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How I Write– Reader Pet Peeves

Book pet peeves…everyone has them. Whether you’re reading a book or it’s happening in your own manuscript, they’re there. They’re those little nails that scratch on the blackboard of your brain. Little things that just make you roll your eyes even as you keep reading. Or, maybe it’s enough for you to call it quits and put that book back on the shelf.

It’s always difficult, especially from a writer’s point of view, to know what may turn off a reader. Every reader out there has a different opinion about something. But I know for myself, there are some thing I pick up on in my own writing. Things that when writing I may not notice but in editing, jumps out in huge glaring letters.

1. Wandering body parts- I don’t know why, but this can be a big one for me. The eyes of the heroine did not collide with the hero’s. Her GAZE did. Would be painful if it was her eyes. Things like this can drive me batty. I know my critique partners probably think I’m a bit crazy on this one. Sometimes, wandering body parts aren’t quite so noticeable, but other times, yeah…it just makes me smack my forehead.

2. I don’t think I do this a lot…but cutesy phrasing. Nothing makes me roll my eyes at writing quite like this. It just bugs me. I’ve written a few things in the past, however, that is so cutesy that I want to erase. There’s a part in Hunting the Shadows that every time I see it, I narrow my eyes and grit my teeth.

3. Inaccuracies. Ok this, I’m walking the edge on. I make up science all the time in my books, so I’m SURE there are readers out there who are screaming at me that it isn’t how it works. However, what gets me is bad archaeology/anthropology. In the past, I’ve stopped reading books from an author who did this. Of course I was in highschool when I read the book (I don’t remember what the issue was) but still, I don’t read books by said author.

4. Jarring. Sentences. That. Pull. Me. Out. I’ve done this a time or two. It may not even be as dramatic of my example, but sometimes, when sentences are split in some way to add emphasis, it makes it harder for me to get back into the writing. Once or twice or so in a book isn’t bad. It’s when it’s on every page that I want to curl up and hide under my King Tut comforter.

These are some of the technical peeves. I would also probably list love at first sight and the big miscommunication problem also, but these are lesser peeves because it all depends on the author. Some can pull this off. Others can’t. It all depends on the writing style.

What are your reader pet peeves?

Don’t forget to check out my accountability partners in crime: Danie Ford, Emma G. Delaney, Kimberly Farris, Kristen Koster

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