Putting off your reader

I had finished a post about writing, and what puts readers off. For some reason the page decided to shut itself down and I exited my post unexpectedly and very annoyingly! I will rewrite what I wrote, in the meantime here’s something along the same lines:

I’m beginning to go through my list of comments in response to a question about what puts readers off finishing a book. In general the comments fall into several categories:

  • the writing
  • the characters
  • the plot
  • the author intruding into the story
  • the story being boring
  • to many and too graphic sexual descriptions/story-lines
  • quirky comments

Just picking on one area, characters, the same thoughts are often repeated; however, I’m going to compress and combine them, but here’s the first dozen or so:

  1. if the characters are in no way likeable or relatable; characters I don’t care a whit about.
  2. losing faith in the protagonist
  3. weird as **** names
  4. when the author kills off a favourite/compelling/sympathetic character.
  5. when characters start speaking in a way people never would.
  6. if I don’t care about any of the characters
  7. new characters who appear close to the end of the novel and are suddenly important … I hate that
  8. an insufferable protagonist; someone who is selfish and careless, yet they are written about them as if he or she is wonderful.
  9. when characters do things out of character for the sake of a twist/complication, especially if they know better than to do it.  Irks me!
  10. characters being purposefully dumb for the sake of forcing plot or scenes to play out in a certain way, this is a major pet peeve.
  11. useless characters, bad dialogue, lack of direction.
  12. Character motivations which don’t make sense.


    1. Lois

      Absolutely, and also names which are too similar and cause confusion! I do like unusual names in my stories, but I try to make them simple and obvious as to how they should be pronounced!


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