with the word "ironic". If the author misuses it, I put the book down. You'd think they would know these things, or at least have the humility to pick up a dictionary.

  4. I can totally agree with parts of your list, especially #5.

  5. Great post, and I totally agree with each one.

    Not to long ago I was reading a book set in 1865, when the main character rode into town she asked where the motel was. Now, if my memory serves me correctly, I don't think motels came about until after the automobile was invented. So maybe a little research should have been done, and where was the editor, I asked?

  6. I do notice the over padding, especially in some cozy mysteries.

  7. Hollywoodization is a good point! This bothers me, too. I don't think I've read a book that introduces a pet just to kill it but I wouldnt like it if I did!


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