Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why Oh Why Must This Happen?

A number of published writers give advice to aspiring writers to read. Read EVERYTHING!! Read the newspaper, read books in your genre, or not in your genre. Read signs, posters, and soup can labels, doesn't matter what....just read. I think it's a great piece of advice.(If it wasn't, I doubt so many people would be saying it)

So, these last few days I've stuck my nose in a book, that I've been excited to get my hands on for some time, and followed the advice of those who have gone before me. This is what I've found out:

1. I don't like it when in a series the first book is in one character's POV and ONE CHARACTER ONLY!! And then the second book changes around to more POV's than I can count on one hand. (only one of which is even familiar)

2. I don't like it when I can't tell what the author's plan is. It doesn't mean I have to be right...I just have to be guessing.

3. I don't like it when there's a ton of information all dumped on me in book 2 of a series that could have been explain in book 1. For example, in the book I'm reading there's tons of court titles for people and none of them match the "real world" or even "literary world" of normal titles. The author doesn't explain them at all and they weren't used in book 1.

4. I don't like huge complicated names that all look the same and aren't pronounceable. (I even checked the internet for a pronunciation to no avail. Came up on several with nothing at all.)

5. I don't like it when suddenly the story is more complex than the characters in it. Really, I want to know about them and their lives, not the politics of other characters.

It is a sad day in Bethany-ville because I haven't enjoyed this book nearly as much as the first that came in the series. However, it is also a happy day in Bethany-ville because I now have a list of things that I will do my utmost to avoid doing in my own series.

So, how about you. Do you have any skin crawling pet peeves? Anything that makes your blood boil or makes you throw a book out the window?? Anything you want to share about my dislikes or your own??? Let me know below!


Elana Johnson said...

Ooh, blood boiling? Not yet. I typically shy away from series (except Harry Potter, of course). I'm a stand-alone novel reader. I want to have a thrilling story and then another one. Not a continuation of the one I just read. So maybe that's my pet peeve.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I agree that it is irritating to invest yourself in a character and storyline, only to have the sequel change directions entirely. Ugh!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Yeah, if the first book of series is in one character's head, I'm of the opinion it should stay there for subsequent books.

I did cringe a little about the long name comment. I have that problem with my books, but I can't help it! Those darn Egyptians had painfully long names!

Susan R. Mills said...

I'd have to agree with all your dislikes here. I will also avoid these in my own writing.

Tiffany Neal said...

My pet peeve is when an author writes another book in a series and it ends up being a HUGE disappointment. So big that you wonder why in the world they kept on going...
The 3rd book had nowhere to go so the author just wrote randomness until she came to THE END.

coffeelvnmom said...

Wow. This is what my blog post was going to be tomorrow. Go figure!

As for one of mine? I have a hard time with switching points of view. Just a personal thing, I know. Does it keep me reading? Yes - but I end up skimming through the points of view I like the least. Not what the author intended, I'm sure.

Aubrie said...

I'm with you on #4 those wierd names, especially the ones with apostrophes in them are always hard for me to pronouce. It's also hard for me to read a novel in which the protag is passive. I'm like, "come on you! get off your butt and do something about it!"

Bethany Mattingly said...

Elana, I'm opposite. I generally stray towards series (Harry Potter included). Maybe I should check out more books that aren't though. :)

Shannon, I know! The only reason I'm reading the 2nd book is because I loved the first.

Stephanie, I don't think I'd mind in your case because I knew those people, or people like them, existed. It's authentic. :) I would love to read your stuff, long names and all!

Susan, Yay! Someone who agrees with me :)

Tiffany, yeah that's exactly how this book is! It's killing me because I wanted it to be so much more than it is. It's almost life I can see the author fumbling and trying to piece it all back together. :(

coffeelvnmom, OMG I do that too. Some characters in this particular book are just unlikeable and the author has a lot in their POV. It's frustrating!

Aubrie, I agree with everything you wrote and I yell the same things at passive protags :) Look for your review on Monday's post!!

SB said...

too much description.

Anonymous said...

If you can not be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.............................................

jdcoughlin said...

I agree with yours, too. But another I might add would be the author that keeps reminding you what you're reading. Like, hey, I've been sitting here for the past hour. Not likely to forget that the bad guy is the district attorney making out with his client. Yes, that so bugs me.

Devon Ellington said...

As a New Yorker, I positively froth at the mouth when a writer sets a story there and hasn't bothered to get the geography right.

Harlem is not around the corner from Greenwich Village.

If I can't trust the author on something that simple, I can't trust the author on anything else in the book. I put it down and that author is OFF my list.


I realize we can't always go everywhere we set our books. I prefer it -- place is an additional character in my work, and emotional geography is as important as physical geography.

But at least make the effort!