Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And Then the Grandmother Booty Danced...Wait...What?

I've been thinking a lot about my characters lately. Specifically, whether or not my characters come to life on the page; whether they are real. If you've ever read a book by Christopher Moore, you'll get a fine example of characters who are multi-dimensional and very real. (I highly recommend the A LOVE STORY series...hilarious!) So in thinking about my characters, I realized that there is something that really, really bugs me about a lot of the YA books I read.

I have no problem believing that a character has just sprouted wings and is flying across the sky, or that a character has used his or her mental powers to read minds, but the moment a teenager in a book makes a hot chai latte or prepares a quiche, I'm all, "nu-huh."

It takes me completely out of the story, and leaves me sort of rolling my eyes. It's not that I don't think any teenager has ever made a quiche before, or spent all day preparing a delicious lasagna dish, but most teenagers (and myself) would pop some pizza rolls in the microwave and grab a coke, right?

This bothers me so much that when it happens in an otherwise fabulous book, I will obsess over it slightly and when talking about the book, will never fail to mention it. I'm sure there are things in my book that had readers rolling their eyes as well, which is one of the reasons I've really been trying to work on making my characters as realistic as possible; staying true to each character.

Another thing that really bugs me...insta-love. I cannot believe that two people are in love unless I am falling in love with them during the story. If they meet one day and are making wedding plans the next, I'm just not buying it.

It made me really curious, though - what are your pet peeves in a book? What really irritates you and has the potential to ruin a book for you? Leave me some comments and let's discuss!


  1. The non-realism really bothers me, too; in addition to your comments, most book characters don't get tired as often as I do, nor do they ever have to pee... (And don't get me started on books with long journeys where the girl never has to fashion some kind of pad at some point.)

    But something that really bothers me in terms of writing style is when authors, particularly romance authors, think it's ok to use textbook responses instead of coming up with their own style. Something like, "And then he took her in his arms and kissed her all over, saying he would never leave her. She looked up at him with tears running down her cheeks and smiled, knowing that he would be true to his word. And they made love all night, being the most in love and the happiest couple that could exist." Does that make sense, what I'm trying to get across? I'm a hopeless romantic, but that's not romantic, it's roll-your-eyes sappy and unrealistic. There are a lot of novels in which I can predict what the characters will say, because 384933 other characters have already said it, with maybe a word or two different. I don't know how some people get published.

    Chelsea F.

    1. I laughed so hard when I read about the pad or having to pee...that's so true! I find myself wondering sometimes, "Hasn't she had to go to the bathroom?"

  2. LOL!! So true! I'm busting a gut because I just read an end of the world story and never once did she get her period or have to worry about finding pads or tampons. I'm assuming that if the world is coming to an end, mother nature doesn't just shrug her shoulders and decide to send all women into menopause. :D
    And yeah. Teenagers acting like 30 year olds are starting to get on my nerves, too. Actually, some of those eleven year olds are acting more mature and well rounded than me!
    Haha ok. My add on to the rant is over. :D
    Hope you're doing well, Sammie <3
    Miss you!

    1. Haha Mireille - that's so funny! I thought I was the only person who wondered about stuff like that! Doing well...I miss you too and adore you, my lady! :D

  3. Hmmm, turns offs in a book? Insta love is a good one. I think the same old, same old bothers me.

    Hey, BTW I gave you a blog award on my blog. http://minaburrows.blogspot.com/2012/06/winner-award-fred-oh-my.html