Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Author...PLEASE DON'T.......

I don't have a guest today.....I have about a thousand!  Taking a cue from a fun post an author friend shared on a facebook group I belong to, I'm sharing a hilarious Amazon customer discussion she found called Author, Please Don't..., wherein the Amazon reader addresses the authors with their pet peeves related to what they've been reading recently. (some posts have been changed to protect the guilty)! I picked out my favorites, but seriously, they were so funny.  See how many you might be guilty of, then run, don't walk, to your latest WIP, and make those changes as quick as you can.  based on the tone of some of these responses, these readers are NOT messing around.  Then leave a comment and let me know which ones bug you too!

  • let your hero have a disgusting habit, like smoking cigars (even if he's rich) or chewing and spitting tobacco (even if he's a cowboy)
  • put today's name brands on items. I may want to reread your book 15 years from now!
  • forget about your secondary characters, even if you have limited space. Try to have them all as real as possible; it takes away from the overall effect if they're all cardboard cutouts
  • make your villains one-dimensional, everyone has a reason to do villainous things why not the ones in books?
  • name your heroes Hunter, Connor, or [insert over-used name here] no matter how much you like the name... if you must use an over-used name go with classics like John, Sam or Robert... you guys are killing the 'exotic' names by making them common!
  • base your characters (especially in a series) off of yourself, your current husband/lover or a close friend/family member... we can tell and it burns us... we hates it... >_< ...especially when you get divorced and turn the hero you make us love in books 1-4 into a prick we are supposed to hate in books 5-7.
  • write without a dictionary, thesaurus, and an atlas at your side.
  • make the villians easily identifiable by their greasy hair and bad fashion sense.
  • please don´t make your heroine with red hair!!!!!
  • have your heroine behave like an idiot and write it so that the hero finds this stupidity cute, winning, charming or adorable. There's a difference between making an error and lacking any common sense.
  • have your hero behave like a sociopath - if the hero is, in fact, a sociopath, then the heroine should kill him and get on with her life
  • use the words bro, sis or buckaroo. No one speaks like that.
  • recycle the same storyline over and over, changing only the names of the characters and location.
  • forget to proofread carefully. 
  • forget that not all heroines have to be petite and blonde with huge breasts. 
  • assume that your readers have read all the books in your series and know the backstory. A little information for those of us who haven't read the entire series would be greatly appreciated.
  • Please DON'T use foreign words or phrases UNLESS you know what you're talking about. A little research would be appreciated.
  • have several characters with the same first initial in their name: Cindy and Cissy or Tom and Todd. For goodness sakes, you've got the whole alphabet to choose from.
  • use a name for the heroine which could be mistaken for a male: Morgan, Joey or Danny (believe me, I've seen each of these!!).
  • and don't forget to let me know how much time is passing. Was it a day, a week, an hour? Help me keep up, I can't read your mind.
  • Have your main characters make love every night for months without referring to that monthly challenge
  • Have many bouts of love-making without at least ONCE (for crying out loud) reaching for a wash rag or the proverbial handkerchief. (It adds to the storyline rather than detracts from it.)
  • Please don't forget to put a little variety in your love-making,  Heroes don't "hold still" and then relax at the critical moment.)
  • Please do keep track of your time as we are
  • give your hero a moustache - or your heroine, for that matter.
  • discuss the amount of body hair your heroine has
  • try to convince me that rape/sexual abuse is sexy, and equals a lasting, once-in-a-lifetime love
  • have a fight in the bedroom while their naked in bed and then he leaves out jumps in the car WITHOUT ANY CLOTHES ON?
  • make me read the roller coaster ride of a plot you've put the hero through and then on the last page of the last sentence a shot rings out and then I have to wait for the sequel except it won't come out until two years from now
  • if you're going to do erotic, keep the animals out the bed and if he/she is a shape shifter, it's not cute to change in the middle of a love scene, it's just bestiality.
  • flesh out your secondary characters.
  • quit giving me detail descriptions of how to get somewhere on a freeway across town including the turn right and left thing.
  • give me three sentence love scenes. GAWD I HATE THAT! Especially in erotica.
  • don't jump POV's to the hero's baby momma's cousin (Valencia Williams did that in Hottest Summer Ever)
  • Switch tenses throughout your whole story
  • talk slang outside of the dialogue in the narration part
  • have any more baby momma drama books. (at least rework it as a surprise to us or something, but vindictive women getting revenge on baby daddy's is not romantic anymore.)
  • Make every hero a man whore. Sometimes less experienced guys are hot too.
  • Sermonize in your fiction. I don't care if its vegetarianism, your favorite brand of shoes, or social responsibility. Having your character lecture your readers is annoying!
  • Don't forget to include a plot. The days when I Read romance novels for sex are pretty much over. A storyline would be nice.
  • Characters should have some sexual quirks. Not every character is going to like it the same way.
  • Forget your characters have jobs, lives, and other responsibilities. Sure the sex is great, the hero hot, but don't have your character give up everything for their hot significant other.
  • (this is probably a personal peeve, but I'm including it). Have too much girl talk. I don't have a clutch of gossiping girlfriends who dish men, and reading about it is boring. I can't enjoy the heroine if she's acting like a gossiping cat.
  • If you're going to use magick have the character be concerned about consequences. Sure its easy to brainwash the neighbor so he doesn't see you're vampire masquerade ball, but what are the ethical ramifications of using powers without consequence?
  • If you're writing a twenty-five year old college student, don't make her act like a 60 year old matron whose never seen a guy naked. 
  • have your heroine's innocence unrealistic; IMO having her experience her first kiss at age 25 is odd.
  • fall into the habit of the 'alpha male.' A guy doesn't have to be an arrogant bastard to get a girl.
  • have all your men be whores and your women be virgins. If nothing else, it's statistically improbable. (In fact, for each book like this you've written, try writing another with an experienced female and virgin male.)
  • make the reader wait until half the book is over before the hero and heroine even meet
  • make the hero an arrogant jerk (a man can be strong without being mentally abusive or controlling)
  • make the hero drink the heroine's breastmilk
  • write big sections of history that read like a textbook in a historical romance (I want romance, not a history lesson)
  • write a historical romance and not give the year
  • set a book in modern times where the hero is old enough to be the heroine's grandfather, and then treat the age difference like it's not an issue
  • have the heroine lose her virginity, then go on to have sex 8 times the same night in 6 different positions (can you say ouch??)
  • make kids perfect angels. Yes, children can bring some of the greatest joy in life, but the also need their diapers changed, get colic, have tantrums, and, unless you're one of the lucky few, don't sleep through the night from day one.
  • make kids total brats, and their parents too wimpy to discipline them
  • disregard development charts. Two-day old babies do not laugh, babble, or try to crawl.
  • have all women sail through pregnancy. Some of us actually do get stretch marks and morning sickness
  • make the hero and heroine wimps who won't stand up to their parents
  • spend all the time writing sex and no relationship. One or two well-written love scenes is usually sufficient.
  • trick readers by mislabelling your work. If it's erotica, then say so!
  • have the entire book hinge on some stupid misunderstanding that could be cleared up with two sentences. Please, let's have some books with real relationship issues!
  • have the hero and heroine bicker like children for most of the book
  • have the hero think about nothing else but getting laid (healthy sexual appetite, fine, but viewing every woman as a sex object, no).
  • have the hero and heroine having sex two seconds after they meet.
  • have the hero sleep with prostitutes. If it would be considered repulsive for a man in modern times to pick up a hooker, why is it okay in a historical novel?
  • make the hero a man-whore. Why won't someone write a book where both the hero and heroine are virgins? Believe me, in today's times with girls reading Cosmo at age 14, they could figure it out and have fun doing it!
  • give one of the main characters a disability, then have them magically recover by the end of the book. People who have difficulties with sight, hearing or walking deserve love too! Characters do not have to be physically perfect.
  • make the hero and heroine unlikeable!
  • neglect to develop a secondary romance, if you put one in. Otherwise it shouldn't be there at all.
  • use the "love at first sight" theme. It looks lazy. Anyone can say that a couple is in love--show us how they got there.
  • forget to develop your characters along with your plot. Lovable, well-rounded characters are what make a story stay with a reader long after the book is finished.

Wasn't this the most entertaining?  Now, add some more of your own...let me know what makes you stop and scratch your head or just want to pull your hair out! 


  1. I also don't get the making love and never having to clean up, at least have them take a shower or something to maintain the romance.
    I hate it when it feels like the author is filling space. It could be them explaining the environment for each scene, too much setting up and then not even enough detail about the event itself or the setting up is so long the event gets lost in that detail. Or they set you up with huge suspense for something that never happens or happens on a minute scale. Ggrrrrr. I just throw that book aside.

  2. Okay, I'm definitely using "Buckaroo" in my next book. How can I pass that up? LMAO

  3. My personal favorite is how no one ever worries about bills or paying the rent or mortgage or getting an overdraft charge for running out of money in the checking account in contemporaries. I mean, isn't that part of IRL (in real life), especially today? That would hammer me in the chest for realism. Think about it, Authors!
    And Gayle? I'll be looking for "buckaroo" from you!

  4. Don't pants your story, realize you're awfully close to the 100K cutoff limit and just stop the story (I can always tell).

    Don't create a plot twist and solve it with someone or something that swoops in out of the blue - that is, something created just to write you out of the corner you wrote yourself into.

  5. Thought I read the word 'bros' somewhere. Turns out I have it in my Christmas story.