What turns you off in books? Are there any tropes you just can’t stand? Any overused phrases?
There are certain phrases or tropes that I find overused and kind of grate at me. The list below is not all inclusive, but it is a handful of such tropes that I shake my head at. I’m sure I’m not the only one so please share with us your own reading turn-offs.
- The phrase “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding”. I seriously feel like this phrase is in way too many books. It almost feels like a cheap trick now to show the character was nervous.
- Overly descriptive paragraphs with TMI. For example “I felt a bead of sweat form between my breasts and slide down my stomach”. Um, ew? I get that it is hot, but come on! I didn’t need that visual.
- Characters needing to look in a mirror to describe their appearance to the reader. Sometimes you gotta mix it up, like have them see their reflection in a window instead.
- Fantasy novels where the main character starts out living a normal life and going to school then bam finds out he/she is some magical thing and has to go to another realm for some mission/quest/save someone/etc and completely ignores their previously normal life now. Overdone. Can we start a book another way please?
- Romance books that describe a male character’s scent as something woody plus man. WTF does “man” even smell like?
Hmmm .. man? I agree. Julie. Describing a male character’s scent as something (soap) plus man is actually rather disgusting. Honestly, it is so overused, it sort of makes me laugh now. I like your list Julie, but honestly, I cannot say that I have really been bothered by too many of these. My biggest reading turn off is simpler than that. I cannot stand the insta-love connection with little to no explanation save that she “felt drawn to him in some inexplicable way.” Other than that, I am really drawing a blank on this one. I dislike strange similes. I dislike sad endings and cliff hangers and as a general rule, I typically dislike second books in a series of more than three books. The only exception to that rule thus far is the second book in the Outlander series, Dragonfly In Amber. I really loved that book best in the series so far. Oh! One thing that really turns me off in a book is descriptions of rather personal aspects of characters’ anatomies. Completely unnecessary in my opinion. If the writing up until that point has done what it should do, I find there is little need of awkward and often times coarse descriptions of anything steel-like or velvety. Just no. Do NOT go there.