Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s list is about the things you encounter while reading that totally turns you off.
#10 Noble Idiots
I’m not sure who exactly coined the term but I first read it from Javabeans. This is when a character makes a noble but idiotic sacrifice for another character without discussing it first with said character; even when proper communication would have likely resolved the issue.
#9 Underdeveloped characters
I think this is such a tragedy, especially when you have an interesting plot. When the characterization is sub-optimal, my eagerness for the book diminishes. Because I can see the potential but it’s just not being realized.
#8 Helpless heroine/Damsel in distress
I don’t enjoy reading about heroines who treat themselves or let others treat them as doormats. I like them feisty, intelligent, and bad-ass.
#7 Guy falls in love with girl because she’s beautiful?
I’m not discriminating against beauty. I admire beauty. And a lot of characters considered to be a beauty have amazing personalities. What about getting to know her first? I have a hard time buying into the legitimacy of their feelings if they start off from this direction.
#6 Characters who assume the worst
I hate it when characters, especially the main ones, assume the worst of each other. One bad thing happens and they can’t talk to each other about it first, try to get some reason or explanation in there first. Their first thoughts are that they’ve been betrayed. It signals a lack of trust and maybe a bag of insecurity.
#5 Forced conflict
When an author forces a conflict into the story especially in the middle or towards the end, I’m not sure if it’s plot fodder or just that ‘oh-i-have-an-idea-let’s-insert-mother-issues-here-in-the-middle’ moment. It distracts me from the main story and just makes it lose its momentum. If the author’s going to put the conflict in, I hope it’s organic within the story.
#4 Don’t just tell me. Show me.
I love reading and I can say I have a good imagination and I interpret things well enough for myself. And I want to know your characters more so please demonstrate to me the kind of people they are. Don’t just enumerate or list their characteristics.
#3 Love triangles
I can endure them to a certain point. First and foremost, if it does not drag for too long. Second, well, there is no second. I think the longest I had to endure through this one was in the Clockwork Trilogy from Cassandra Clare. I was so eager to just have the OTP already but since the story itself was interesting and exciting enough, I had endured. But it was still such a torture (the love triangle, that is. The rest about the series was great.)
I love myself a good slow-building romance so when the i-love-you’s suddenly come barrelling through the first few pages, I can’t concentrate anymore on the rest of the story. How am I supposed to feel invested in the relationship when the characters have barely begun one and the next moment they’re confessing undying love? Did I miss something? I don’t want to miss anything. So please give me the whole sweet progression.
#1 Cheating / Infidelity
This is my biggest pet peeve. I don’t care if the characters have whatever back stories they have or whatever issues they’re trying to resolve. If you’re in a relationship wherein you want out, have the courage and decency to end it instead of cheating yourself away from the relationship. I always have the feeling that once a cheater, always a cheater so it’s basically a non-redeemable act to me.
There you go. My Top Ten Tuesday. I would love to hear about yours?