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Thread: Deal breakers

  1. #1
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    Deal breakers

    Any one else have something that shows up in the story and just spoils the whole thing for them no matter how you enjoyed the ride so far? Me it's tech. showing up in my fantasy, robots et al the space sation or ship orbiting Pern made me lose my interest in the series I know , I know but that's my quirk.

  2. #2
    instantaneous obsessive love that makes the character suddenly place their new love of their life above all else. I don't mind relationships that grow or maybe occur suddenly in some cases. But overnight obsessions that spark some level of irrationality or puts a previous focus in danger really irk me.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatOfTheCanals View Post
    instantaneous obsessive love that makes the character suddenly place their new love of their life above all else. I don't mind relationships that grow or maybe occur suddenly in some cases. But overnight obsessions that spark some level of irrationality or puts a previous focus in danger really irk me.
    This, and the biggest annoyance of them all if they are immortals.

    If someone is 10 000, i DON'T want them to have only loved one person in all their life and pine after them for thousands of years until that person reincarnate/whatever, and i DON'T want their love for the MC to be any more "epic" than any of their love of the decade.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerberc View Post
    Any one else have something that shows up in the story and just spoils the whole thing for them no matter how you enjoyed the ride so far? Me it's tech. showing up in my fantasy, robots et al the space sation or ship orbiting Pern made me lose my interest in the series I know , I know but that's my quirk.
    This would probably be it for me too.

  5. #5
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    I'm a pretty forgiving reader, but one thing that breaks the deal for me is when the author talks to me. You know, when they break from the story world and narrate directly to the reader? Ug - can't stand that. In the Map of Time, the author did that a lot. And each time it was like getting slapped in the face. Reality does that to me often enough, I don't want my fiction doing it.

  6. #6
    Boba Fett Lives Daddy Darth's Avatar
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    Constant introspection by characters drives me crazy! All that thinking, considering, wondering, blaa blaablaa. I guess I just need a little more action or else I start tuning out or skimming. Keep it moving.

  7. #7
    Anything cliche. So far the only book I've come across where the MC named Shadow doesn't bother me is American Gods. Other than that, if I see your characters name is very cliche, I'm putting that book down. I like things to be somewhat original, not a rehash of another books settings. And space operas. Can' get into them. I've tried, but just can't. I see "Space Opera" anywhere on that book and it is getting set right back on the shelf.

  8. #8
    I'll second those who have said tech showing up in fantasy. That's one of the reasons why I really couldn't get into or enjoy the Prince of Thorns series. As for instantaneous, obsessive, love, I second that two. The book I read most recently that committed this offense was Legend. I enjoyed the book, but there was much in it that was hard to swallow.

    I am also annoyed by prophecy fulfillment now, at least in the direct sense. If it's handled more esoterically, it can still be interesting I guess.

    Don't much care for rape scenes. If handled carefully and to a narrative end, it can drive a plot or a sub-plot, but if it's simply wanton in its writing, then I get turned off.

    Likewise, I don't mind if a character is misogynistic, but I do if the author is.

    I also don't like it when there's only one answer or solution to a problem. That's not how life works, and it shouldn't be how fiction works. Write a character and give that character choices. Some of my favorite books are ones for which their authors have said, "this character ended up going a completely different direction that I intended..."

    If I can name your single, solitary influence for your story within 100 pages, I'm putting your book down.

    Artificial limitations on characters that you've otherwise written as supreme bad asses. I tend to prefer my characters with a few flaws anyway, but if you have to write a character that can destroy continents by snapping his fingers, don't tell me his fingers have been glued together. N.K. Jemisin was guilty of this in her first book, and only one I read, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. This is a tricky thing in fantasy, when authors give their characters supernormal powers. In my view, supernormal powers would necessitate supernormal consequences. I'd be interested to ehar what others thought about particularly this last point.
    Last edited by Whitleyrr; October 28th, 2013 at 01:15 PM.

  9. #9
    Mine are more vague generally.

    #1: Artificial plot elements / conflict designed to eat up pages.

    The Sword of Truth has a ton of this and it's the primary reason I found it unreadable. I mean how many coincidences / random crap can come up to prevent Richard and Kahlan from getting married? Wheel of Time sometimes also falls victim to this, though I enjoyed the series. I think it's pretty common in longer series, but some authors just abuse the hell out of it.

    #2: Lack of resolution

    This is solely Wulfgang-specific and I am not criticizing any authors in any objective sense. I just hate books with unhappy endings or insufficient resolution. Abercrombie does a lot of this (the end to the The First Law Trilogy was a particularly tough pill for me to swallow). It's kind of tough to say this is a dealbreaker because it means you made it through the whole book / series to figure out if there was sufficient resolution, but it's still somewhat applicable as I avoid Abercrombie books now unless I have nothing else on the docket. Some people love Abercrombie; as I said, this is specific to me. On the other end of the spectrum, I think Sullivan's Riyria Chronicles had just a wonderful ending. I also think MBotF had about as good of an ending for a massively epic series that you could possibly imagine.

    #3: Unrealistic scope that proves unfeasible later on

    George R.R. Martin suffers from this and I think it manifests itself in the haphazard way some characters are killed off later (he's admitted as much in interviews). I love, love MBotF, but I also think it suffers from this to a certain extent. Some writers really enjoy the world-building aspect, but the scope gets out of hand sometimes, and becomes untenable when trying to hit publishing deadlines and whatnot.

    #4: Unrequited love

    This trope can get so old. Sometimes it's done well (e.g. Kingkiller Chronicles), but a lot of the time I find myself yelling "argh!" to myself when I find that two characters are no closer to figuring out their lovelife than they were 3,000 pages prior.

    I don't mind tech, but I don't love it either. I won't spoil The Prince / King / Emperor of Thorns series, but the eventual realization of the world's background was kind of a buzzkill to me.

  10. #10
    Too many main character points of view, seriously whats the need? one is the perfect number.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfgang View Post
    I just hate books with unhappy endings or insufficient resolution... as I said, this is specific to me.
    I find your preferences nonspecific.

    They almost entirely mirror my own.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ94122 View Post
    Originally Posted by Wulfgang
    I just hate books with unhappy endings or insufficient resolution... as I said, this is specific to me.
    I find your preferences nonspecific.

    They almost entirely mirror my own.
    And are almost opposite of mine. I do like some level of resolution, but do enjoy open ended endings. And I also find what I call "Sunshine and Rainbows" endings a bit irksome. Not to say I dislike all happy-ish endings, and I did like the end of Riyria Revelations, but that is more the exception for me than the rule. I love Abercrombie's endings. If all the characters make it out of trouble and ride off on the back of a dragon against the sunset to presumably live happily ever after, I'm very likely going to be a dissatisfied reader. But ... I think this is a CatOfTheCanals specific trait. I'm not criticizing any authors or readers for enjoying the sunshine and rainbows endings.

  13. #13
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    In The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham "posing" was very prominent. I am not sure exactly what it is though. A character would strike a pose in response to something another character said or did. It happened A LOT. It became really annoying and for me ruined some very good writing.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rexington View Post
    In The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham "posing" was very prominent. I am not sure exactly what it is though. A character would strike a pose in response to something another character said or did. It happened A LOT. It became really annoying and for me ruined some very good writing.
    The posing was the cultural equivalent of an expression. A raised brow, for instance, as a query, would be a real-world example of the concept. Except in the series it's exaggerated into full-body posing.

    For me the trigger is rape. Yes, I know it happens, but I don't want it in my entertainment reading. Soon as the female protagonist or male protagonist's love interest is raped, I dial out.

  15. #15
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    For me, a hero that refuses to be a hero (Like Thomas Covenant). Not an anti-hero, I actually enjoy those. I can't stand it when the protagonist looks around and says, "This is stupid, I refuse to participate," but the other characters still manage to drag him through to a resolution.

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