Paula looks at reasons given by readers for not liking a book.
We often read or hear about what readers want in a romance
novel – strong characters, good plot etc. Equally important, it seems, are the
things they don’t want. Some time ago, I compile a list (from various sources) of
‘not wanted’ features in novels. Here is my ‘top ten’ of dislikes (with some of
my original list combined at times) – in no particular order:
1. Too many characters introduced too quickly in the story
(especially at the beginning
2. Too much backstory at the beginning
3. Too much description of places and/or narrative and/or
4. Slow pacing, with nothing much happening for several
5. Too much description of characters doing ‘ordinary’
things like cooking or gardening i.e. scenes which don’t advance the plot or
give an insight into the character(s)
6. Unnatural dialogue/characters who talk like they’re in a
1940s slushy movie/characters who use each other’s names all the time in
7. No emotion and/or feelings stated rather than shown
8. Plot holes or loose ends not tied up at the end of the
9. Hero/heroine not very likeable – selfish, petty, ‘too
stupid to live’
10. Author intrusion – telling us things the characters don’t
know or see.
What would you add to this list?