My rant is twofold.
#1 An editor is an author’s best friend. They want you to write the strongest book possible, so embrace them and let them edit! With self-publishing on the rise, I see far too many books in desperate need of editing. If you go this route, please hire a professional editor. Your readers will thank you.
#2 I want to know what ticks you off, so my books don’t end up in the “never again” pile.
My NEVER AGAIN items:
Member – No No No! Don’t do this to the male appendage. For some reason every time I see member, I think of the band Menudo. I have no idea why.
Flower – Do NOT under any circumstances refer your heroine’s area down there as her flower. That warrants a book toss.
Pebbled – Really? He kissed her neck and her breasts pebbled against him. REWRITE!
Little (when referring to an adult) – I judged a contest recently where the author wanted to convey the heroine’s small stature. I’ll allow it once, twice, maybe even three times, but when it comes to the repetitive use of little hands, little feet…we get it. She's small, but she’s NOT a child.
A well-known author (name withheld) went through a "little" stage in the late 80's where every book for prattled on about the small heroine. I stopped reading her books.
Last page character introductions – This mainly pertains to thriller/suspense books. I'm invested in the story, trying to solve the mystery, only to discover on the last page a new character is introduced and they conveniently are the villain.
Beautiful Abuse – I just finished a romance where the heroine was described as “beautiful” thirty-six times in fifteen chapters. After the first chapter, I kept score. Despite her beauty, I found the flawless character very unbelievable.
A page of dialogue…without tags – Sure, I leave them off too, when it’s very clear who is speaking. But when I see an entire page of tagless dialogue and I have to actually COUNT down the page, “him, her, him, her” then you have a problem.
Mom dislikes over descriptive filler - pages of details that don’t move the story forward and are clearly there to make page count.
Kelli can do without the info dumps. “I’d like crime writers to stop having the cop/forensic characters describe forensic procedures to each other. It is their job to already know that, isn’t it?”
Kimberly has trouble with pronoun abuse. “There were so many she she she, he he he I lost track of who was who. Put a name in there every once in a while.”
Since I'm a debut author, it's important for me to listen to my readers. After all, I’m writing for you and I don’t want to write the book you toss across the room.
Let's get down and dirty. Tell me what you never want to see in another book again.