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 Things you avoid in novels

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PostSubject: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:24 pm

The title is self-explanatory, so here's my list:

I enjoy sad endings, but I don't like it when the sad ending is supposed to make you sob all over yourself. I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and while I liked the book--thought it dragged a bit--it felt like he made it really sad, because he wanted us to cry. A lot. I didn't sob, of course, but I was really annoyed. I've read plenty of sad books, but the other sad books compared to this one was that I didn't feel like the author was doing it on purpose. I know that sounds weird "the author was doing it on purpose", but I hope you get it anyway. And people have said that Nicholas Sparks's books seem to follow the same formula and that if you read all of his novels, you can predict what'll happen and it gets annoying. I dunno though...that was my first Nicholas Sparks book.

I hate anything gratuitous and this fits in with the above. I hate cursing, sex, violence, sad endings when it's all gratuitous. I hate when something happens in the story and it would be perfectly fine without it there--sometimes even better without it there--but it's there. Worrying so much about the word-count of my novels, I hate when I see other novels that have gratuitous scenes (and I know it's all about opinion, but I mean, gratutious scenes where there's no room for argument, i.e. Edward's descriptions in Twilight).
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:31 pm

Books that stall due to information dumps.
While I greatly enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I felt she stopped her story a few times just to dump in a history lesson, when one or two breif lines would have done the trick. It was like she was saying "Ha! I spent 2 years doing all this research and now you have to read everything I learned!"

Books that have unrealistic things happen just because the author "feels" like putting it in. It is usually unnecessary and most of the time does not add anything to the reading experience except for annoyance.

I like page turners but not "rush jobs" where you know the whole thing was conceived, written, proofread and edited in under 2 months because it shines through in the lack of plot and character development.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:38 pm

BeautyBlitz wrote:
Books that stall due to information dumps.
While I greatly enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I felt she stopped her story a few times just to dump in a history lesson, when one or two breif lines would have done the trick. It was like she was saying "Ha! I spent 2 years doing all this research and now you have to read everything I learned!"

Books that have unrealistic things happen just because the author "feels" like putting it in. It is usually unnecessary and most of the time does not add anything to the reading experience except for annoyance.

I like page turners but not "rush jobs" where you know the whole thing was conceived, written, proofread and edited in under 2 months because it shines through in the lack of plot and character development.

I agree with those points as well, Beauty. Rush jobs annoy me to no end. I hate typos in a novel--they freak me out.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:11 pm

It drives me up the wall when an author clearly didn't research a subject and has facts wrong. Hedwig in Harry Potter drives me a little crazy, since snowy owls are a) diurnal and b) mostly silent. I mean really, how much effort would it have been to look up some basic information on snowy owls?
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:53 pm

I hate it when the author constantly describes what everyone is wearing. It's annoying and most often, completely unnecessary. Who really cares what the main character is wearing in EVERY scene? Sometimes, a breif wardrobe description is necessary and can actually add to the mood and atmosphere of the story, but EVERY scene is a little much.

Also, when authors put in completely unpronounceable names and then put a pronunciation guide in the back of the book.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:13 pm

BeautyBlitz wrote:
I hate it when the author constantly describes what everyone is wearing. It's annoying and most often, completely unnecessary. Who really cares what the main character is wearing in EVERY scene? Sometimes, a breif wardrobe description is necessary and can actually add to the mood and atmosphere of the story, but EVERY scene is a little much.

Also, when authors put in completely unpronounceable names and then put a pronunciation guide in the back of the book.

On this note, invented languages. I hate them. A word here or there, with the meaning easily worked out from the context, fine. Entire sentences? No. Not okay. I also agree with unpronounceable names, with the addition of names that are unusual for no reason except to be unusual.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Bandaids. Authors that write half their book then go "oh, darn, this doesn't make sense." Instead of going back and re working things they just throw in a random plot twist that explains away all their inconsistancies and mistakes, wheter or not it has any relevance to the story. (If you get my meaning)

Authors, proofreader and editors that miss BLATANT spelling and grammatical errors. Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:57 pm

I hate reading books where I can't pronounce the names. I can't focus on the story because I'm constantly trying to pronounce the name correctly in my mind and that bugs the heck out of me. That's probably why I hate fantasy books so much. I'm also getting pretty tired of deus ex machinas. It feels like the author ran out of things to add to the story so they decided to get rid of something.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:54 pm

denizenofevil wrote:
I hate reading books where I can't pronounce the names. I can't focus on the story because I'm constantly trying to pronounce the name correctly in my mind and that bugs the heck out of me. That's probably why I hate fantasy books so much. I'm also getting pretty tired of deus ex machinas. It feels like the author ran out of things to add to the story so they decided to get rid of something.

I completely agree with denizenofevil here-especially when the deux ex machinas are ridiculously cliched.

On that matter, I absolutely loathe it when authors take cliches out too far. One or tow is okay--makes for a slightly cheesy story, but whatever. When it is in every other sentence, I want to throw the book across the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:49 pm

I agree with all of the above, and, having read numerous Nicholas Sparks novels, I can tell you that they do in fact follow a formula. I used to think the books were sweet; now I'm annoyed by their lack of originality. In every story: two lonely people meet and fall hopelessly in love. Then they are torn apart for some reason. Then they get back together, and sombody either dies or almost dies. I've read five of his novels, and it actually gets hard to tell them apart sometimes.

To add to the list above, one thing I don't like in novels is when the author adds a bunch of sappy character development scenes. You know, when one of the story's villians says "I guess I didn't realize..." and proceeds to tell us why he's a better person now, maybe even tearing up a bit. Those annoy me very much, and I feel like the authors that write those types of scenes either love angst or didn't try hard enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:54 pm

Jane wrote:
I've read five of his novels, and it actually gets hard to tell them apart sometimes.
\

I have the exact same problem. When I first read a Nicholas Sparks novel, I thought it was amazing but then I read a second, and then a third before I realized that they were all exactly the same! Just change the character's names and voila! A new Sparks novel!
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:41 am

I hate books where everything is already miserable enough, and then the author has to go and make it even more miserable. I felt that Will Keller's death in Rumors was unjustified. In novels, the death can't just be random. His was random. He was courting Elizabeth through a train station, police grabbed him from behind and shot him because Elizabeth is a prestigious daughter in a rich family. That ending angered me because it was pointless. I mean, it was already bad enough that Diana didn't get to marry Henry because Elizabeth's "friend" Penelope was--and she did very spiteful things to do so--but to make a random death, it was too much!

The Tea Rose luckily had a good ending, but there were too many miserable moments that kept my heart pounding to the point where I was literally on the edge of my seat, and I felt as if I would have a heart attack any moment!
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 pm

I avoid books with content that is overly complicated, in an attempt to sound intelligent. It's annoying, because it sounds like nonsense, if you can wrap your mind around it.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:17 pm

LuthienT wrote:
I avoid books with content that is overly complicated, in an attempt to sound intelligent. It's annoying, because it sounds like nonsense, if you can wrap your mind around it.

Like Eragon? I might either be saying that because I don't remember the book too well, or I might be saying that because it's true.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:27 pm

Talkatoast wrote:
LuthienT wrote:
I avoid books with content that is overly complicated, in an attempt to sound intelligent. It's annoying, because it sounds like nonsense, if you can wrap your mind around it.

Like Eragon? I might either be saying that because I don't remember the book too well, or I might be saying that because it's true.

I actually enjoyed Eragon Embarassed It's one of my guilty pleasures. I know it is by FAR the best thing I've ever read, but I enjoyed it all the same. book2
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:53 pm

I also hate it when authors try to insert random crap in an attempt to sound intelligent. "Throw a random big and long word there and I'll sound more sophisticated" seem to be the attitude of some authors. Granted, I don't have the best vocabulary in the world, but even I could make something sound intelligent in simple language...
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:02 pm

BeautyBlitz wrote:
Talkatoast wrote:
LuthienT wrote:
I avoid books with content that is overly complicated, in an attempt to sound intelligent. It's annoying, because it sounds like nonsense, if you can wrap your mind around it.

Like Eragon? I might either be saying that because I don't remember the book too well, or I might be saying that because it's true.

I actually enjoyed Eragon Embarassed It's one of my guilty pleasures. I know it is by FAR the best thing I've ever read, but I enjoyed it all the same. book2

I'll admit that Eragon is okay. I'm going to read the third book just because, but I'm not really expecting a lot. I just remember that the plot was really confusing, especially in Eldest. God, I need to read the synopsis when I start reading Brisingr! I don't have time to go through and read the first two books again. rofl

I love these smilies! So cute! clapping
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:03 pm

I don't remember the books being confusing at all. I have 2 more books to get through before I borrow Brisinger from my dad.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:04 pm

Zara Sahana 007 wrote:
I also hate it when authors try to insert random crap in an attempt to sound intelligent. "Throw a random big and long word there and I'll sound more sophisticated" seem to be the attitude of some authors. Granted, I don't have the best vocabulary in the world, but even I could make something sound intelligent in simple language...

I had an argument about this on another forum. Someone told me that it's not the authors job to know the vobulary of his audience. But I said that that author needs to consider the audience when writing the book! Most young adults don't have a large, varied vocabulary. This doesn't mean writers of YA novels need to dumb themselves down; it just means that they don't need to be using words meant for medical textbooks! A few SAT words are fine to enhance vocab, but that's not the author's job. The author's job is to tell a story.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:05 pm

BeautyBlitz wrote:
I don't remember the books being confusing at all. I have 2 more books to get through before I borrow Brisinger from my dad.

It might be confusing to me because I don't remember it. And I don't know why I don't remember it because I read Eragon twice! But yet I have the Gemma Doyle trilogy engrained in my brain as if it's a vital organ.
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:09 pm

Talkatoast wrote:
BeautyBlitz wrote:
I don't remember the books being confusing at all. I have 2 more books to get through before I borrow Brisinger from my dad.

It might be confusing to me because I don't remember it. And I don't know why I don't remember it because I read Eragon twice! But yet I have the Gemma Doyle trilogy engrained in my brain as if it's a vital organ.

I guess it all depends on personal preference. Some books interest us more and therefore have a greater impact on us. The greater the impact, the more we tend to remember things. book1
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:26 pm

Another thing I hate in novels is over used metaphors and similes and other phrases that have been written 10 000 times.

"His eyes hypnotized me"
"She had a heart of gold"
"Her eyes sparkled in the sunlight"

*GAG*
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:40 pm

BeautyBlitz wrote:
Another thing I hate in novels is over used metaphors and similes and other phrases that have been written 10 000 times.

"His eyes hypnotized me"
"She had a heart of gold"
"Her eyes sparkled in the sunlight"

*GAG*

You mean cliches?
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:27 pm

Yes thank you! For some reason that word escaped my brain and I just could NOT think of it. I hate it when that happens. cup
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PostSubject: Re: Things you avoid in novels   Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:35 pm

BeautyBlitz wrote:
I actually enjoyed Eragon Embarassed It's one of my guilty pleasures. I know it is by FAR the best thing I've ever read, but I enjoyed it all the same. book2

I don't think you should ever really have to be ashamed of having enjoyed a book. I mean, it just means that you can see the best in things. Even the Twilight Saga series (I love doing that Razz ) has its upsides. That certainly means that Eragon does. I read it when I was twelve and I loved it. Now they're not so great (and certainly not great literature or any amazingly original saga), but they're still somewhat enjoyable.
You know, Mariah, the first time I met you on Y!A, you and Epiphany were having some sort of Eragon argument, I think.
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