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Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Author Insight: Fiction Pet Peeves (2)

What's your biggest pet peeve in fiction writing?

"Do you mean the biggest pet peeve when I write fiction, or my biggest pet peeve in the fiction writing I read? For the one: It's that I can't stop myself from using certain cliched adages and idioms. I always end up going through my first drafts, scrawling 'UGH!' and 'BETTER!' wherever I've written something horrible like 'as cold as ice.' In the fiction I read, I am really fed up with allegedly 'strong' female characters who go all gooey and weak in the presence of 'that special guy.'" - Barry Lyga, author of I Hunt Killers

"I don’t really have one. There’s room for all of us. If  I got the opportunity to write an author edition: I should probably not. I’m grateful for all my editor’s changes. I was proud of my initial book, but it’s much better now." - Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door

"If you mean pet peeve in fiction I read, then it's definitely characters or worlds that aren't fully developed. If you mean pet peeve in writing, then I need at least six more hours a day." - C.J. Redwine, author of Defiance.

"I have so little time to read now that what I do read is excellent. But what bothers me is when the writing doesn’t feel alive. If the writer isn’t connecting with their material, it shows from the first sentence, the first paragraph." - Lissa Price, author of Starters. 

"Do you mean when I write fiction?  Then that would be the revision letters.  Honestly, after 19 books, they haven’t gotten any easier. It generally feels like your agent/editor is telling you, “We hate your story. And we’re not so crazy about you, either.”  This, I’m convinced, is the reason God invented chocolate—to make authors feel better about revision letters.

In other authors’ fiction writing, my biggest pet peeve is characters that are idiots. (Also known as Too Stupid To Live Syndrome.) You know—the characters who do things like rush into the bad guy’s lair without a plan or a weapon. Apparently these characters have read ahead in their novels and know the authors have provided a tidy escape plan for them.  Characters lose all credibility for me when they act like no sane person would.  I have been known to root for the villain during those times." - Janette Rallison (AKA C.J. Hill), author of Erasing Time

"Wimpy female protagonists. I’m not talking about girls/women who aren’t physically kick-ass/strong (I think that there are MANY different kinds of strength, and most of them have absolutely nothing to do with how awesome your fighting skills are)—I’m talking about heroines who just…let things happen to them. Who don’t have any likes or dislikes or passions or demonstrate any real character. It drives me up the wall." - Sarah Maas, author of Throne of Glass

"'I have information you need! Important facts that could save your life and possibly the entire world! But I can't tell you... yet.' This plot device sends me into a rage spiral." - Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone

"I wouldn’t call it a pet peeve, but I wish there were more male voices writing teen characters, and not just “action” stories, I mean digging into the emotions and struggles at that age from the boy point of view."  - Kevin Emerson, author of The Lost Code

"Instant romance.  I definitely believe in instant attraction, but I don't like it when a relationship is supposed to magically appear out of one meeting.  It doesn't feel real to me. - Jessi Kirby, author of In Honor

"I suppose it’s a certain kind of predictability or stereotyping: when the writing seems to follow a formula rather than having some of the quirkiness and complexity of real life. I also hate when secondary characters seem to exist only to serve the main character. In real life, everyone has his or her own goals and agenda." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of Try Not to Breathe.

"I don’t have any pet peeves as far as writing goes, I consider myself as someone who still has a lot to learn. I will say that it does annoy me that people think what we do is easy. 'Oh, I could write a book.' Then go and write it." - Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Take a Bow.

"I absolutely love that there seems to be an increased presence of LGBT characters in fiction, but I wish there were more that were well-rounded characters, as opposed to stereotypes." - Cara Lynn Shultz, author of Spellcaster

Find out Tuesday what the authors would include if they had the opportunity to release an author edition of their books!


  1. I agree with Kevin, I think we need more mail protags, even if it's not an action-y novel. Insta-love is also really annoying-very unrealistic in most cases.

  2. I agree with Leigh Bardugo. Unless they have a realistic reason for not talking, like they started too, but then someone interrupted them with gun shots or something, this is contrived and bad writing.