I posed a question in a book page I follow on social media – “what put’s you off reading a book?” There were over seventy replies, and many made the same points! It was interesting, but also a good guide for a writer – things to avoid to keep your reader reading!
Here are the firs ten, collated and edited:
- Lacklustre writing /plotting /characters and sloppy editing
- Badly spelt or ridiculous names – they really irritate me and make me not want to carry on with the story.
- When the pages are just filled with writing and the story isn’t going anywhere
- Lack of engagement, more than anything else. If I don’t care what’s going to happen to the characters, I won’t read on
- When two people hate one another at the start you know that they’ll be in love by the end.
- The overuse of brackets is very annoying, also too many similes and too much dialogue.
- Lazy writing, confusing tenses
- Any book where the actions or thought process of any of the characters are completely unbelievable or dramatically change part way through the book to fit or create an unrealistic ending.
- Where the author has used hundreds of words to say absolutely nothing and has neglected to develop plot, characters or atmosphere.
- where sex scenes seem to have been slotted in, as if the publisher has insisted on it to widen the appeal
A lesson to all writers! I will share some more another time!
My featured image is of a muddy field, because some books are like wading through one!