Happily Ever After Cafe discussion

145 views
HEA in Literature > It Can Ruin A Book

Comments Showing 1-50 of 166 (166 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Are there any elements that can kill a book for you? Certain situations or writing styles that just ruin what could have been a great or at least good story?


message 2: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Wallace | 37 comments Bad dialogue, sex for no purpose whatsoever, and a really dumb woman in a contemporary romance novel


message 3: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 488 comments gushy, overly dramatic purple prose


message 4: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Rhoades (jackierhoades) | 192 comments Sydney wrote: "Bad dialogue, sex for no purpose whatsoever, and a really dumb woman in a contemporary romance novel"

Aw man, Sydney, you took all of mine!

Stilted dialog really gets to me. I can't get past it. I want to immerse myself in a book, to temporarily believe that it's real. I want to feel like I'm there and bad dialog immediately kills that fantasy.


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 13013 comments Even though it's great that so many budding writers are self publishing but for me there is a problem when a book is not edited correctly. Not only the obvious problems like glaring spelling mistakes and blatant incorrect grammar but repetition and lack of clarity in the storyline really take away from the enjoyment of a book. Another factor is pages and pages of dialogue especially written in the first person without any of the descriptive narrative to link it together. I've actually been thinking about this as lately I haven't been enjoying some books that other readers are raving about. Jacqueline said it very well, when elements of a book take you away from immersing yourself in the fantasy it ruins the reading experience.


message 6: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Editing won't necessarily kill the book for me but it could affect my overall enjoyment if there is too much. Plus I'm old so I don't always remember all the rules of grammar and structure.

TSTL heroines can kill a story for me too, Sydney. No story/plot will kill it too. I'm not into erotica without a plot. I'll read some if they have a story to them. I also dislike random sex scenes to fill empty space.

Dialogue can be a killer too. If there is too much dialogue and no story, I'm likely to get bored and toss the book aside. Keep me interested. Don't write pages and pages of boring dialogue!


message 7: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 1193 comments What Lisa said. Really bad editing will yank me out of a story every time. Not only the points Lisa made, but also when an editor forgets the name(s) of her character(s) (have seen this happen a few times), or where her characters are supposed to be.


message 8: by C.C. (new)

C.C. | 29 comments 1. Women who acts in a not so classy way.
2. Dumb/stupid characters (these are usually women which is really not cool)
3. Abusive men and martyr women
4. Repetitive, weak and poor writing.


message 9: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) | 2010 comments You guys scare me with topics like this - I keep panicking that I've done something I shouldn't! *laugh*

I hate TSTL characters, ESPECIALLY ones that afterward say, oh that was stupid. Why did I do that?

I know it's big in some erotica, but I can't get past a woman calling a man "master."

I had one more that I can't remember now. :)


message 10: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Yeah, that master thing is big in those doms and submissive books. I've read a few but not really my cuppa. I guess I'm just too vanilla. And I love vanilla. The taste and the scent. lol ☺


message 11: by Melanie♥ (new)

Melanie♥ (meliaann) | 414 comments Kids who talk like adults. Hate that!


message 12: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 488 comments Abigail wrote: "You guys scare me with topics like this - I keep panicking that I've done something I shouldn't! *laugh*

Abigail, I'm right there with you! I think I should read this thread every time I sit down to write! :-)



message 13: by Pat (last edited Mar 15, 2013 08:11AM) (new)

Pat (crabpatty) I have trouble with - the only way I can describe it is- out and out stupidity. Perhaps "Airhead" would describe appropriately? Someone who is so totally a dipstick with decisions you just want to shake your head and close the book. Which is actually what I do, after I satisfy my own curiosity to see how the story ends!


message 14: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Pat wrote: "I have trouble with - the only way I can describe it is- out and out stupidity. Perhaps "Airhead" would describe appropriately? Someone who is so totally a dipstick with decisions you just want to ..."

I've read a few of those!


message 15: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Yeah, I love Romantic Suspense, but authors often make the heroine TSTL at a critical point in the story. Say, she is told not to lock up the cafe and go to her car by herself because there is a mad killer looking just for her, stalking her. But, alas, she goes and does that anyway.


message 16: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Hey, I read that book. lol


message 17: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments **hee hee**


message 18: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (chibilee02) Wow...where to start? Lol

Can't stand horrible writing. I need my story to have a good flow/pace. If your sentence structures, dialogues, and transitions do not fit well, then don't be surprise if I end up not liking your book and giving a not so happy review. There have been books with simplified, stagnant sentences and dialogue which just made it so hard to read the book. It completely turns me off.

Second, I need my characters to be fleshed out. Please give me an idea of why the characters are doing what they are doing. If it doesn't make sense or I am left feeling baffled at why they are behaving a certain way then it makes it very difficult for me to buy what you're selling. It throws me off and thus making me unengaged to the story.

Third, as much as I love a good love scene to go with my romance, I also enjoy a good story to go along with it. If these sex scenes just pop up (no pun intended) out of nowhere with no explanations, it turns me off. I especially don't like when the couple have sex during the most unbelievably inappropriate moments that doesn't make sense why they're having it right there and then. It'll either raise my eyebrows or make me laugh outright. So please, I prefer a good story to go with my sex. Oh and that sex, I want to also have it be very well written. And by I don't mean it has to be very gratuitous and sleazy. Very few words can convey a whole lot.

There are probably be more, but at this time I can't think of them. If I come upon it during a book (which I hope I don't lol), I'll be sure to vent about it here. Lol


message 19: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Beautifully said, Leslie!


message 20: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (chibilee02) Thank you Pamela. Can you tell I am a little peeved at these things? Lol


message 21: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Just a tad...


message 22: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Don't blame you!


message 23: by Iliada (last edited Mar 15, 2013 12:14PM) (new)

Iliada | 4 comments Leslie you are so right about the sex scenes! Sometimes it feels like they are there because the writer didn't know how to fill the pages.


message 24: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Filler sex ☺


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 13013 comments Pamela, I think I'll have to join you in the vanilla brigade. I'm up for reading just about anything, well anything that doesn't tip over into the obscene, but the master stuff doesn't do it for me either. Of course each to their own. Maybe it's something to do with the fact that I have been told by quite a few people that I hate being told what to do IRL and am quite stubborn. Who, little me? LOL.


message 26: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments The whole submissive thing seems humiliating and demeaning to me. But I'm not in that lifestyle so maybe it's just me.


message 27: by Sunny☼ (last edited Mar 15, 2013 06:21PM) (new)

Sunny☼ (sunny2) | 643 comments I dislike stories that contain one argument after another. Oil and water may work out in the end but the fighting to get there is not enjoyable for me.

I also dislike lying or cheating even withholding or omitting important information by h or H is not a great read for me. How can they build trust after that?


message 28: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Yes, I can get tired of too much fighting. I don't mind a good love-hate relationship but I don't want the entire book to be fighting.


message 29: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Yeah, bickering couples are tricky. The author has to do it just right, without any serious hard-hitting "below the belt."


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 13013 comments A big part of getting the fighting couples right is the sexual tension. You have to get a feeling that the bickering/snarkiness is foreplay otherwise it's just unpleasant.


message 31: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I like the way author Julie James does that love-hate relationship.


message 32: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Yes, it is a gift when an author can get riding the cutting edge of enmity, yet getting that sexual sizzle just right.


message 33: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (chibilee02) I agree with all you ladies on the love/hate fights. One of the best things about them is you know that at the core of it the couple is fighting because they're attracted to each other and they just don't know it or won't admit it. You're just sitting back and waiting for that eureka moment where they finally get it and get their act together.

Plus I like those fights where the writing and dialogue are so clever and witty. If they're not written right that's when they become monotonous and you lose interest. Some charm and humor goes a long way.

And there's nothing wrong with vanilla. Sometimes vanilla is good. Those types of stories are not for everyone. I personally like those books, but it's also important to read those genres with an author who seems like they know what they're talking about and portraying it right.


message 34: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jyl22075) | 60 comments Stupid characters definitely kill books for me.

Also, insta-love is usually a a book-killer for me (with the exception of paranormal books.) I don't mind if the characters have an immediate connection, but I don't like it when they get all "I love you more than life" after they've known each other for six hours. There are a few rare occasions where the author can pull it off, but for the most part, it doesn't work for me.


message 35: by Megi (new)

Megi (1806) | 74 comments Sydney wrote: "Bad dialogue, sex for no purpose whatsoever, and a really dumb woman in a contemporary romance novel"

and a female who fall way to easily as if she has nothing else to do other then fall for the guy how ever moron he might be and then there is falling in love for no good reason plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


message 36: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) | 2010 comments I hate insta-love! One of the reasons that my stories don't end in marriage, though there is the promise of happily ever after.


message 37: by Melissa (last edited Mar 21, 2013 04:46PM) (new)

Melissa If you are writing a historical romance, please know what things are called and when they came into use. If you're writing about a woman in the 15/16th century chances are the hero isn't going to be "pealing off her panties" since they didn't wear them back then.

I have run across a few books that used more modern slang in older time periods and it really took me out of the moment.

Using swearing to much, there is a fine line between it fitting the character and the situation and it being used to much.


message 38: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I can't remember what book it was but I remember reading a medieval era book where they had tomatoes and I'm like WHAT?


message 39: by Gerrie (new)

Gerrie | 2856 comments Melissa, I couldn't agree with you more. Anachronisms in historical romance will quickly ruin a book for me. I hate it when a H or h thinks, acts, and talks like a 21st Century character, only dressed in period costume. Often these characters act in ways that are completely out of step and inappropriate for their times. And if the language is too modern (I can't tell you how many times I see the word "scenario" used in historical romances for example) it also ruins the book for me.

Also, I have a real peeve about inappropriate names for a time period. This is especially a problem in medieval romances, where I've seen H and h's with names that weren't in use until several hundred years later. It's not that hard to find appropriate names for a particular period in time and culture with just a little research. It makes me feel that an author's been sloppy and hasn't done her research, and that really ruins a book for me.

The problem with anachronisms is that I feel like I've been sailing along, and suddenly a wave comes and dumps me out of the boat.


message 40: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) | 2010 comments Oh, I hate that, too! Like zippers and matches before they existed.

I once read a book that took place in Boston. One of the characters said something like, "grits are a perfect meal any time of day." I had never even HEARD of grits until I moved to Florida!


message 41: by Penelope (new)

Penelope Marzec (penelopemarzec) | 10 comments I live in NJ and I never tasted grits until we traveled in the south. :^) I heard of them though.

It's tough writing historicals. I have a great book--English Through the Ages, which is helpful. Dictionary.com always lists the date the words appeared in the language, too.


message 42: by Ute (new)

Ute Carbone (widldwords) | 104 comments I love this thread. Great points,I can't disagree with any of them. And am worried that I've done all these dumb things in my books, LOL

I'm from the part of New York state that isn't New York City, which is commonly known as upstate New York. I read a book set there where the characters kept calling it upper state New York. Totally ruined the book for me.


message 43: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (last edited Mar 23, 2013 10:18AM) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments One of the reasons I won't write is I'm too much a perfectionist when it comes to something like that. I've made up stories in my mind and then tore them down because I felt they were not feasible. Not realistic enough. Or because I'm not familiar with the culture or laws, etc... and I'm too lazy to do any real research.

I really applaud those of you who do write, though!


message 44: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Yes, and do the research.


message 45: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) | 2010 comments Upper state! I love it!

One book said Louisiana had counties. It has parishes.

Pamela, yeah, writing can be scary. But it's also fun! Write something down and don't think about it. My first drafts are AWFUL. If I stopped to make them right, I'd never finish a book!


message 46: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments If I were to ever break down and write I'd probably do fantasy and that way anything goes. hehehehehe


message 47: by Giulia (new)

Giulia | 1756 comments You guys are hysterical. Purple prose and wandering storylines are at the top of my list of things that ruin a book for me. I rather enjoy dialogue, I find it pushes the plot along if used correctly, but I don't like it when it's purposeless.


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 13013 comments I noticed a similar thing to Ute's post when reading the first Night Huntress books by Jeaniene Frost. She kept on calling the penal colony in Australia where her character Bones had been sent as "South Wales" when in actual fact its "New South Wales" which is still the state of Australia where I live. It didn't ruin the book because its great I just bristled a bit everytime it was mentioned. Funny enough, someone must have pointed it out to the author because in later books it was corrected.


message 49: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments **snortsnort**


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 13013 comments BamaGal wrote: "Hey, Lisa; it could always be worse. She could have referred to it as a 'Penile' Colony... :)"

Well, with the ratio of men to women something like 60 to 1, if the shoe fits.....LOL.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top