What Are Your Writing Peeves?



  • In my RP Forum, we have this thread where people can go and share their pet peeves about roleplaying and, it gets a bit ranty sometimes, but I think letting the frustration out is great now and then, so I decided to open a little discussion here on the topic of writing peeves.

    So allow me a small rant. :P

    I do a thing on my blog that I call 'fan fiction commentary', where I repost some not-so-great fan fiction and add my personal commentary to it. And, I was making one of those posts just now and two apparently harmless parts of the story really annoyed me. First the implication that this character wakes up at 6 AM regardless of how late she goes to sleep. And a bit later than that, when she's exercising and not even breaking a sweat. The first pissed me off most and the comment I ended up making was, and I quote:

    As an insomniac who was forced to do this for a great part of her life, the implication that this bitch can wake up ready to take on the day regardless of how much she sleeps, angers me. If you want to be a writer in the very least you should know how human beings fucking work!

    Which is true, I had periods of my life when I had to run on 3 hours of sleep or less, and go to school, do work, wake up at 5:30 and take two buses across town to babysit my sister's kids... So on. Realistically, if you're a goddamn human being, doing this is going to make you feel like you were run over by a fleet of trucks. Yet these fictional people, they don't need things like sleep. What is sleep? =.=.

    I guess what I'm saying is... I really, really, really, hate when writers try to make their characters so perfect that they forsake basic human physiological needs.



  • Oh, I definitely agree with you on that.

    It also makes me really mad when, in fantasy books, there's no consequence for using magic -- or the consequence isn't nearly close to proportional to the energy output. It makes it so easy to make overpowered -- and boring -- characters.



  • @huckabayjennifer That's true. And even if you don't make your characters overpowered, if there are no established limitations to magic it'll always feel like the character could have magicked his way out of situations and just chose not to because plot.

    I think worse than an overpowered character is a character that you know has no reason to not be overpowered. If you have this super magical immortal demigod person who can't get out of a jail cell or something like that... It's just... dumb. Yeah, it would be too easy and there'd be no tension if they just escaped, but they look stupid for just sitting there if they can escape. -.-


  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    Yes! Overpowered characters are annoying in any medium. I also dislike when other side-characters then heap praise on the main character to rub it in, so WE ALL KNOW THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING PERSON EVER. For me, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and Ernest Cline have been guilty of this tactic @_@


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Oh boy! I can so hop on this thread! I will try and keep it tame, though man there are things that absolutely infuriate me. So not quite pet peeves. Those I can just sit back and accept as part of a story--shrugging it off with no real concern. But other things... Yeah..

    @Blackbird I hear you!! While I was going after my Masters, I got, if I was lucky something like 2-3 hours of sleep a night from Sunday to Friday. I then slept 18 hours on Saturday to make up for the "sleep debt".

    @huckabayjennifer - OH my gosh yes. This is something I cannot stand at a tabletop game. I get that people play games, read books, etc to escape, but the moment a character is god-modded through a story, it loses any respect from me. You can be a special snowflake at a table and still be susceptible to mistakes. Those mistakes make a story INTERESTING.

    @All here - The ones that really get me in stories about characters with magic.. is when they DONT use it and there is no real reason other than the author decided to add a point of tension that ... was so fake I wanted to tear pages out of my Kindle. (I know it's not possible, but I will find a way some day).



  • @Josey said in What Are Your Writing Peeves?:

    The ones that really get me in stories about characters with magic.. is when they DONT use it and there is no real reason other than the author decided to add a point of tension that ... was so fake I wanted to tear pages out of my Kindle. (I know it's not possible, but I will find a way some day).

    YES. I reviewed this book called The Mind Readers... Let me say that again The Mind Readers where everyone was constantly lying to the main character about everything; obvious lies really, and she just... didn't figure it out. I was just reading that and mentally screaming "DUDE, YOU CAN READ MINDS! Why are you always taking people's word on EVERYTHING!? GAAAAH!"

    I also don't like powers that come out of nowhere. Like somewhere in the middle of a story in the most convenient moment possible a character goes. "Oh yeah, I can explode things with my mind!" and goes into a mile of exposition in order to explain this thing the writer clearly pulled out of their special little place. >.>

    And I've been guilty of this when I was getting started, mostly because in my first book I had this character who could sort of assimilate other people's powers and she had a ton of them... But even with that excuse, it was lame. Shame on you, 17-year-old me. :P



  • @Blackbird said in What Are Your Writing Peeves?:

    I also don't like powers that come out of nowhere. Like somewhere in the middle of a story in the most convenient moment possible a character goes. "Oh yeah, I can explode things with my mind!" and goes into a mile of exposition in order to explain this thing the writer clearly pulled out of their special little place. >.>

    I was just about to say that tbh. Also when it's used as a plot device? I know in Red Queen (which was cliched in general to me, but other people may feel differently; I know a bunch of people who love it) that was the basis of the whole plot and it was just like

    no

    The other one that I almost forgot about but I remembered it because I was thinking about a book I just finished that doesn't quite fall into that trope, what's up with YA relationships and one partner is hiding something/lying/etc.?? Sometimes it turns out okay, but usually it's... questionable.

    Anyway. I don't read enough to have much to say on this thread :P


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    OMG yes. The obvious solution in most books is just COMMUNICATE. TALK. Just talk!!



  • Because I was just talking to someone else about this.... worlds where there is some societal element that is Super Taboo in our world but Totally Normal in the secondary world, but the protags all look down on said cultural element. Rather than, since they've been raised with said cultural element, looking at it as neutral at best or positive at worst. (Unless there's a legit reasoning behind them disliking that popular societal belief, but there usually isn't.)



  • The more a writer mentions in the narrative that a character is attractive the more I become annoyed with said character. It eventually gets to a point where I'm mentally shouting at the book "Yes, this person is hot, I GET IT!!!!"



  • When you wanna write and you have people telling you that you need to write, but then when you sit down to write, you either have no idea what to write (despite having an outline for that purpose) or no idea how to write it.


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Second guessing every character trait, motivation, and plot arch I have created.



  • @Josey When I'm ghostwriting, the words fly out of my fingers. And when I'm working on my own story, I have to pull each letter out with plyers.


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @toasha Got a pair of pliers to spare? :D Also.. you're a ghostwriter? How intriguing. You'll need to start a new topic and tell us all about what it is like being a ghostwriter! :D I know I'm curious.



  • When I'm ghostwriting, the words fly out of my fingers. And when I'm working on my own story, I have to pull each letter out with plyers.

    You too? I thought I was the only one with that problem. I don't know what it is, but that goes for my plotting, my characters, my everything. So annoying.



  • @Josey Will do


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