Saturday, November 15, 2008

Novel Pet Peeves

I not only write, I read. I'll admit, that's an understatement. I've noticed a trend over the last few years that has progressively burrowed deeper under my skin. Here's my short list of things I wish I'd never again turn the page and find in an otherwise fine novel...

The word "dollop." It seems that every book has to use that word somewhere. Can't someone use a dab, scoop, or spoonful? How about a bit? Anything but a dollop. I'm just so tired of the overuse of that word.

Rolling of the eyes. Someone is always rolling their eyes. Use dialogue. Use other body language. For heaven sake, stop rolling eyeballs around. It's impolite, and it's been overused. I'd like to get through a book without anybody doing it.

Even if I had to live with the above two, I could handle it, if only I could legally banish everyone from the following—letting out "a breath they didn't know they'd been holding." When I hold my breath, I know it. I'll bet you do, as well. So why, in so many books, do characters seem to not be aware of when they're holding their breath? And why do otherwise careful authors, who can construct a riveting story that connects all the dots and carries a good message, feel it necessary to poke this inane and superficial piece of nonsense in there? It's ridiculous. It's distracting.

There. I've vented. I feel so much better. I'll continue to feel better now, until I come across the next character holding her breath, without realizing it, and rolling her eyes while she adds just a dollop of cream to her chapped hands.


schmath said...

You should write a book that uses all the cliches. That would be funny.

Ri said...

I agree with dollop. I would add yummy in there, too. I guess I read too many recipes.