What, in a book, makes you angry?
Two weeks ago we chatted about what scene, character, event in a book could make a person cry. For me, not a whole lot. However, I know PLENTY of books that have made me angry and they’ve all made me angry for vastly different reasons. Shall I explain?
Well, of course, I should explain! 😉
I mean, honestly, what’s a discussion without
someone spouting their beliefs in a forceful, aggressive manner.
1) I get angry because the book is AWFUL!
I mean… duh! Pretty sure everyone that follows, reads, or even happens to glance (and then quickly flee from) my blog knows how angry I can get because a book is bad. Bad books are unacceptable. I don’t care if they’re meant for adults, young adults, or children, a bad book is a bad book. And it’s inexcusable and we need to call the publishing industry out on it. (I read partially to broaden my mind. Not lose brain cells on poorly written, vapid, repeat story-lines. Kay, thanks.😠)
2) I get angry because the characters are being dumb/stubborn/ (insert other similar adjective here.)
Let’s be honest. One of the reasons conflict often exists in books (and reality) is the inability for one of the parties in a confrontation to budge. That could honestly be our MC or (more often than not) it’s the antagonist (because we could NEVER root for the antagonist… 😒) The antagonist may even go out of their way to make our MC look like a total flaming idiot by calling them out publicly, making them seem like a pathological liar, thus ostracizing them from society.
This is all well and good. HOWEVER, it is hardly ever explained WHY the antagonist is being so stubborn/thick-headed/etc. (And that whole ‘age begets wisdom, you’re too young for your elders to take seriously’ bullshit needs to stop.) I get angry because there is NO reason WHY the antagonist/elders/whatever should not believe/support/etc the MC and yet they do anyway. THIS is what makes me angry. 😡
3) I get angry when the MC contradicts themselves. (A LOT!)
Consistency is key when writing a story. We can’t have a character doing one thing and then suddenly doing the opposite thing without any justification for the change. If they do want to do the opposite thing, that’s called character development and it doesn’t happen overnight, people. People change slowly. They are altered by their world and their interactions and their ideologies alter bit by bit not wholesale.
Yet, what’s worse is when the character bounces back and forth between opposite sides/viewpoints of said thing, which literally means that the MC has NO personality and is spending a good portion of the novel CONTRADICTING THEMSELVES! And we all know what this means, ladies and gents. (If you don’t), it means… that the author didn’t take the time to EDIT THEIR FREAKING NOVEL!!!
DISCLAIMER: If you don’t have the time to edit your novel, then I sure as HELL don’t have time to read it! 😤
4) I get angry when authors use cheap writing techniques.
Yes. This is a thing. Yes. I am severely critical. Yes. I am totally biased (because I’m a writer.) There are, in fact, quite a few story-telling elements that are considered to be cheap. They are, in my opinion, cop outs because rather than finding a way to tell the story in a nice, stream-line fashion, authors find easier, cheaper ways to inform the reader of something. Most commonly used…
I could have an ENTIRE post on just HOW MUCH I LOATHE/ABHOR/DETEST flashbacks. They are the CHEAPEST, most PATHETIC, form of writing and should honestly just be banned at this point! If you have to spend a chapter or even a few pages re-iterating something that happened to a character in the past, then you either a) started your story in the wrong place or b) were too lazy to find another way to write that information in. I’m not even sorry for calling this shit out. Don’t do it! (I’ve done it and I smashed my head into a wall as punishment, you know, after fail-querying.)
Another really cheap writing technique that is too often utilized (and more importantly, wrongly utilized), would be multiple POVs. Now, I am biased. I personally do NOT like multiple POVs. In my experience, it’s a fail more often than a success. Yet, what really bothers the HELL out of me is when an author utilizes a second POV to inform the reader about… Wait for it… 0.0
That POV was the most worthless, waste-of-text garbage I have ever read in my life!
5) I get angry when… this post goes on forever. *sigh*
This post honestly could go on forever because there is an absolute menagerie of things that piss me off in books. Most of it is just bad story-telling. And this seems to be far more common in YA nowadays than before because publishers and agents don’t want to take a chance on a new story idea. They’re just regurgitating stories that did well in the past.
What’s more, is that the new story is written even WORSE than the original. So, I find myself less and less impressed by novels and more likely to rage quit than before. But maybe it’s just me. (I mean. I know I got anger issues 😝)
So what do you think?
Do you get angry while reading books?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week:
“Series In-Process vs Complete“