Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I’ve got Jordanna East here talking about what makes a non picky reader annoyed.
I’m a reader. I know what you’re thinking: “ME Too!” But no, I’m a reader-reader. Just this year alone I’ve read more than seventy books, both indie and traditionally published. That’s some serious reading, right? So, it’s no wonder that I’m not an overly picky reader. I used to only read crime novels and horror, but I’ve recently branched out into historical fiction, YA, paranormal romance, and dystopian. I even read a few contemporary fiction novels. My point is, well, you get the point.. HOWEVER, there are a few things that bother me, that steal me away from the focus of the story, that cause me to roll my eyes in annoyance.
Here they are:
1. I can’t keep track of your characters. Sometimes a story has too many characters and they all have a name. The gas station attendant doesn’t always need a name if he only appears in one scene and has nothing to do with the plot. Also, I can’t keep up if several of your characters have the same or similar names. I don’t want to have to keep a notepad on hand just so I don’t keep confusing Bobby with Jim-Bob, or Bobby-Joe with Bob Jr.
2. Purple Prose. Don’t get me wrong, I love description. Probably more than I should. I love to be able to envision a character’s appearance or their surroundings. But I don’t need pages upon pages to do so. A well-crafted sentence or two will do just fine. Stop rambling on about blades of grass in the wind.
3. You have a thesaurus, we get it. I have a pretty extensive vocabulary (and I don’t mind expanding it even further), but when an author uses words I don’t think I’ll ever see again, I get annoyed. What’s worse is when the words don’t fit the context. Oh no, wait! What’s even worse than that is when the words are included in everyday dialogue and you as the reader just know in your heart of hearts that no one speaks like that. Gosh that’s the worst!
4. Jargon. I couldn’t be happier that you left your law firm/corporation/secret spy network to become an author, or that you did a ton of research on said vocations. But I never worked for a law firm/corporation/secret spy network and wasn’t aware that I had to do my own research before being able to understand a lick of your book.
5. Repetitive words and phrases. I recently read a book that overused the descriptions “smile held no humor” and “face clouded over.” As I read those terms over and over and over, they began to describe my own face.
Ok, so maybe I am a bit picky. But I’m sure it’s not just me. 😉
About Jordanna: Jordanna East is currently working on a full-length novel entitled Blood in the Paint. It’s a psychological thriller in which a seductive female serial killer and the ambitious young cop on to her are both seeing the same psychologist, who also has deadly ties to their pasts. She is also concurrently working on the prequel novella entitled Blood in the Past, which she plans to release in the Spring of 2013, followed by the novel in the summer. She’s married and living happily in Southern New Jersey with her husband and their slightly obsessive love of sports. Visit Jordanna at her blog, her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @JordannaEast.
Me again! Thanks for being here, Jordanna!
What about you? Are you a picky reader?
August 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm
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August 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm
Excellent post, Jordanna! I’m with you when it comes to jargon and purple prose. I hate being distracted from the main plot.
August 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm
I agree with you. I’m not an overly picky reader–in fact, I’ll read just about anything. However, I’m with you. There are some things that will make me put down a book. One is an incoherent plot. Another is head hopping, or POV errors. The third? Well, that’s the purple prose you talked about. Like the lengthy–and continual–description of a woman’s breasts. I get it: they’re nice. Now let’s get back to the story!