Share your literary pet peeves down below!

#1

Where did putting the number of the series on the spine go? Huh??? SOMEBODY TELL ME!!!

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Kirsty
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To add to this, changing the style, writing direction/size, size and or picture style of a series of books so people can never have a pleasing set. Looking at you discworld. Slowly buying my way through the editions specifically made to stop this issue that people had to scream for years for.

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#2

Women characters written by men. Especially when everything they do has to do with their boobs. Or when it’s an adventure/action novel and the woman has to be portrayed as emotionless, fully-badass, and completely misogynistic to other women because god-forbid a girl with stereotypically feminine qualities is also tough and powerful.

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh, yes, yes, yes. I tried a few novels with women as the central characters written by men. Now I don't care what the book is. If it's about a woman and written by a man, I will not read it!

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#3

Typos, misspellings, inaccurate changes in later scenes (in the first, he ordered a burger, but later in the same meal he cuts his steak), using the wrong name. Where the hell are the editors?

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Dodo
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This annoys the hell out of me and is one of the main reasons I wanted to be an editor. I couldn't believe anyone could miss these things.

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#4

A series that revolves around a "Chosen One" who is often a whiny impetuous brat.

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Peter Trudell Jr
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There have been a lot of those lately, a lot of them "young adult" series (or is the phrase 'new adult' now?). I love Urban Fantasy and can't just pick up a new book, I have to research the author and make sure it's not another paranormal romance. Can't I just have modern era supernatural beings interacting with humans?

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#5

How every single book that exists is a New York Times Bestseller or is written by a New York Times Bestselling Author.. That's like the participation award for writers at this point.

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Ruth Wile
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, I think it seems like that because the New York Times Bestsellers... are the bestsellers... therefore being more common... therefore it seems like all books you read end up being labeled as "New York Times Bestselling Author."

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#6

In books when the "villain's" problems could have been solved by rational thinking and the main characters are actually a**holes.

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Monday
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If it's intentional it's not really a literary issue. The "hero" doesn't actually have to be good, and the "villain" doesn't have to be bad. You could definitely have an asshole being his asshole self as a protagonist and an innocent victim as an antagonist .

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#7

This goes back to Highschool. Having a book you loved as subject matter in English and after the teacher and class have analysed it to death, you can't even look at anymore.

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate it when I think I'm being a good little reader by reading the introduction to a novel before reading the novel and then they tell me the ending of the story in the introduction. I don't care if the book was first published a hundred years ago!!!

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#8

When an author is great at building suspense and creating a creepy atmosphere, and then the climax comes and it's silly and disappointing. (Looking at you, Stephen King!)

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Kelly Shaw
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Literally. He can write a good general story but cannot finish a book to save his life.

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#9

when your reading a really good book/series but slowly starts to go down in quality

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Something that drives me crazy is those fantasy series in which there's a little magical person who has to save everyone. We're almost at the end and none of her magic powers are working. Suddenly, she remembers an old power that she hasn't used in years and everyone is saved!

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#10

Lending a book to someone and it coming back dogeared, or otherwise messed up.

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Chich
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why do people do this? I guesss they view books as disposable? Read once and toss? I have books that I bought years ago.

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#11

When writing a series, authors often do a bit of recap to tie in the new book to the previous book. I become annoyed when the author does this by having one character monologue the back story to a second character who already knows said back story.


I also dislike discontinuity. If a character has black hair and brown eyes, she shouldn't suddenly become auburn with green eyes in the next chapter.

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RainWingRoyal
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ah, yes. As I refer to it, Dovewing Eye Phenomenon.

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#12

Female "characters" with zero personality that are simply a love interest or damsel in distress

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And "beyond beautiful without knowing it" 🙄

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#13

why does the fate of the world always lie on a hormonal 16 year old who can duel, hack and invent at a level par to a 30 year old sucked-of-life adult. oh and they always have to be social outcasts who will eventually marry their crush happily ever after.

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Tuesday Next
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean, that happens a lot in YA because those books are written for teenagers

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#14

Incorrectness. Just they are straight up wrong somewhere in the book. I also can't stand authors that like to sound smart (or just are smart....) and they use way too many words.

For example:

The quick brown fox jumped over the log.

The expeditious mahogany vulpes vulpes (scientific name for fox, had to look it up) ascended into the amalgamation of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, etc. Thereupon, the creature plunged to the earth on the far periphery of the length of the limb of a deceased large plant enclosed in bark.

I'm all for describing things and using details, but there is indeed such a thing as 'too many words'.

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#15

If you're kidnapped, but fall 'in love' with your kidnapper it's not love. It's Stockholm's.

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#16

It gets to me when I'm reading a novel with a character smokes three packs of cigarettes a day and never coughs once in the whole book.

And then there are the scenes in which three or four people have a serious discussion which lasts for four or five pages and everybody's coffee stays hot until the last line.

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Geoffers
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

[1/2]I've been a smoker for around ¾ of my life, sometimes just a few a day, other times a few packs a day. When I was younger, mid teens up to about thirty I was at a "professional athlete" level of fitness, and although I'd have been even more fit if I'd not smoked I pretty much got away with it (also I wasn't an athlete, just had a job which required that level of fitness). Now I'm at the far end of my 40's though it's catching up with me with a vengeance, specially in winter. Go from the warm house to the freezing air outside, walk half a mile, then my mask is full of snot, it's running down my jacket, on my hands, and that's just what's coming out. The rest of it's running down the back of my throat, I have to stand still and hold on to something, be ready to kneel down because I'm getting light headed and don't want to fall if I pass out, coughing and coughing trying to clear my lungs but it doesn't work, cough till I puke, nosebleed, eyes watering to the point I can't see.

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#17

I hate when I am reading a story and the author writes "this is relevant later". Yeah, no duh! If it's not relevant to the story it should be edited out. I think what the author conveys when they include that is: 'I am the only smart person and everyone else is an idiot that I have to tediously explain everything to'.

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Geoffers
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one really annoys me. The author is making an implication along the lines of "you're dumb so I'd better help you with this part". Ironically the super smart author never seems to realise that it's just a crutch to support their lack of skill - if the piece was well written there'd be no need to say that in the first place.

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#18

When people forget the second comma. It's "books, cheese, and more!" not "books, cheese and more!"

At least that's how I think of it.

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Two_rolling_black_eyes
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The Oxford comma has ended as many relationships as cheating spouses. People are willing to die for an inkspot's presence or absence.

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#19

When a story starts off as a mystery but suddenly gets a big portion of romance right in the middle of the investigation. Whole pages spent wondering if the feelings are mutual. Ugh... I want to know who the killer is and how they did it, not if the main character gets a mate.

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Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We (my family) have the same problem with movies. We'll search and search for a long time, finally find something that seems to be interesting, start watching it, then it'll slowly turn into a cheesy romance to the point where it isn't worth watching any more.

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#20

changing the look, style, size, colouring, text direction, font size part way through a series

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Elliot Fowler
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One of the first books I read was from a series called 'ranger's apprentice'. I hated when the cover art in book 4 featured the characters. The first 3 books had nothing but the title on the cover. So when I saw the designs in book 4, they looked nothing like what I invisioned them in my brain. I hated that!

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#21

When characters all have similar names and descriptions and I keep getting them confused. Or when they have male hero who’s only personality is buff, female characters who are literally just there to look pretty

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Crystal Graham
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always have thought this about "Sauron" vs "Saruman" in LOTR. So confusing the first time I read it.

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#22

When the author loses track of where what is. This is usually hands, arms, feet, background items, anything really etc. This happens a lot more than it should, and I know things get edited, but you need to keep track of continuity. I've read a book where they lost a whole dang character between two paragraphs because they were sitting on the far left couch laughing silently at so-and-so then two paragraphs later they're climbing in the window with people welcoming them like they just got there and no mention of the person on the couch because it was the same person.

This is also a bigger issue in steamy books I've found. You lose track of what is where and some things just aren't possible. I've checked the Karma Sutra it agreed with me.

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Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep lol, steamy books especially. One minute person #1 is on the back of person #2, and the next, person #2 has their neck twisted like an owl's to kiss person #1, or person #1's lips are stretching half a foot to reach person #2's.

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#23

I get most of my books from an online website, Quotev. You can write and publish books there. I sure have my fair share of books on there. But I hate it when I find a book that I'm really interested in, but the grammar is terrible! Run on sentences, the paragraphs arent separated, bad spelling, and no punctuation! Its physically painful to read.

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#24

When you fall in love with a series and it has some form of impact on your life, but the author turns out to be a douchebag. Separating art from the artist can be hard.

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#25

When a famous writer has a book published only because they are a famous writer, not because the book is good or worth reading. Far too many examples to mention.

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Samantha Lomb
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Worse still are the ghost written vanity projects of non writers.

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#26

I work at a library, and if a book's author's name is larger than or above the title on the spine, know that I personally want to hunt down and punch whoever at the publishing house made that decision

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#27

Stories that are tediously stretched over multiple volumes just so the author and publisher can have a "series".

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Martin Kaine
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's tough going to the Sci Fi/Fantasy section and finding a book that doesn't say "Book Two of the Blahblah Trilogy" or "The first in an exciting new series...."

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#28

When a book changes between past and present or between character POVs and the only way to differentiate them is the font changes or is italicized

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Micah Smith
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I do like books that change point of view each chapter, though. It gives a third person level of explanation without revealing things too quickly.

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#29

When stories just stop. There’s no proper ending to the book, it’s like the author just got bored and gave up. The amount of times I’ve read a book that I’ve been really enjoying and at the end, the writer has just thrown anything together to end it. It’s incredibly unfulfilling and frustrating.

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One of my beloved writers is Samuel Clemens. His book "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". It was written as a perennial. He set it aside for some time and was forced by publishers to finish it. So he did, and I am sure it was not at his literary mindful leisure. But he did finish it, and the ending does seem forced, but it does not negate the pure joy it ensues. Sometimes it is not the authors fault, I just enjoy the entirety if it merits enjoyment.

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#30

Specific one:

In the Harry Potter series, the character 'Remus Lupin' is a werewolf. Now 'Remus' & 'Lupin' both refer to wolves so his name is 'Wolf Wolf'.

But, he wasn't a werewolf at birth was he ? Did his parents know what was going to happen ??! Did they arrange for him to be bitten !!!?

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#31

Books that pretend to be completely original but are highly derivative and refuse to acknowledge it. We are all inspired by our heroes and become a synergy of all we've read so I have no problem with someone taking an idea and running. However, don't pretend you invented the wheel and expect me to be surprised when the story's climax is IT ROTATES!. This is quite prevalent in young adult fiction that is pushed on adults as well (Twilight, Harry Potter, etc). The worst is when someone straight up jacks a character, put them through the same story arc, and just changes the name.

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But sometimes we think of something without being aware that it was covered already. I've had the opposite problem. A literary critic once wrote that I was influenced by five authors, without knowing that I had never read any of them and I had never even heard of one of them.

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#32

I don't like when any novel starts to be focused on romance more than the actual story. Romance is an okay aspect, but that doesn't mean it should take over the plot of book that isn't under the category of romance.

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I prefer stories with ZERO romance in them, e.g. dan brown.

#33

Follow through on world-building. This is especially true in fantasy and sci-fi when the author has the MacGuffin in the story but only focuses on it for the main plot. But if you have magic or tech or some object or whatever, show how it affects the rest of the world if you are adding detail about that world! Otherwise the book just seems lazy to me and pulls me right out of the story.

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Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm currently reading a comic version of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? because I've recently gotten into sci-fi, but like- it got confusing fairly quickly because the POV keeps switching and they keep talking about things that haven't been introduced to the story yet. I'm trying to push through and hoping that it'll become more interesting after some drama, but I'm starting to think it's just a lost cause.

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#34

Stereotypes and clichés. When you're able to finish the sentence before you read it.
Even in a thriller, where the literary level is not as demanding as for a deeper novel, I'm not against a certain amount of surprise in the writing, some clever words arrangements.
Or, the opposite : when a detective novel pretends to be the next Nobel prize and, in the middle of the action, trie to go deep in the human condition analysis.

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Neill Powell
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Cliches are rubbish. if you are writing a book that has a character have a tag-line... invent something. Maybe it sticks, maybe it doesn't... Or as a writer.. veil it behind something

#35

Loving a whole world series [Disc world] .... And the author dies in real life ¦(

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Nina
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wish I could upvote this more. I miss his work. I miss him.

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#36

What happened to actual chapters? Current fiction seems to have chapters of 2-3 pages. I grew up reading Dickens, Dumas and other classic writers. The chapters were dense and long but worth the read. I feel this is pandering to the "short attention span" of the current generations, maybe it makes people feel good about themselves that they read 5 chapters ???? I just feel like the current best-selling authors are phoning it in, some writers have series where the sex scenes between the hero/heroine are exactly the same from one book to the next (I'm talking about you, J D Robb) If you can't come up with something interesting and different, just skip it. That's what I do.

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Marion L
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree about the short attention; however, there is something to consider. Dickens and the like had to write longer, dense "chapters" as they were first published in newspapers as serialized novels. People would have thrown fits if they were as short as they are now. As far as J. D. Robb, is concerned, I love her In Death series. And have reread them many times. A few years ago I made the mistake of reading all 45+ books back to back. I wouldn't say all the sex scenes were the same. I liked that they often had different moods and "styles", so to speak. But it seems that there were always 2.5 sex scenes per book. Two full scenes 6 to 10 pages long and a "quickie" that could be anywhere from a half page mention up to 2 - 3 pages. It got very noticeable. It wasn't part of the plot. It was just stuck in. A box to be checked off as she wrote the book. I'm doing yet another reread but it's going to take me a few years rather than several months. 40 down, 20 to go (w/novellas.)

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#37

Unnecessary details. Imagery and figurative language adds depth to the whole novel, but when it’s goes on and on and doesn’t end up contributing to the plot, that’s when I start getting bored of the book.

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William Teach
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've ended a few series over that. And given up on a few books and authors who do that, seemingly because they're trying to turn a 120 page book into 200

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#38

This applies to all writing (so films and games as well as books) but I really don't like stories that have a sort of 'chosen one' theme where the whole situation relies on one person to solve it and only they have the ability. I don't find it motivating at all. I like to imagine what I would do in the situations I read/watch and if that person is naturally superior or was born with a gift that is made for this I can't get into it 'cause I'm not that person. I prefer it when all characters work together and bring their own strengths, where it could have been any group of people. I find those more motivating and fun to read.

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nothing makes me weep more, or become more invested, than strangers grouping together to help someone, or some cause, for the greater good. I agree with the "central hero" being paramount is a tired trope.

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#39

Trying to set an ambience by describing the protagonist listening to a very particular song:
"She sat near the window, listening to 'How Deep is Your Love' by the Bee Gees. I know the author wants to set a mood, but not all songs do that! What if the reader hates the song? or does not know it?

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Laura Gochenour
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It doesn't matter if the reader hates the song. What matters is if the character likes it. And if I'm unfamiliar with the song I Google it.

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#40

Fantasy books without a comprehensive map of the world. It really does help one orient themselves to this new world you are creating. It shows committment of thought in the execution of the plot.

Fantasy/Science-Fiction books with no glossary or pronunciation section if your going to use bits of languages and/or names that are not frequently heard or created for the purpose of the story.

If the story has an extensive cast of characters or family then either a tree or a short bio section on who's who (examples can be found in Agatha Christie's books such as Murder in the Calais Coach; The A.B.C. Murders; etc.)

Reviews on jackets or inside covers. I want the author description to make me want to read the book some some critic. If I wanted their opinion I would read their column.

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Sha-ne-ne
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One of my pet peeves about fantasy books is when a character or a place has a name that is spelled so weirdly I have no idea how to even begin pronouncing it. Every time I come across it, it just jolts me right out of the story.

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#41

When the child-aged main character of a novel set in the past somehow has the fully-formed values and life view of a 21st century urban liberal and goes about pluckily defying social norms left and right. Not saying characters can’t have subversive views but authors take it way too far.

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Are you complaining about ONE book?

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#42

I don’t like when authors of fantasy novels feel the need to describe the qualities of a certain race every time that character appears. Like, you don’t have to mention that the elf is “fleet of foot” every time they do something.

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Rannveig Ess
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was forced to read Ann Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" because my niece had to do a book report on it and was so sick with the measles she couldn't eat, let alone do her school work so I'm the nice Aunt. :) I was ready to claw my face off at the number of times Rice used the word "Preternatural" to describe anything the Vampire did. Like, 4.298 times. At least. It got cloying and boring. You get it - he's a vampire. It was as if she'd just read that word on the "Learn-A-Word-A-Day" calendar and was determined to use it in a sentence.

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#43

When the "hero" refuses to kill the villain or wait too long and they escape. Like, really!?

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

YES!! So many times. This person has just killed n number of people and you want to spare them so they can have a "fair trial" or whatever and they escape and carry on their carnage. F that. Kill them.

#44

Novels written in the present tense. So annoying. First thing I check for when browsing books in the library or bookshop.

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Monday
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I feel this one. I never understood why novels are usually in the past tense until I tried reading one in the present tense. Never again.

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#45

Switching to italics for long periods.
My vision is sadly, not what it once was, and italics are a royal pain in the bum. I find myself having to hold the book up to my face and even then I have to angle it just right. I know I need glasses but I'm vain.

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Rannveig Ess
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Agree. And don't be vain. There are some very cool reading glasses out there. Even the dollar store or card/stationary shops have very fashionable ones. I know people who wear 1.0 magnification reading glasses because they're so artistic or different. Statement glasses. No one will judge! Get one of those gold beaded chains and hang them from your neck and dare people to say somthing :)

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#46

I can deal with some misspellings, but, when the punctuation is a mess, such as commas where they don't belong, I will stop reading and return it, no matter how good the story.

Too much explanation and not enough dialogue. Gets tedious.

Explaining things in detail again and again and again.

Killing off important characters for no reason. MR Forbes did this in book 17 of an 18 book series. I have yet to read #18, nor any of his works since.

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Vetus Vespertilio
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Absolutely agree, with additions: Dialogue that doesn’t sound like anyone speaks. I quit reading a popular forensic scientist because (s)he won’t allow her characters to use abbreviations. And if you’re killing off one of the characters, somewhere down the line both the protagonist and the author need to deal with it. Closure is important, even if the loved-one is imaginary.

#47

When an author comes out with information in an interview or on the internet that changes big things but has nothing to do with the story (Dumbledore is gay for example) it feels like they are just pandering.

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Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Actually, I have to disagree with this. I always thought it was kind of fun to learn extra details and miniature stories that weren't mentioned in the original book(s). As long as it's not a detail that would end up changing the whole course of/how you feel about the actual story, then it's just some bonus info.

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#48

Infodumps. It's called 'backstory' for a reason: it informs the text, without being a part of it. I don't want to be fed all the author's research, world building, and character sheets in enormous indigestible lumps, I just need to know what's important to the story as it progresses.

I could also do without pointless interpersonal conflict. Or at least, if the story hinges on everyone in it behaving like enraged geese over some Big Misunderstanding or another, lean into it and make it a comedy.

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Rannveig Ess
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"enraged geese" .....hahahahah! I love that

#49

Anne of Green Gables is an amazing book, but the plot felt all over the place. Whenever a book is doing this, and I already feel like it’s lacking I will spank the book (yes im aware how weird I am and how this hurts paperbacks, but honestly they deserve it)

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I once read a novel based on history. The author just ignored facts that made her characters look bad. It made me very angry. The author's picture was on the cover so I drew a mustache on her.

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#50

When you get to the end of the novel and the author has made the "murderer" the person who showed up once , in passing at the very beginning of the novel... like the guy named Ted who lives three doors down and passed the protagonist on the street and said 'hi".

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#51

People in novels would sometimes finish a cigarette in the time it took to speak two sentences. More likely, it took one cigarette to write them.
Also, nobody ever seems to need to use the bathroom, except maybe to hide out.

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MyOpinionHasBeenServed
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or when there's an investigation or chasing/hunting down a bad guy. No one seems to sleep.

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#52

when literary snobs try to read too much into everything as if every everything is metaphor!

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Troux
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think what Ashley is trying to say here is that time itself can be a cage as those memories that she's most attached to are out of her grasp although play significant roles in her own internal identity, whilst her peers are viewing her through the lens of the era(s) they have seen and experienced her within. This then forces her to reconstruct those relationships internally, which leads her to creating the mirrored characterizations of herself. When she uses the phrase "too much," this is alluding to her childhood during which her mother would use the same term when scolding her. This hints at the lasting impact of this disappointment (which she expands upon further in her future posts). The reader is initially led to believe that "every everything" is a typo, but as her frustration is unfolded towards the denouement of the post, it serves to depict her self-reflection as layered and convoluted as her own perspective is forced upon her through her experiences.

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#53

Generic villains. Let's make them dark, menacing, sinister, pointed and ugly, and they must always be dressed in black, and alternating between a sneer and a maniacal cackle. The kind where you can just take one glance at them and know with all certainty that "that's the bad guy". The actual biggest threats in life are undetectable - take notes!

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#54

I just really miss fun chapter titles or, you know, tables of contents in fiction at all

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#55

in English class,everything has to symbolise something
Flowers can't just be flowers anymore

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EvilK
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Try reading about cigars then? I hear sometimes, they are just cigars.

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#56

Romance books: The word “moist.”
Eww.

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That nerd Zoe
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seriously though people make fun of others for not liking the word moist when it just sounds weird!

#57

Humourless writing. I don't care what you're writing. Essay? Add humour. History book? Add humor. Story? Add Humour. Unless you're talking about something really serious (like slavery or hate crimes etc.), humour will engage, interest and entertain your reader. It doesn't have to be complicated, just some simple sarcasm or witty comment.

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#58

1. My biggest one is when books that are otherwise very good shove a romance in. Not everything needs a romance!
2. Romances that always start and end at the same stage of the relationship, (meeting, developing feelings, getting together) or always have a happy ending, or turn from a crush into love too fast.
3. ALWAYS refusing to kill, even in self-defense. The character could prevent mass murder, if they just shot the villain.
4. Talking forever at unwise times during combat.
5. That "strong female characters" can't like feminine things, not even just a little bit. It's ok for characters to not be feminine at all but the trope is so overused that it can be harmful.
6. All-or-nothing labels. Old or young. Feminine or masculine. Good or bad. Gay or straight. Poor or rich. One race or the other with no mixing ever.
7. SPELLING EVERYTHING OUT IMMEDIATELY. Whether it's characters or plot I enjoy a few things either left to the imagination, unlabeled, ambiguous, etc.

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Soda the Snake
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree with all of what you just wrote. I know a lot of strong, feminine women in real life, but the ones in books always have to be masculine, because feminism is "wEaK aNd BoRiNg," or whatever the hell male authors think.

#59

I hate it when authors write the hero as an absolute idiot, e.g. DBS Goku. In Z, Goku wasn’t as stupid but the writers then wrote him as an idiot. You don’t need a character to be funny from stupidity, also, Majin Buu, stupid character. Like, when he separates from himself, then combines again, he’s somehow smarter?

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Monday
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Goku was always "stupid", the English dub made him sound smarter than he actually was. He was both the protagonist and a massive part of the comic relief in the original versions. It's part of the whole saiyan thing, they value a good fight over the good of society. As an example, in the English dub of Z Goku lets Vegeta live so he can repent, become a better person and blah blah blah....in the original version he lets Vegeta live because he wants him to get stronger so they can fight again. As a sidenote, him getting stupider would actually make canonical sense given the sheer amount of head trauma he's endured, the dude is literally brain damaged from the start of Dragon Ball so seeing an escalation would make sense.

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#60

Where the protagonist is an author going through some type of turmoil…. Seriously, a writer writing about being a writer?! What type of laziness is this???

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#61

The past tense of smell is smelled. Smelt is a fish. Drives me crazy when I see that.

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My peeve is "lay" versus "lie". As in "I am going to lay down here". No, "lay" is past tense of "lie." E.g. I will lie on the floor, I lay on the floor, I have lain on the floor. Present tense is "lie". You can tell the difference between this and "untruth" by context. No one is going to untruth on the floor. The only use of "lay" in present-tense is when you are placing something on a surface, e.g. "lay the bricks" or "lay the book on the table". To "lay" something implies two items of relevance: the person doing the laying (the bricklayer, or myself carrying a book in my hand), and the object being laid, e.g. a book, a brick.

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#62

When the recap for a book in a series isn’t well written, and it is very obvious that the author is being lazy and doesn’t have the time to delicately weave the information into the opening chapters, but just blurts it out. I’d almost rather have a paragraph that summarizes the previous books before the story starts.

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Tuesday Next
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was one series I read in high school where the author had word-for-word copied exposition from book to book.

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#63

When a book uses an unnecessary amount of detail that has barely anything to do with the actual plot, and the story doesn't start until you get to the middle of the book.

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#64

I know the title says literary pet peeves, but when a movie based off of a book leaves out a major detail. I 100% understand that they cannot include every single detail, but losing a limb is pretty major as I'm sure most of you will agree. *coughhungergamescough*

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#65

Bad editing!! The improper use of 'lie' and 'lay'. FFS people, you lie down. You lay something down. You do NOT lay down.

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep. Horrid. "I am going to lay down here". No, "lay" is past tense of "lie." E.g. I will lie on the floor, I lay on the floor, I have lain on the floor. Present tense is "lie". You can tell the difference between this and "untruth" by context. No one is going to untruth on the floor. The only use of "lay" in present-tense is when you are placing something on a surface, e.g. "lay the bricks" or "lay the book on the table". To "lay" something implies two items of relevance: the person doing the laying (the bricklayer, or myself carrying a book in my hand), and the object being laid, e.g. a book, a brick.

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#66

When characters should die but in the end everyone is saved/brought back to life.
Disney...

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Tuesday Next
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn't realize Disney wrote original books.

#67

When an author doesn't do their research. For example, say a character is in labor, and the author clearly has no experience in the matter. I'm like, did no women have a hand in editing this? Did you not SPEAK to any women, or know any?? That's not how it happens!

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#68

When the author uses the character's name a lot instead of using pronouns. I just read a book that used the name at least 7 times in a 5 line paragraph instead of using pronouns.

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Shelby Moonheart
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I read a biography (out load to my mom) like that and the main character had a hard-to-pronounce name. I finally swapped it out for the pronoun. It didn't detract from the story at all.

#69

Writers who assume you are intimately familiar with the real-world settings and temporal culture references. When stories are set in a real world location that the author has grown up in, you need to dig out dictionaries, atlases, and newspapers from the applicable era to even have a remote clue what they are talking about. Just 2 decades out is bad enough, but when you cannot properly grasp a story without a bachelor's degree in the societal structure and political details in the relevant setting, the author HAS FAILED. Just about every 'classic' suffers this, yet we are force-fed the content (Looking at you Shakespeare, whoever you might be, and Dostoevsky". Yet this can be overcome - Most of Hemmingway and works such as "A Clockwork Orange" can be read & understood without requiring expertise in the backdrops.

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Samantha Lomb
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

With Dostoevsky the fault usually lies on the translator. The most popular translation was done by an Englishwoman in the 19th century and is like reading mud. It makes much more sense in Russian and if you live in Russian culture ( which is who Dostoevsky wrote it for). What you want is a better translation with explanatory notes.

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#70

I’m almost afraid to let this be published, but ….

Jane Austen.

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Shame on you! Jane Austen is one of my favorite writers. But I'm just teasing because I can see your point. Her writing's not always so great. In the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice, she doesn't even take the trouble to tell us where Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are. It reads more like the dialogue of a play.

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#71

Half naked men on the cover. I prefer a kick-ass heroine any day.

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#72

"And then" choppy writing. "Marco grabbed his sword, and swung wildly. He landed one hit and dodged a second. His opponent dodged and faced him. "

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Please rewrite those phrases as an improvement. "Marco violently grabbed his trusty sword, and thrust with all his might, swinging wild as he was a warrior. As he destroyed his opponent, and avoided the next...his opponents facing him were all defeated"

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#73

The "puppet master" trope with titles like "Master" or "Director": all-knowing, all wise and always in control. It really bugs me how authors like Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer or Susan Collins portay these master-manipulators with infinite resources, infinite connection and nfinite power that, however, are defeated by the rag-tag group of heroes with simple strategies.
I love the character of Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, exactly because the fact of the three heroes "winning" does not affect him, it is just a minor inconvinient, as it would be in real life.

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Are you saying that you do not accept that any character is invincible? Or is portrayed such? Or is infinitely wise? I agree with you. I prefer the hero or anti hero to be flawed and only to persevere based on their individual assets, and maybe luck, but mostly because of us, the readers will for them to succeed.

#74

A good antagonist who is wasted. When introduced this person (or organization) is a smart, capable, dangerous, opponent who needs to be taken very seriously and who may even win occasionally. But later they just become a punching bag who only shows up to get knocked down by the hero.

Also MAPS, dammit, especially when writing fantasy or science fiction. Show me good detailed maps of where your adventures are taking place.

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Kirsty
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm much more likely to but any book if i see it has a map in the front 😐

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#75

When there are key-components in the plot that are missing and only revealed at a later time. For example, The Princess and Pauper by Kate Brian. Ok, sure, don't tell me Princess Carina takes on an American accent until she spills her real identity to some random dude from Arizona.

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#76

When a book is described as ‘unputdownable’
In the blurb. Nothing more guaranteed to make me not buy a book than describing it as that. So irritating it’s not even a real word !!!

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Mike Loux
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"When you open this book, it will literally KRAZY GLUE ITSELF TO YOUR HANDS"

#77

This is kind of a corollary to the ones about continuity within a book, but...continuity within a larger series (Raymond Feist was pretty awful about this in his Riftwar novels). I realize that it becomes harder and harder to keep track of all of your characters' details the more books you write, but...at least MAKE AN EFFORT, FFS.

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#78

When what could be the character's first kiss is interrupted. Like COME ON!!

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Tris Hunt
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's what's fun about it. Build the suspense then smash it like a bug.

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#79

When the author changes something that was kind of major. For example, say the main character was in a fight and it mentions that he/she gets a bad cut in the side, yet three paragraphs later the author goes on describing a nasty cut on his leg never even mentioning his/her side.

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#80

literary ads/blurbs that tell you nothing about the book. often they say, "for fans of x books or y authors" and leave it at that.

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#81

Overuse of context-irrelevant descriptors instead of pronouns or names (ex. "said the blonde").

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Henry Cheves
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Verne keeps referring to Ned Land as "the Canadian." It isn't even important to the story, it just means he speaks French, just like all the other characters.

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#82

Books aimed at teens and young adults romanticising abusive behaviour.

This wouldn't be so bad if it was occasional but I feel like it's very common in books targeting those age groups. Sometimes, perhaps even often, that character is eventually ousted by a "better" character and the reader is supposed to see how terrible the abusive character's behaviour was. Unfortunately, it mostly serves to normalise that behaviour.

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#83

Investing my time reading a novel, only to get to the end and the ending is just so cheesey that it made me throw the book across the room. Yes I did!

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#84

When the author spoils something that will happen later on in the book (i.e. a death, relationship, betrayal, etc.), or even just heavy foreshadowing.

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Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Lemony Snicket did that in ASOUE. Bothered me so much when I was younger.

#85

The "strong woman" who is written by someone who has a rather skewed idea of both 'strength' and 'women'. Example: Lois Lane is supposed to be a "strong woman" - in reality, she is someone I would love to shove into a swamp. Being *unreasonably rude*, placing your own wants (not even needs) above others and shoving self-aggrandizing quips into every comment is not 'strong'. It's like there's this anathema to having a solid female character having the same heroic qualities as a male character. The 'strong woman' is constantly doing stupid, rude, and arrogant things for **no reason** (is it part of a plan? Nope. Is it part of her cover? Nope. Is there even a backstory that covers why this behaviour is the only choice available? NOPE.) - she is just 'like that' to show she's 'strong'. Eejits.

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#86

Reading the first book of a series, then waiting for ages for the second one because the author has decided to start a complete different one.... I want to know how the story will end!

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Sha-ne-ne
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or the author gets sidetracked by a lot of other (money-making) projects...like George R. R. Martin, perhaps?

#87

Not giving a reader all the clues needed to solve a mystery. Don't cheat, you can write a good mystery or you can't.

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#88

Time travel as a shoehorned plot device. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good time travel story but only when time travel has always been part of the plot. Time travel makes total sense in Umbrella Academy because it's present from the first episode. Time travel has no place in Harry Potter because it's brought up in the third book and never utilized again for the remaining four.

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Julie
Community Member
11 months ago

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Those are not 2 examples of literary peeves. Some of the best novels include time travel. Lets all agree that Harry Potter is not literature.

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#89

people who correct you every time you use wrong grammar.

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#90

“Action” scenes (looking at you, Lee Child). I just skip past those bits to get back to the story.

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Do you mean action scenese or do you mean sex scenes? I usually skip both.

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#91

when the main character is stubborn as hell
take the damn talking gun will ya?

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Soda the Snake
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean I find stubborn book characters rather entertaining at times

#92

In a multi book series, taking up most of a chapter catching readers up on the last 20 or so books. You can't get to the new story for having to reread the old one. Again.

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#93

When a company messes up but you have to do all of the work to prove it is their mistake.

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#94

Second person for the entire novel - except Jay McInerney in Bright Lights Big City. That's the only time it works. Everybody else you're only allowed to use it for short passages in italics. I'm looking at you Mary Karr.

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#95

I read a lot of books by different authors, and these peeves are in most books I read. I'm so tired of the word 'padded' to describe walking somewhere: ex. "She padded into the bathroom." Secondly, authors using names that start with the same letter for most of their characters; this happens with both first and last names. I just read a book where both female and male characters had names that started with C; six characters were introduced in the first chapter. Thirdly, I don't understand why authors feel it necessary to spend two paragraphs describing what someone is wearing, and using brand names to impress us. I'm reading a fiction crime novel; I don't care about every little thing the character is wearing. Lastly, many different characters in a book using a specific idiom; I just read two books by an author where "sharpest knife in the dishwasher" was used many times by different, unrelated characters.

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Sha-ne-ne
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see the "padded" one a lot, especially when characters are barefooted. I'm also irritated by characters always "washing down" their meals with whatever they're drinking. Both of those are so cliche.

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#96

Using glasses as props. I hate it in books, movies, and real life because people have enough problems without a necessity being treated like a piece of decoration.

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#97

When the character in the book is written into a corner and then they suddenly get new powers. Especially the power to heal, so that the expositon is nothing but fight scenes, with the main character barely alive, then fine, sex scene, fight scene, stops bleeding because of some magic, then right back into the fray. It's a book, the action does not all have to happen in one day, they can say "two weeks of healing later..."

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is called Deus ex Machina. I hate it. It happens in basically EVERY american movie that does not get an oscar. E.g. the friend in an airship arrives just in time; or the friend with a sniper rifle, etc.

#98

Clive Cuddler. Every book of his I've seen, he suddenly and unexpectedly slaps a female. to mak

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#99

Using the character's name over and over again instead of using pronouns. I swear I read a book that had the character's name at least 7 times in a 5 line paragraph instead of using a pronoun.

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#100

Double spaces ay the end of a sentence. Please. Stop.

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She/her
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's how I was taught to type. I honestly don't think I could stop when typing on a computer if I tried. 😭

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#101

I have a hard time accepting that all except a few people understand the difference.

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

what on earth does this mean?

#102

When in movies, like end of the world movies, NOT EVERY WOMEN IS GOING TO BE STUNNING AND MAKEUP ON!!! c'mon!

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Tuesday Next
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The title said literary, not cinematic

#103

my literal pet peeve is my cat changing its mind whenever I open a door. Ah but it's not a peeve anymore, really. It's more of a ritual dance by now.

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Rose Romano
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This made me laugh. I love cats. I once read an anecdote about a man who named his dog Peeve so he could introduce him to people as his pet Peeve.

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