Top Ten Top Tens: Day 10: Top Ten Turnoffs Encountered While Reading

Today is the last of my Top Ten Top Ten lists. Perhaps closing on a negative is a weird choice, but everyone that loves reading has a list of these: Turnoffs Encountered While Reading.


Insta-love. Love takes time and effort; it doesn’t just “happen.” And a character should never be willing to die for someone whose middle name they don’t even know yet, just because they “love” them.


Abuse and stalking masquerading as love. I’M SO SICK OF THIS.


Ending fantasy stories/series with a tacked on “epic” battle that takes up entirely too much space.


Animals dying. NOPE.


Sidelining, fridging, or otherwise misusing female and POC characters. The white male demographic is not the hot ticket you think it is.


Tons of grammatical and typographical errors. I am a professional proofreader- I seriously don’t want to read something riddled with errors, as I do it all day long in a cubicle. I understand (boy, do I) that things can fall through the cracks, but there are limits.


Bad audiobook narrators. A grating or dull voice can ruin even the best stories.


Poorly disguised info-dumps. Just because you couch it in an epigraph or stilted dialogue does not change the fact that you are conveying information in an incredibly lazy and uninteresting way.


Repetitive description. Get a thesaurus.


Obvious gimmicks that don’t contribute to the story. For every success like Horrorstor, there are a dozen other stories that fail to use an interesting device in any kind of useful way.