Top Ten Tuesday #2 | Top Ten Book Turn-Offs!

Posted Tuesday, 1 October, 2013 by jorielov 0 Comments

"Top Ten Tuesday" hosted by The Broke & the Bookish
[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists!

Topic of 1 October 2013: Top Ten Book Turn-Offs!

  1. Lead Protagonist Acts Against Type | I generally would notice this to be more apparent in the motion picture field rather than the publishing field, as oft-times you will find characters who are set up to have one set of pre-determined character traits suddenly go off in a tangent of characteristics, mannerisms, and sequences that clearly did not honour the way in which their character had been defined! And, yet, I am starting to find some of the novels I pick up are starting to follow in this vein, whereupon, you get nestled into a story only to discover that either a quarter of a way through OR half-way through, the character that you adore so much is suddenly ‘acting against his/her type’ and the story has thus become a wholly new story with a direction of course you are not certain makes sense!? Its one thing if a character is going through adversity OR a brilliantly lead out character arc, where ‘change’ is proportional to the story that is being writ. It’s another thing entirely to have a character who isn’t going through a life shift to suddenly start acting in a manner which does not complement the previous chapters!
  2. Absence of a Proper Back-story | I believe this goes directly to my passion for research, as a well-stitched story is always going to nestle into my mind’s eye with fond affection rather than a loosely developed back-story to carry the characters and the setting in which they are placed forward! There are some books I pick up, and if on my own merits had not known even a smidge of the setting prior to reading it, I would have mistaken it for ‘anywhere’ else that loosely fit the same criteria! I look for the proper buildings of time, setting, place, character, and the threads of the characters’ past to fill the back-story I am hoping for! I want to know something about ‘them’ as a whole rather than just the brief sketch that might be used as a reference in the beginning! I love to know exactly where I am ‘going’ to be hunkered down for a short spell, so that I can fully appreciate and absorb into the narrative!
  3. Absence of Dialogue &/or Narrative to Carry the Story | This observation stems out of my disdainment for “Robinson Crusoe”! As I simply could not properly attach myself into his island world, as there was little on the side of dialogue and less on narration! OR, I should clarify, from what little I remember of the story at all, all of the narrative was writ in such a style as to come across a bit droll and dull. I sorely wanted him to reach out and latch onto something that excited him past walking his crop bed and sorting out where to place his seeds! I missed the whole immersion of experiencing the island! I didn’t finish this novel, so I was quite surprised to learn that he finds a companion to talk too lateron! I simply need a bit of ‘something’ to hinge me to the character and/or to the story itself.
  4. Secondary Characters are not Fleshed Out | I could be considered quirky on this one, but I truly am fascinated by secondary characters! They are either the lasses and blokes who are given such colourful story-lines, that could be flexed out a bit to encompass their personalities OR they are the characters that you only get a cursory glimpse into and are left questioning their purpose after the book is closed! In motion pictures, these are the ‘character actor’ positions that make me smile most readily! I love seeing the portrayal of the cast outside the sphere of the leads, as they are at times the ones with the beefy role that lends itself to a more curiously stimulating story! I suppose I wish the same attention to lead protagonists could be applied to their secondary counterparts!
  5. Setting is off-center from where it should be | This one is a bit trickier to explain, as it’s the little things that you start to pick up (to notice) whilst your reading. Little breaks in pace or continuance of the setting that tricks your mind to think you’re not quite where you should be!
  6. Time period elements feel a bit off-kilter | This is quite similar to #5, yet different completely!  This is where your sinking into a period specific historical fiction novel, and all of a sudden are crashing into elemental evidence of either the modern era OR one era off from where your meant to be! I realise this is a continuity problem that is always the most difficult to rectify, as its hard to soak into a time in history so far removed from where we live today, but again, this goes back to hintings of research that could have been used a bit more. I do not always disregard a novel simply due to a flux in time period elements, unless it’s so blatantly distracting that I simply cannot get the pace of the story!
  7. Excessive Vulgarity | I am a bit of a strictler for this issue, as I am not one who enjoys reading curse words threaded through a story! I do not blush on the occasional word here or there, but the one word I am sure you can surmise is the one word that I nearly question the merit of its inclusion at all! I very rarely finish a story if its riddled to death with cursing, unless like I said, its words that I consider not as abusively vulgar as others’ that make me cringe to read! I want to read a story, not read words that truly do not add anything to the deliverance of said story. Except for perhaps a bit of shock value which I do not advocate!
  8. Explicit Graphic Violence | Again, this speaks to my previous statement on tolerance and acceptance of what I deem fit for my own reading life and habits. I am not one who watches excessively violent motion pictures nor do I attach myself to the harder hitting crime serials (ie: Midsomer Murders, CSI, Criminal Minds, etc) because I know going in, they are going to contain graphically disturbing images that are not of the kind I wish to intake into my being! The only exception to this lies in tv serials, as I do watch NCIS but most oft I am adverting my eyes for ‘some’ of the death &/or morgue scenes! In this case, it’s the whole of the investigation sequences and the inter-connection of the main cast who have a quirky dysfunctional family vibe going for them to attract me to watch the series! Straight-up horror motion pictures, slasher films, and everything of that nature you can think of, are not within my scope of enjoyment. Therefore, if it’s a film I’d avoid, you know it’s a book I will not read as well!
  9. Grisly and Gruesome Medical &/or Horrific Descriptions | This actually goes hand-in-hand with graphic violence but in a different vein of subject! I do not mind a well-written medical drama (ie: ER (Seasons 1-5), Strong Women, Crossing Jordan, Quincy, M.E., etc), but if they cross the line to what I think is ‘acceptable’ and ‘within the limits’ of the core of the story, then I place that into the “grisly and gruesome” category and I do not entertain such novels OR motion pictures/tv serials!
  10. An Unsupported Conclusion &/or Rushed Ending | I had to smile when I wrote this, because it’s another cross-over from motion pictures! I am always seeking out films and stories in print that have a well-supported conclusion to where you know the writer(s) did not rush the ending and that the conclusion has merit to the story you’ve read &/or watched! Sadly, I do not always find this to be true, and although, it’s not a reason for me to dislike a story &/or film completely, it does sadden me that a bit more time couldn’t have been found to make the ending a compliment to the story as it was relayed to the reader. It’s a bit like how I have noticed that there is an absence of Epilogues in novels!? I would always be quite eager to find those at the end of a book, because if the true point of exit for the characters fell a bit short of where you had hoped they’d take their stage exits, you could always have the hope of finding additional clues of their lives inside the Epilogues!
  11. *BONUS*: Lack of Rhythmic Flow | I am not even sure how to describe this as it would pertain directly to each individual reader’s preferences for how they perceive and internalise the stories they read, but for me, I like to find a near third-voice in a story. The hidden silent voice that is the writer’s guiding hand that carries the story from start to finish. Where the rhythm of the novel is fully visible and intact, and your left wanting to read the book in one sitting verse spread out over a week! Books that take you at “hallo!” and do not wish to return you to your everyday life!
  12. *BONUS*: Choppy Fluctuation of Sequences | I think this one irks my ire the most, because it reminds me too much of choppy editing in motion pictures! If you hadn’t realised it, I look at the writing in scripts as keenly as I observe the writing in books! I don’t want to feel whip-lashed whilst reading, nor do I want to see chapters ending abruptly in the middle of a sequence that could have used a bit more ‘information’ to make the segue more plausible!

Ever the curious heart to see what everyone else has said in response!

If you are not taking part in this meme, do you agree with I’ve disclosed OR

do you have your own pet peeves when it comes to reading!?

{SOURCE: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Tuesday, 1 October, 2013 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Top Ten Tuesday




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