Monday, March 14, 2011

I don't usually critique, but...GAD, she said, sadly.

Today, I am going to discuss a book I recently bought by a NYT Top 10 best-selling author of Regencies.
The first thing that caught my eye and my mind was this phrase, "Blah Blah Blah," she said feelingly.
Later on, Our Heroine does things HOPEFULLY.
She wrings her hands. A LOT.
She likes Our Hero, yearns for him, finds him dangerous, always has, but feels attached to her dead fiance. Say What?
Where was this editor? Are all this author's books like this? Gad. She said. Hopefully. Feelingly. I hope not.
Too bad. I buy A Lot of books. Hundreds of dollars each year. I even spring for hardcovers. But write poorly and I am gone. Never to return.
The sub-plot of a ghost in the house (which did not serve the purpose of challenging the character of the heroine or hero) only added to my feeling that the author was adrift for how to make her 80,000 words and the use of adverbs made me feel as though I was reading a first draft.
I will never go back to her works.
Do you have pet peeves about how authors write?


  1. Oh Cerise - you nailed the reasons I find myself staying away from so many top ten authors. I've run into the same sort of awful prose and 'hand-wringing' too many times.
    Unfortunately for the author, this stuff leaves such a bad taste in my mouth that I don't go back.

  2. Pet peeves of mine:
    A "mystery" added in a non-mystery story by an author who doesn't understand the complexities necessary to make them successful.

    Secondary characters that at first appear as if they are going to be pivitol to the story, then all but disappear by the end.

    Repeating an important point, over and over again, in the same scene/chapter. If it is written well, I should be able to get it the first time.

  3. I seldom buy from the best sellers list because I don't find what I like there. The last "Mega Best Seller" I bought I'm convinced had no editor at the switchboard or an editor too intimidated to confront the famous author's badly flawed ms. It's too bad because the book had potential for greatest and I usually love the author.
    Now I buy lower on the list...
    XXOO Kat

  4. Purple prose does it for me and, yes, I still find it. You know, books where her flashing hazel eyes or his talented manhood do their thing over and over and over. Pages where I want to rip out my yellow marker and flag every "the," "and," etc. or simply give a count of how many times the same (usually unnecessary) word is repeated per page. Or the dot-dot-dot people who are in love with ellipses and use them as a smokescreen. I don't think the editor is always asleep at the switch. Author over-ride happens, and it seems to me that writers who do this are among the most resistant to learning new techniques. I just avoid their books.


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