What are your pet peeves when you read a book ? Pet Peeves are those little things that are personal to you, as a reader, that perhaps spoil a story for you. They have nothing to do with how well written how the book is, how defined the characters are or whether the plot line makes sense. It has nothing to do with the quality of the work produced, the creativity of the ideas or the overall pulling together of a tale that probably took a writer a long time to finish. It has nothing to do with the satisfaction of combining all of this to make a readable and enjoyable and entertaining story.
No. Pet peeves has everything to do with how a reader didn’t like a story because it irked you in some way that possibly to someone else wouldn’t even matter. And we all do it, no matter how we try not to. It influences our feeling for a book, our emotional state in a negative way.
As a reader myself, I have a few of my own. I blogged about this recently on Sid Love’s site. You can read the article here. It was entitled Penises, Sex and Porn.
It was the penis size thing that was my bugbear. The fact that I don’t need to read a book to find out the guy had a six, eight or ten inch dick when he was doing someone, or putting it where it mattered. The numbers are a little distracting.
Another thing I dislike is cliff hangers. I’m an impatient git. I don’t really want to be left hanging at the end of a story with a real cliff hanger that leaves me wondering whether the men in love are going to make it or not. I like my HEA (Happy ever after) or HFN (Happy for now) endings. I have no issue with a theme being continued into another book, one that didn’t affect their ending, hell, I’ve done this myself. But I need to be secure in the knowledge that when I finally close that book, the two main protagonists are together.
And yes, when it comes to my M/M romances, I am a definite purist. The sex action should be between men and have no het sex in it whatsoever. That’s just the way I like my stories. I read M/M for a reason -because I find sex between two men hot, lusty and real – and I’m not fond of having a vagina pop up when I’m still thinking about cocks and arses.
Some of the pet peeves I’ve seen written by readers about my books are that they dislike pet names being used. In Stripped Bare, some people took real exception to Matthew and Shane being called Matty and Shay. They thought it was childish and spoilt the story for them. Another reader didn’t like the German translations I’d provided for some of the things ‘Matty’ said although they had been translated by a German speaker specially for me. It turned out there were a number of different ways to say what I had and this person didn’t like my version. In Saving Alexander, some readers didn’t like the fact that Alex was having it off with another man while seeing Sage, although this was basically the whole premise of the book.
While pet peeves are valid though, a reader should take care not to let them unduly influence their perception of the book. They have their merits but these personal dislikes should not detract from the overall review of the book based on the things I mention in the opening paragraph. One needs to give the author their dues when considering the book as a whole and not nitpick on the little things that simply gave you, the reader, cause for dislike.
Simply consider this when writing a review of any kind for a story you’ve read and while always worth mentioning, try not to let it get in the way of the author’s craft and your overall assessment of their story.
On a completely different subject – here’s an interesting man indeed. I’m participating in a bog hop which necessitates me hiding this man’s name somewhere in a previous post. So here goes and perhaps you’ll be enlightened at the same time 🙂
Alex Jones is an American radio host, author, conspiracy theorist and documentary filmmaker. His syndicated news/talk show The Alex Jones Show, based in Austin, Texas, airs via the Genesis Communication Network on more than 90 AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations across the United States and on the Internet. His websites include Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com. His YouTube channel has been viewed over 360 million times.
Jones has been the center of many controversies, including his statements about gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He has accused the U.S. government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks, and the filming of fake Moon landings to hide NASA‘s secret technology and the killing of “thousands of astronauts”.He believes that government and big business have colluded to create a New World Order through “manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech and—above all—inside-job terror attacks that fuel exploitable hysteria”. Jones describes himself as a libertarian and a conservative.
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A portion of the proceeds of this novel will be donated to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – http://www.nspcc.org.uk
Title: Worth Keeping
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Release Date: 23rd December 2013
Nick Mathers pulls Owen Butler from the freezing waters off the Norfolk coast, but Owen’s love can carry Nick back from the edge of oblivion.
Abused horrifically as a boy, Nick Mathers has come to terms with his existence as a man. Mostly. Other days life seems a little much. Especially when Nick knows he’ll always be alone.
On those days his thoughts turn black. He walks the Norfolk coast and considers the frigid embrace of the waves. And then, one stormy night, he finds someone who’s tasted just that. The beautiful stranger on the beach is near death, and Nick rushes him home to slowly nurse back to health. As he does, he finds a love unlike any other. Owen Butler’s body is as warm as the sea was cold, his heart as big as an ocean. And Owen is a man who swears to repay the favor. Nick can yet be saved from himself, and he will see that he is indeed a man…
”We have to re-iterate that this Author will always be an automatic one-click for us. Her writing is flawless and her flawed characters are completely lovable. There’s always something quirky and fun in her stories as well as drama, angst and heaps of passion! We can highly recommend!!” – Gitte & Jenny – Totally Booked Blog
“The cast of supporting characters adds depth and color, and the subplot of impending danger is artfully woven into the fabric of two men learning to overcome their own limitations, to open to the possibility of love and to redefine who they are. … this is a novel… Worth Keeping.” – Beach Bum Books
“Susan has written what I found to be a truly wonderful story about two damaged men that fit together in a way that gives them a relationship that can be everything they never dared to dream of.” – T. Kurtz, Book Addict
“…it is a beautiful story of survival. It is a story of two men who fought for their lives and there are times they can trip and fall, but somehow they do manage to pick themselves up and face life. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Love it.“– Johanna Alba Bilbao
“Susan has been hailed as a genius writer of male/male literature. Her Saving Alexander has been nominated for several awards and has been reviewed widely. Congrats on all your success, Susan. You have earned it.” – Gay Lit Authors
8 thoughts on “Pet Peeves – what are yours ?”
My pet peeve is unnecessary sex scenes. Some sex scenes are very important and its valid to devote page space and emotional depth to them but I get so sad when the plot is romping along, the author has racked up the tension, the wolf is at the door, the ninjas are poised for attack, the computer virus is spreading, and the protagonists knock off to spend five or six pages doing the same thrusting and grunting they did twenty pages previously. That’s so disappointing! Plottus interrupts really gets my goat. In mainstream fiction there’s erotica if you want it, but there are hundreds of popular books where the heat level is negligible. But in any book featuring men in relationships with other men it seems that frequent explicit sex scenes are essential even if they add nothing at all to the plot. Readers vote with their money too. In Jessewave’s survey 89 per cent of readers said they ONLY buy books with heat levels of 4 or 5. It’s no wonder with those sort of statistics that publishers say ‘can you up the heat level a bit’ – they want books to sell – but it shows mean that we are constantly offered books with these oddly placed interludes.
Thanks for that Elin. I think perhaps it’s a trap we fall into to to meet the demand of the marketplace. I’d hope that my books are more about character and story development than the sex, but only the readers can confirm this. I’ve had few complaints so far though 🙂 I don’t think an author can please everyone. Some people want a lot of sex, others not so much. I guess keeping it as a good balance is always a challenge.
However I have read some very well known top end M/M authors books and I think that in some of them, sex has far too much focus and it puts me off. I won’t read any more of their books because of it.
Any book where the adult protagonists sound like six year olds because the author has n ear fro adult dialogue.
Anything by Ian McEwan
I agree with the dialogue thing, having adults speak like children. And poor Ian McEwan, what has he done to deserve this ? Are you talking about he of Atonement fame? I haven’t seen the film even though my man Benedict appears in it, and I’ve never read any of Mr. McEwan’s books myself so can’t comment.
If yuo haven’t ever read him, then keep it that way. Atonement is truly awful.
My main pet peeve is shortening names to the initial. Its so annoying.
I love a good story line. I’m looking forward to reading Worth Keeping (bought it yesterday). I haven’t found many books where the story is based in the UK.
Glad you stopped by Tracy and that you’re reading Worth Keeping 🙂 All my books are set in the UK so hopefully this will suit you!
Thats good to know. I’m from the UK and sometimes I do like to read about places in the UK instead of the US