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On to the post...
I can forgive a writer anything if he does it well, but if he/she doesn't, I am not responsible for my words and actions.
If you do number one, rather stay very far away from me.
And no, number one cannot be done well. Trust me.
5) Changing perspective in the course of a book.
This one should be easy. If you start in first person past tense, don't switch to third person past (or worse present) tense unless (maybe) if the view point characters differ.
I understand the logic behind going to third person if the view point character isn't the MC, but there is also a massive flaw to this logic:
Yes, the MC is technically telling us what the other guy or gal experienced. But who died and made the MC omniscient?
In my opinion, the writer's skill did.
4) Popping a surprise on me from nowhere.
Everyone loves a twist, right?
Oh yes. I adore twists. I love to have picked up on the clues and that I was right about the ending. What I love more is when the twist happens and I can see that the clues were there and I missed them.
What I don't love is when there's a twist and there was no clue whatsoever that this was even possible.
A particular pet peeve: Deus Ex Machina.
If you want to throw in an unpredictable twist, please be so kind as to explain how it happened.
I think the writers think that writers think that they can do anything without the reader noticing. I now advise those writers to see number 1e.
3) Character growth issues.
As in: There isn't any.
Call me selfish, but I don't want to spend hours reading about how perfect a character is.
I want flaws. Many of them.
And don't make things easy for the character. Make him fight for what he wants or believes in.
I want to be assured that I can do anything if I set my mind to it.
So no tripping over the switch that turns off the nuke unless it's a comedy please.
2) Unnecessary cruelty to characters.
Ah yes... This almost made number one.
I know that I said that I want to see characters in difficult situations, but there is a line. Pure out torture does not a developed character make.
So... no killing of families and/or friends unless it is what is driving the story forward... And even then, be very careful.
If you do decide to kill families and friends, don't kill his pet gerbil too.
Seriously. There is a line. Don't go there.
1) If the writer underestimates my intelligence.
This had to be number one. After all, it happens in so many situations and in so many forms.
But reading wise, these are a few of my favorite peeves...
a) Dumbing down the dialogue. If your character is supposed to be smart, don't make him/her say something stupid. Because no character will look remotely as stupid as the writer will.
b) This is especially for MG and YA writers. Don't write down to readers, now! You will one day learn that patronizing children is a very silly thing to do. After all, you do want them to buy your book, right? And what would you be if they don't?
c) Connected to the above, don't beat people over the head with the moral of the story. If people don't figure the moral out on their own, they won't care.
d) Narrators that have to explain every. single. thing. It's OK... I think I can keep up.
e) Doing things that you think no one will notice. Guess what. We do.
In fact I can say that e goes above the term peeve straight into something that will make me spit on the writer's name...
So what makes your blood pressure rise when you read?