15 Bookish Pet Peeves That Make Me Tear My Hair Out

*sheepish grin* So….I was supposed to post this yesterday, but…I’m human. So I missed my post date.

But I have a great excuse! I OFFICIALLY FINISHED MY CONTENT EDIT FOR A TIME TO RISE. (Forgive the all caps. I’m kind of excited.) It’s now off to beta readers and then we’ll start the final polishing. *squeal!*

Ahem! Now….on to today’s post. 😛


Love Triangles. Insta-Love. Dumb Parents. Never-Ending Series. It’s time we call them for what they are….
Bookish Pet Peeves.

We all have them and I love knowing the pet peeves that drive readers crazy (so that I can avoid them!) So this post is for authors (to learn from their readers) and for readers (to vent their everlasting anger.) 😉 Here are my top 15 Bookish Pet Peeves that have bothered me at some point or that a reader has expressed bothers them. (Tweet this) Can you relate to any?


1. Love Triangle – Do I even need to TALK about this one? How realistic is it that the girl will meet two boys who are both perfect for  her and madly in love with her? Really? REALLY?!

2. The slim/slender/small/dainty heroine. Okay, okay, I KNOW I made Parvin small and short. That was back before I knew how to kill all the cliches. And besides, that’s just how she IS. 😉 But can we have some chunky heroines, please? Or imperfect protagonists? Or just tall and awkwardly lumpy? 😛

3. When a character lies and says, “I don’t love you.” Because they think it’s best for their love interest and instead it RUINS EVERYTHING! And we all know it’s going to ruin everything, so then we have to wade through at least a full book (if it’s a series) of stupid-character realizing her mistake and trying to fix it. Moral of the story: Don’t lie. Not even for love. 😛

4. When characters kiss mid-battle. This happens in movies, too. SERIOUSLY?!?! Why do none of these kissing characters just get run through like REAL LIFE? They’re in a battle, for goodness’ sake!

5. Dead parents. Dumb parents. Psycho parents. Um…this might come as a shock to some people but…THERE ARE GOOD PARENTS OUT THERE. And CAN be BOTH parents, you know. Divergent is a good example (though…they don’t stay alive for more than one book. *sigh*). Also, there can be trouble issues with the character’s parents that can revolve around, you know, more relatable and real life issues.

6. Cliffhangers. *cringe* I’m SO guilty of this and, they’re not BAD, but they need to be done right. You can’t do a cliffhanger mid scene. Mid sentence. There needs to be some conclusion! Mary Weber’s Storm Siren, in my opinion, is an example of a fantastically done-right cliffhanger.

7. The never-ending series. *cough* George R. R. Martin *cough* There are some series that are perfectly able to be completed earlier.

8. The “I just don’t understand why ALL the boys EVERYWHERE think I’m so beautiful.” issue. Ugh. Kill me now. There are so many female protagonists that just happen to be drop-dead gorgeous and every boy she meets swoons over her. Please see pet peeve #2…

9. The “I’m a female, but I can live in the forest and shoot stuff and beat up your dad” protagonists. Puh-LEEZE. Just because Katniss pulled it off doesn’t mean everyone can. Personally, I like girls who can be tough and feminine at the same time.

10. Insta-love. Synonym: barf. I get that sometimes it can happen. Sometimes. But insta-love isn’t just “love at first sight.” It’s love-kiss-sex-marriage at first sight. Um….no. The YA genre needs to ditch this NOW.

11. The feisty red-head. I think (I could be wrong on this, but I think) that there are people with red hair who are, like, calm.

12. Similar names. Harry, Hagrid, Hedwig, Hermione….I can’t tell you how much grief this gave me when I was the 11-year-old picking up Harry Potter for the first time! There are 26 letters in the alphabet, people! That’s a lot of variety. And if that’s not enough for you…then you have too many characters. 😉

13. Magical miracle solution to the plot. Ahh, everyone’s dying! Oh…wow…that tornado just happened to sweep in and kill only the bad guys. (Yes, I totally did this with the first novel I ever wrote.)

14. Mr. Darcy. There’s only one guy who can pull off the brooding, somewhat rude but incredibly honorable character. Let’s not copy and paste him into every novel now. Please and thank you.

15. Girl-dresses-as-boy-to-escape-such-and-such. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I ate up these plotlines like any sane YA reader would. But…it’s been overdone, especially when the girl stays as a boy, for. so. long. and somehow all the men around her are magically in love with her the moment her gender is revealed. Really? Wouldn’t they be a bit ore…weirded out?



So…what pet peeves did I miss? What is your tear-your-hair-out pet peeve? (Tweet this)



About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.

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  1. Haha, love this list!! So agree. And especially with #2! Another similar pet peeve is when a book describes the character (which is almost ALWAYS the #2 you mentioned) and says THAT is the definition of beauty. Way to make all the readers who aren’t that way feel less than good enough. Everyone’s perception of beauty is different. I just try not to use many description in my writing. 🙂

    Great list!

    • Exactly!
      I loved Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson for exactly that reason. Her character was an overweight princess who was brilliant with military tactics and had the mental prowess to lead a country. It was so nice to see the inner side of a character honored instead of the exterior.

  2. sierrafaith327

    Insa-love drives me insane!!!!!!!!!! I will give a book a bad rating JUST because of Insta-Love! I find it really unrealistic and give girls a bad idea of love.

  3. sierrafaith327

    Oh, and one other thing 🙂 I dislike in books when everything comes out okay. Let me explain 🙂 If you and seven of your friends go into a battle where you are out numbered, one of you should die! But (Most of the time) everyone comes out safe and alive. Seems to happen a lot in Christian Fiction.

    • Agreed! This one tends to drive me crazy. I prefer when things are realistic. If a story’s believable, then I respect it that much more.

      Hm…maybe I should kill off more of my characters. 😉 😉 😉

      • Not necessarily. Just don’t tie off all the loose ends into a neat bow at the end. (And you don’t, so you’re good.) That’s my biggest pet peeve. Everything is horrible and then — wow, as if by magic (or really wild stretches) everything resolves neatly at the end. Not even remotely Real Life. Happy ending — fine. Good. I want that. But NOT unrealistically so.

      • So, in addition to the tie-it-all-off-at-the-end-with-a-neat-bow pet peeve I mentioned in a reply above, I’m also really bugged by:
        1) Male protagonists who are well-muscled, perfectly chiseled, hunky. I actually like kinda scrawny, geeky guys with nice smiles. In fact, most of the really nice, handsome men I know are NOT Adonises.
        2) EVERY main character has blue eyes. Male, female, they’re always blue.
        3) SO MANY female protagonists have red hair. Followed by blonde. Hey, brunettes rock, too.
        4) Where are all the hipsters/hipster equivalents? Okay, I’m not one myself, not even really a fan of “hipster-ism”, but somehow I’m not seeing these folks much in the books I’m reading, and there are an awful lot of them out there in the world. (Or maybe I’m just not reading the right books?)

        I’m guilty of the dead/dysfunctional parents thing. For some reason I’ve always written parents out of my stories. At least in my WIP there’s an awesome set of best-friend’s-parents.

        • Dysfunctional parents are okay. 😛 But the dead or “insane” (like in Hunger Games) parents are so overdone.

          And I loved all the other points you made! This list could go on for so long! (Now I want to write a hipster character. 😛 )

        • One consideration is that hipsterism is a hot current trend, so including hipster characters may “date” your book later, kind of like including goth characters or hippies, or what have you. 🙂

      • Pamela Nastase

        Actually the “we went to battle and only the enemy died” thing is not unrealistic if you’re trusting God. There were often instances when entire armies of Philistines died and either none or only a handful of Israelites died. Or Jonathon and his armor-bearer taking on the entire army without getting a scratch. Or David and his men wiping out entire cities without any of them being killed. If God is in it, than you can trust Him.

        My mom went through war overseas as a child. Their city didn’t have bomb shelters, so when the sirens went off, they had to run to the fields and woods. People started following her dad, saying, “Simeon knows God. If you’re with him, you’ll be safe.” It was true. People died around them right and left from shrapnel and bullets (one of her earliest childhood memories is of a man with his head blown off and body still running – it was horrible), but they were never touched. I asked if she’d been terrified, and she said, “No. Daddy trust God. And I trusted them both. I KNEW we’d be safe.” Once a large group of them hid in an abandoned box car in the woods. A bomb dropped through the roof, but it didn’t go off. There are so many stories of God clearly putting a protective bubble around them (and those with them – for their sake) because they completely, utterly, and totally trusted Him.

      • Pamela Nastase

        I know had a roommate in college and know another redhead now who are both naturally quiet and shy. They both speak slowly and hate confrontation. Both cry rather easily – especially when overwhelmed by life. Both have made me want to shake them and say, “Snap out of it!”

        Insta-love and sex before marriage (or even knowing each other) – yuck!

        Granted, I always thought the guys who liked me were out of my league looks-wise (have you seen my husband?), but I figured I had a lot of other qualities to make up for it. I’m feisty, supportive, and make them think. Even in my teens if a guy romantically breathed into my ear, “I love you,” my response wasn’t to melt, it was to look him in the eye and ask, “Why?” I wanted to know what he meant by that – did he mean “I love who I think you are from what I know about you so far,” or “I like how I feel when I’m around you,” or “I think you’re cute and I’m fond of you,” or “I’m hoping I can convince you to sleep with me even though you made your boundaries clear,” or “You put God first – I respect that. And you challenge me – I like that. I’m discovering the deeper parts of you – and I love what I’m finding,” or what? Why would I assume we both had the same definition of love?

        That’s why I like a girl who actually THINKS in books. Who examines her feelings, too. If she’s not sure if she’s just reacting to the intensity of a situation or if she’d feel the same way about the guy under blander circumstances, then she doesn’t act on her feelings until she’s sure. I’ve had intense circumstances heighten my feelings, and afterwards I thought, “He looked good in the moment, but I’m glad I waited and never kissed that guy.”

        Yes, I’ve been infatuated (and yes, it was fun), but I had the presence of mind to know that’s what it was. I knew I had to see him in many different scenarios before I knew him enough to love HIM, rather than who I thought he was. I had to see how he responded when he was overtired, angry, wronged, frustrated, tempted – that showed me his TRUE character. How can you love someone you don’t really know? You love only who you think they are.

        All that to say I love how you write relationships in your books!

  4. I love this list of pet peeves! The whole “butt-kicking girl” one is really driving me nuts! We’ve gone from “write a strong girl character” to “the only strong girl character is one that can beat everybody up.” It’s one reason I love Parvin’s character so much. She isn’t even that strong at the beginning of A Time to Die, but she grows and feels like a real person.

    I am SOOOO guilty of number 12. I don’t know what it is, but for every book, I tend to get one or two letters stuck in my head for picking names. *thumps head on desk* Why did I think it was a good idea to have the name of the villain and one of the main characters both start with “Re”. To cut down on this, I usually write the alphabet on one page in my notes on a book or series and I mark off how many times I use each letter (usually color-coded by town names, first names, and last names).

    Anyway, one of my pet peeves is small families. I know I’m guilty of this because, honestly, it cuts down on the characters if everyone is either an only child or has only one sibling. But it would be nice to see a few more larger families with lots of siblings.

    • LOL. I had SO much trouble with number 12 in my first book! I had at least 6 characters whose names started with “A” and….I killed them all off! 😛 (Be happy THAT book isn’t published.) I eventually started having an alphabet chart, too. 😉

      • My first book, back when I was in sixth grade, I had a country named Malahunga with magical creatures named Mapunga, Mashunga, and Malunga. The evil witch was named…wait for it…Mardeath. Yeah, really creative. There’s a reason that book is never going to see the light of day. Ever.

  5. I think I’ve violated most of these :/

    • Hm…I’m having a hard time seeing numbers 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15 in your novel. 😛 And there’s nothing wrong with 2, 5, or 9 especially with a larger cast of characters. 😉
      So….you’re good. 😛

  6. Guilty of #2… But I started writing my book when I was 14 and lived mostly on a diet of classic books back then (LotR, Narnia) so I didn’t know it was a “trend” or “cliche” in any way. (Plus, she’s a co-protagonist and the little sister of the main protagonist.) The woes of writing a book for years… Sometimes what was unique becomes trendy and then I worry I’ll look like a trend-follower. 😛

    I’m also guilty of dead parents. BUT, I have a redhead who isn’t feisty – she’s absentminded and a closet pacifist, and is always a little bit clueless about what’s going on, but deeply passionate underneath. But totally not the feisty cliche…woot!

    I’m also guilty of two characters named Josh and James, for which I shall make no apology because sometimes people just have similar names. 😛 Heehee.

    • Yay! I’m excited to hear about a pacifist red-head. 😉 And it’s true…sometimes charactes just have similar names. But make sure not to have Josh, James, John, Jim, Jack, and Joan. 😉

  7. 2.) Agreed about the dainty heroine–especially the dainty heroine who can somehow kick butt. Girls need muscles to kick butt. And if your female character can kick serious butt, she’s not going to be elegantly slim. The very least you can hope for is wiry, and even then, serious muscle mass generally adds bulk. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

    3.) Why oh WHY do characters lie about loving another character? *shakes head* Total cop out.

    4.) Agreed, this is just unrealistic. Although I feel like it’s going to happen in one of my books, but that’s because I have a character who is a sarcastic punk and likely to give the woman he likes a quick peck in battle JUST because it’s impractical.

    5.) Agreed. I take care to write well-rounded characters from any age.

    8.) Agreed — and what happened to wanting a woman because of her brain? Her kindness? Her courage or faithfulness?

    9.) And how about tough girls who also like feminine things? I have a tough female character…and guess what? Sometimes she actually wants to look pretty. It’s not impossible.

    10.) I would love to see repercussions to insta-love. I use the trope a couple of times, but in a way that only adds conflict because guess what? Once the fluffy feelings are over, you’re stuck with this person. And that could be a very annoying, obnoxious, bad, or even dangerous thing. CERTAINLY not an easy thing.

    My pet peeve? This is from TV shows and movies more than books, but I have to share it: females who have loose hair when they fight. And even females who TAKE THEIR HAIR OUR OF PONYTAILS when they fight? Sweetie, in a fight the hair is the first thing to be grabbed. Plus it seriously obscures vision. What the crap are you thinking?

    Another pet peeve: “The Miss Everything.” You can’t be muscled AND dainty. You can’t be bold AND patient. You can’t be super-smart AND always trust your instincts. You can’t be tough-minded AND super-sensitive to everyone else. Learn basic personality theory. Heck, learn PEOPLE. Certain traits always dominate, even in mature individuals. Balance your characterization.

    • I was getting upset with myself because of my character Catherine being so small, and then realized…I never claim she’s butch or can beat people up. Actually she’d be rather useless in a pitched battle. 😛 She’s awesome, but her strengths are in evasion and speed, not toughness. And I mention in my first scene that she used to do gymnastics in high school, so she does have *some* muscle while being dainty and tiny. (And my INTJ – who is tough *and* feminine, 😉 which is one of the reasons I love her – is never claimed to be super slim. She’s in shape, and has to be to basically work as a security guard, but she’s definitely not a twig.)

      Hahaha, I like your comments about #4 and your character who would smooch in battle just *because* it’s ridiculous. The ENTP, right? 😀

      • Yes. The ENTP. He drives me crazy, mostly in a good way. But yes, the smooch in battle is going to happen, probably just because my INTJ character mentioned that it was impractical. She should know better.

    • Yes! The HAAAAIR! Ugh! And it’s always “long and flowy” which is totally impractical during a battle. PuLEEZE.

  8. NUMBER THREE YESSSS. Ugh. So frustrating. Also 4 and 5. And 15 too. I always get so mad when everyone’s in love with the girl the moment they find out she’s a girl. I really liked how Under a Painted Sky dealt with the girls-dressed-as-boys thing. The guys actually had it figured out, they just didn’t say anything, and in the end only one guy was in love with one girl (and it had been building as a friendship rather than instant love).

    And as for calm red-heads? Yes, actually, I know one girl who is very very short with very very long red hair and she is actually very calm. I mean, she’s crazy at times, but she’s actually quiet/shy.

    I also agree with Janeen’s two added pet peeves.

    • Oh, that’s nice! I’ll need to read Under the Painted Sky. The Defy series by Sara B Larson also did that — where the guys were aware she was a girl, but never said anything. I appreciated that.

  9. OH MY GOODNESS THANK YOU!!! These all drive me CRAZY!! Another one (though this is writing-wise) is head-hopping. I can deal with a little bit, but it drives me insane!!


    And, CONGRATULATIONS ON A TIME TO RISE!! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT!! (Sorry for all the caps… ;)).

    • Yes! Head hopping is so hard for me to overlook! Even in some of my favorite books.

      Don’t apologize for all caps. I LOVE USING THEM AND I USE THEM WAY TOO MUCH. 😉 I’m so excited that you’re enjoying A Time to Die! Please please please shoot me an e-mail (found in my contact page) when you finish! I’d love to know what you think! (Even if you hate it!)

      And book 2 is my favorite. 😀

  10. A lot of these I actually like WHEN THEY ARE DONE RIGHT! I love the woman dresses a man plot line, and will often times be the reason I pick up a book. What makes this one annoying to me is typically in romance when:

    1) When the man vows never to forgive her (when we know he will because that is the point!)
    2) Man thinks, “she really so pretty, how did I ever think she was a man?” (because not everyone has to be THAT pretty!)
    3) When the hero is the only one who can tell that she is really a woman, even though she didn’t tell him, because “Anyone with eyes can see she ain’t no man” (Obviously that’s not the case)
    4) The motherly figure figures it out almost as soon as she sees the girl, but the hero is just too blind to notice.

    As to some of the others, my book with Greek myth has 5, 6, 9, and 12. Most of them I did not come up with myself, but they came from the myth. My character, Artemis, is the daughter of Zeus (psycho parent) and is surrounded by people whose names start with “A” (really, the Greeks have a lot of them), she is the goddess of the hunt (which requires living in the woods sometimes…), and as to the cliffhanger… I will not apologize!!

    • LOL, I personally love a good cliffhanger. 😉 And I pick up books because the heroine is dressed as a man, too! But it really has to be done right. One of my favorites is Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings series.

      • The Blood of Kings is certainly one of my favorites. Another is Leviathan by Scott Westbrook (? On the last name). I felt that both of thoughs were done very well.

  11. Good list. I made a whole list of these things a while back too. Love triangles made that list. I think the problem with them is that the reader will normally pick a guy, even if the girl can’t figure it out.

    With 2, I think part of the reason most MCs are slim is due to the fact that they need to be in shape or they won’t survive the book. Another reason is because most dystopian books leave the MC without much food so they’d be small from malnutrition. I would like to see less physically attractive girls in books. It is kind of cool to see a few females in movies that have short hair. Short hair just makes sense in the apocalypse.

    4 is just silly. The only time it was even partially believable was in Cress, where the guy was blind and couldn’t fight, the girl didn’t have any weapon, and the guy had already made a promise that he wouldn’t let her die without ever kissing a guy. (It was still silly, but kind of in a sweet way.)

    5 I did a whole blog post on why these sorts of things happen, and I’m guilty of the dead parents.

    7 is kind of sad actually. If the series never ends, readers get tired of it. I think it’s better to end it while the readers still like it. That way, their memories of it are good.

    10. Oh yes. I’m so sick of sex before marriage. Another thing that really annoys me is when a girl is attracted to her abductor before she even knows he’s not planning something nasty.

    I work hard to avoid 12. I try to use most of the alphabet now.

    15. No kidding. Crossdressing is forbidden in the Old Testament so I’d like to see it used less, or at the very least, the character should have a VERY good reason to do it, not something like “I want to join the military.”

    I’m guilty of 5,9, 11 and 12 in my older writing. (To be fair, my redhead is a redhead because in that part of the universe, red is the most common hair color for humans.)

    For those who are interested, here’s my list of things I don’t like.

    • I love your list! Yes! “The Chosen One” is done SOOOOO OFTEN.

      • I get so sick of the whole “your special” story. Story’s going along great, I’m relating to the character, and then it comes out “because your special”. Oh, come on! Does that mean exciting things like this adventure can’t happen to ordinary people? 😉

  12. A calm redhead? I’ve never heard of such nonsense. Only when they’re sleeping and sometimes not even then. 😉

  13. The non-feisty red head one made me laugh. I hope I’m one of those rare calm ones haha!

  14. Oh I agree with so many of these, and I have also tagged you for the gratitude tag if you want to do it 😀 http://claredot.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/the-gratitude-tag.html

  15. Anna Bourassa

    Oh, you said it! #1 through #5 and #9 I COMPLETELY relate to! I agree with ALL 15, but those are the ones I’ve personally run into with both books and movies. Why is it always the beautiful gals that capture the heart of Prince Charming? Why can’t she be beautiful inside and “ugly” outwardly? I’m just sayin’…
    Thanks for summing up our frustration! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. Oh. So if you were…um…editing…a piece…and you came across your pet peeve, would you let your client know???? 😛

    I’m not sure what my pet peeves are. I think my dislike or disinterest stems from not being able to believe what is happening whether it be insta-love or plot device or something. Some books can pull it off. Some not so much.

    • LOL, yes of course I would. 😛 And these aren’t just MY pet peeves. They’re more the pet peeves of the general public and quickly becoming cliches.
      I point them out when I see them. 😛

  17. The clumsy girl. In real life I’d suspect some of these protagonists have a neurological problem…

  18. All of these are SO good! The insta-love and love triangle ones are the worst! I mean – it *is* possible for there to be no romantic interest in a novel. Right?

    I pretty much passionately despise the ‘no psychological downfall’ thing. If you’ve been through battle and betrayal it doesn’t just magically disappear when the antagonist is defeated!

    I’ll take a realistic ending over an unrealistic happy one any day.

  19. Great post, it made me laugh for sure.
    I personally love cliffhangers. The only problem is, when the next book is a HUGE disappointment, then that cliffhanger just killed the whole series for me. If you’re going to write a cliffhanger, make the suffering and agonizing wait time actually worth it.
    some of my pet peeves.
    1. Characters who are not related in any way shape or form, nor are they married, but they’ve just met, suddenly know how to finish each other’s sentences. REALLY? I just read through a book full of the 2 main characters finishing each other’s sentences. Come on now. No one I know does that in real life.
    2. Another pet peeve, not so much story based, as it is author’s choice-based…when authors put in small scenes from a completely different POV, a POV that is definitely and obviously not from a main or even supporting character. It’s annoying, please be consistent with the POV choices
    3. Overly long and irritatingly wordy descriptions of character description and background description. Can we get to the story.
    4. Characters with grave wounds/injuries who magically survive and magically heal/mend without actual magic. Or characters who endure a whole lot of physical hardship and don’t seem to suffer (They do this in the movies a lot. Let’s trek through the jungle/forest for days and days without so much as a bug bite or signs of dehydration or malaria or dysentery. I studied jungles (book research) and they are HARSH.

  20. Oh good! I think the only one I did was the crazy redhead. 😀

  21. I agree with Rebekah – if things are done right, it’s okay to be cliché. The thing is to make them fresh, somehow.

    I’m guilty of the dead parents thing, and also my heroine being chosen, however, I tried to change it up as her whole family line being the only ones who can be guardians. Not every person. Just the ones who are marked. That way, if something happens and Akeela can’t become the guardian, the line is broken and there will be no more guardians. Maybe that’s cliché, too, but I’m hoping I’ve done it in such a way that it’s not annoying. 🙂

    I hate tragedy when there’s no good reason for it. People/characters dying just for the sake of having a tragedy. But I love a good death scene. The best one I ever read was in Little Women when Beth passed. Oh, my heart aches and I weep. Every. Single. Time. It’s beautiful. And I don’t feel robbed.

  22. I can’t stand when someone is constantly digging their nails into their palms…can be pulled of on occasion. Or someone balls their fists in another’s shirt, like a kissing scene. Ugh lol. Anyways, I laughed so hard at your post and proceeding comments! I will leave with this announcement (No Nessie or Bigfoot don’t exist)…but at least one calm redhead does indeed exist. I married him. 😉

  23. Eugh. Yes. Every. Single. One. On. This. List. >.<

    I was actually recently thinking about both the redhead one and the small and dainty FMC one…

    I want a largely built female main character. They always seem to be smaller-than-average or average… I would really apprieciate a broad-shouldered female. Can someone give me that? xP

    Oh, and kissing during a battle… I agree with Jessi. Cress is the only book I liked it in. xP When I read it, I immediately thought of a specific story…

    The gorgeous female main character is extremely overdone… And the flipside, the plain-looking girl with mouse-brown hair. Can't you have somewhere in-between?

    I took the gorgeous thing and flipped it around in the Cinderella retelling I'm writing (Yes, I'm writing a Cinderella retelling even though I don't like Cinderella much). I made her cursed to be enchantingly beautiful (among other things). She wears a veil to avoid complicated situations, which is why her step-sisters (or the people who fill that role in my story) don't recognize her.

  24. I have a calm redhead !! She’s in my serial story. My characters are always tall because I am tall and so I always make them like five nine or ten like me.

  25. LOL, I have to respond to at least one of the items on your list. Red hair.

    One of the advantages of being married to an engineer is that I have access to a wealth of odd knowledge. When I mentioned your pet peeve about red-headed characters, he informed me that people with red hair have higher than normal amounts of copper in their systems. No one knows why, but it is a known fact.

    Excess copper in the human body causes, among other things, irritability.

    Therefore, it seems perfectly logical (and not at all stereotypical) that people with red or reddish hair are more likely to be short-tempered than people who do not normally have red hair.

    As for the other fourteen pet peeves, all I can say is that I’d better not let you read at least half of my finished manuscripts! Yikes!

    Thanks for a good read.

  26. stitchesoffreedom

    I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the “lost royalty” thing. I love the concept of our hero not knowing that he’s royalty {I loved this in Blood of Kings by Jill Williamson}, but I think it’s a bit overdone. Not every guy has to be a prince in disguise.

    I totally and completely agree with you on the love triangles. There are very few love triangles {or romances [I have a love/hate relationship with these too] in general; amazing stories do NOT have to include romance} that I actually like.

  27. Pingback: Movie Clichés that Drive Me Crazy | Zachary Totah

  28. I hadn’t realized red-heads were becoming such a cliche. I hardly know any so I felt like it was unique. Good thing my protagonist is more on the chestnut side of things. 😉

    I don’t always mind the love triangle except when the girl thinks she is, “so ugly and unlovable except, wow, two boys (or more) are interested”. Which I guess is pretty much #8… Or when one is gruff and the “bad-boy”, while the other is kind and caring and you know who she’s going to pick. Because why would you want to spend life with someone who SHOWS their love when you could spend forever with someone who treats you like dirt. Those kind of marriages ALWAYS last. *eye roll* (Now if there was some major character growth, I could see it working. But he needs to grow up at least a little bit!)

    The lying doesn’t even have to pertain to love – just noble idiocy in general is annoying. It never works out and the reader knows it won’t so it just makes the story feel like it’s taking a long, pointless detour.

    I agree that Storm Siren’s cliffhanger was perfect – because it was an epilogue-type cliffhanger – the main story was closed but then she literally dropped the bottom out from under us just when we felt safe and secure. 😉

    Oh – I read a book once where the princess and her bodyguard were being hunted by assassins, hiding in underground tunnels with the bad-guys a hairsbreadth away from them, and yet all they can think of was their awareness of the others close proximity, etc. When the guy had to force himself to focus on the situation because his mind were getting sidetracked by the smell of her hair… So unrealistic!!! lol

    Insta-love is probably one of my biggest peeves. I need a reason two people are perfect for each other, not just “because”. I can understand instant attraction but a relationship needs something as a foundation other than, “you’re really hot” or “we’re instant-soulmates.”

    Lol – thankfully, I rarely encounter #13 though sometimes the coincidences are a bit much. And #15 hasn’t bothered me yet but it probably would if I read too many more of them…

  29. Pingback: Lorehaven: 10 Movie Clichés to Drive a Sane Person Crazy - Speculative Faith

  30. When I see a book title followed by: “Book One in the ______ Series.”

    Does anyone write standalone books anymore?

    It seems there’s a market trend for series so everyone wants to write a series.

    I’m over here desperate for a unique book, but instead I’m drowning in authors who are more interested in producing the latest product for the market rather than writing for the love of the craft and storytelling.

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