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Topic: Writing Styles

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Subject: Writing Styles
Date Posted: 2/26/2010 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2009
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Are there certain writing styles or types of books that you love/hate?  For instance, I usually will not read a book if I know it is written in first person.  I would rather read a long book rather than an anthology.  Any others??  Just wondering.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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1st person doesn't bother me.  I really don't like a book that doesn't give both characters perspective, although there have been exceptions to that rule for me (Lisa Kleypas).    Not a big fan of anthologies.  I usually only read those if one of the stories has a series I'm following.   I'm absolutely not a fan of secret baby plots or when the hero or heroine is a journalist or reporter.  I don't know why - it just doesn't appeal to me.   My man has to be alpha - no beta males for me!

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2009
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Gotta love those alpha males!!

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Too many exclamation points drive me nuts!!! I dislike writers who tell instead of show, unless it's done in a stylish, narratively interesting way. I like fresh word choices and fresh imagery.  I hate unstructured narratives and love very well structured ones.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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Last Edited on: 7/2/10 12:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/26/2010 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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i like first person. there is an art to it if done well.


the writing style i cant stand is one that uses every cliche ever invented in romance


e.g.


eyes like jewels

she felt a tingling in her girl parts

my mother was an evil HOOR

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I don't mind switching points of view but head-hopping (changing POV from paragraph to paragraph) does annoy me. I'm pretty sure it annoys just about *everybody* and find it odd that authors do it anyway.

Something odd I've seen in the occasional HP is the book which is almost entirely the heroine POV but suddenly there will be like one paragraph from the hero's.



Last Edited on: 2/26/10 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/26/2010 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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I think I'm Sherri's secret twin.  LOL

1st person doesn't bother me, although I do like to get the hero's perspective and you don't have that in most 1st person books.  Anthologies are disappointing for the most part because they're too short.  There's either not enough "meat" to the story or there's too much crammed in such a short story and it's too rushed.  I will read them, though, if one of the stories is part of a series I'm reading, or if there is a story by a must-read author for me.

One thing I can't stand is when an author uses words for the hero's (or really any male's, for that matter) dialogue that no man I know would EVER say.  I don't care if he's an alpha, beta or zookeeper.... there are some words men just don't use.  I'm trying to think of an example of this in a book I read recently.  The man said something like "If you'd stop dawdling" or something like that.  Um... what?  I think that's one of the reasons I like Shannon McKenna's books so much.  And Suzanne Brockmann.  The men talk like MEN.

I also tend to zone out on books that have too much backstory or books that are too wordy.  I like a good mix of dialogue and story... too much dialogue and the book seems shallow; too much story and my eyes glaze over and I end up skimming to get the basic idea.


Date Posted: 2/26/2010 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2006
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I'm not crazy about books written in first person. I usually only read ones that are highly recomended here. I like it when a book, written in first person, alternates between the hero & heroine's point of view.

I don't care for it when an author goes overboard writing accents. If I have to put extra effort into deciphering what a character is saying it takes away from my enjoyment of the story.

I agree with Michelle about the male dialogue that just doesn't fit the man. I was reading a book recently that had this going on and it made it hard to like the book.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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I can't stand bickering couples and endless long circular conversations.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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Ditto, what Willa said. 

I really don't care for the "we are madly in love and lust, but pretending that we are not.  We are pretending that we really hate the other person." 

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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I've yet to read an anthology that I enjoyed. I also can't stand historicals with anachronistic language. I found this to be the case in a couple of Julie Garwood novels and it really turned me off to her.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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Actually, I think I'm Michelle's twin.  ;-)

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 134
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I really hate the way Philippa Gregory writes sometimes.  When she only gives one persons opinion and I get so bored with it.  I want to know what the other characters are doing, especially if there is a lot of treason and conspiracy going on.  I have a hard time getting through her books, but my friends always recommend that I read them.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I don't like 1st person.  I used to read it a lot back in the day, but it irritates me now.  The only exception I've run across was Outlander.  For the most part, it was easy to forget & get lost in the story, but I clunked into it a few times.

I totally hate writers who do the sicky-sweet thing with adorable bumbling heroines who couldn't discover water in a rainstorm, without the hero to point the way.  Julie Garwood most especially, but Lyndsay Sands' cutsey writing style, and the almost inane narrative of Kinley MacGregor drive me bugnuts too.

Writers who are prone to writing callous & self-absorbed and/or cheating heroes, almost exclusively, are at the top of my "don't buy - ever!" list.

Writers who can't do some internal conflict without using every cliched device in the book (secret babies, big misunderstandings, second chance romances where an antagonist lied, blah-blah-blah, to separate the H&H), etc.  And as Jess said "one that uses every cliche ever invented in romance", over & over, ad nauseum.

Too much sex.  I like sex in romance, I just would appreciate it more if it isn't 't crammed into every chapter, or doesn't seem to be the only thing the H&H can do without being angry or suspicious of each other for 5 minutes.

Too little sex or no chemistry/credible sexual tension between the H&H.  There is a balance:P

Anthologies are doctor's office or autoshop books for me.  I don't read them at home; only when & where I can't get deeply absorbed in a book, and lose touch with what's going on around me.

And the accent thing bugs me too.  Here & there or certain key words, yeah, great - but it's clunky, IMO, when they write a hero's heavy scottish burr into the dialogue.  I can't read & see/hear it real time, and if I have to think too much about how a character sounds when he/she says something, it pulls me right out of the story.



Last Edited on: 2/27/10 9:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/28/2010 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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You can see the "what are we reading this week" thread for my latest hate. :-\

Date Posted: 2/28/2010 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Jennifer wrote I don't care for it when an author goes overboard writing accents. If I have to put extra effort into deciphering what a character is saying it takes away from my enjoyment of the story.

And Kim: And the accent thing bugs me too.  Here & there or certain key words, yeah, great - but it's clunky, IMO, when they write a hero's heavy scottish burr into the dialogue.  I can't read & see/hear it real time, and if I have to think too much about how a character sounds when he/she says something, it pulls me right out of the story.

 

I SO agree, I can't stand that.



Last Edited on: 2/28/10 7:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2010 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 655
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Allie - I totally agree on the heritage thing.  I think you are talking about Sofie Metropolis.  I read the first one and got so irritated with every other paragraph about being Greek that I wouldn't even think about reading any of the others.  If it blends in, then it is fine, but when it is shoved in your face over and over, it is annoying.

1st person is okay, but not my favorite.  For chick-lit it works better for me, but not for romance.  I also hate when you don't get the other perspective...I read a book that was good except you couldn't figure out the love interest and it was irritating.  I didn't like him because of it.

I like anthologies--to a point.  The Christmas ones are usually pretty good--I like a quick cute story.  Others try to put too much into the short story and it falls flat.  I have found a few new authors through them, though.

If I have to read another book that talks about dancing eyes, I am going to vomit.  I read about 5 books in a row that used "dancing eyes" repeatedly.  I hate that term now.  Could the author get a little more unique, please?  

I also read a book where the characters were dissected too much.  I kept thinking that it was like a therapist wrote it (using nice big words and all)...guess what?  The author was a therapist!  So, I don't like books that try to make the author look like they are super smart and know lots of big words.  It was a series and I did not read any more in the series. 

Subject: Allie--I'm LMAO at your comment
Date Posted: 3/1/2010 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2007
Posts: 1
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'I will stop reading a book if it is a ROMANCE novel and there is a vivid description of vomit at any point.'

This totally had me rolling on the floor. Thanks for the laugh!

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I prefer 3rd person but will read 1st person sometimes.  If I see a new to me author adn notice it's in 1st person-it might make me not get it.  I don't mind 1st person as much in murder mysteries. But I want to see some of hte story from the heroes point of view in a romance and every 1st person romance I've read has been all from the heroine's perspective.  I love cozies and most them seem to 1st person.  I like the Sookie Stackhouse and Dresden File books they are 1st person as well. 

I am not an anthology fan and I usually only read them when they have a short that goes with a series I'm reading.  I know they are a good way to introduce yourself to new writers-but I find the stories to be a little rushed.  This is the main reason I don't like the little series romances that much. I will read the occassional Blaze book  ( I love these for vacations because they are light quick reads). But for hte most part I stay away from the little series books. 

I also don't care for the super heavily done  accents or really old fashioned ways of talking that some authors use. I know that people 5 hundred years ago in Scotlan didn't talk in a way that I would understand-I'd still prefer the lanquage to be more modern so I don't have to try and translate constantly in my head and guess what they might be saying.  A few words in there to remind me that they're Scottish, Irish, French or whatever is good.  On the other hand I hate it when I read a historical Scottish book and there is nothing in there to indicate that they're Scottish. No dinnae's, I kens or nae's-I want a sexy Scottish accent on my hero. 

I hate books that are too descriptive. I like to use my imagination to set the scene somewhat. So when the author takes 4 paragraphs to describe a room down to the square inch-it bores me to the point of skimming. 



Last Edited on: 3/2/10 10:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Something else I  really dislike is lots of typos in a novel it drives me crazy lol!



Last Edited on: 3/3/10 5:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1