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Literary Pet Peeves Are Counterproductive

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

My literary pet peeve is readers who have pet peeves. That’s a statement that surely won’t make me popular, but stay with me for a second. Hopefully I can get you to see things a little differently.

For good reasons that are known to people who actually read it, I wrote my crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus, in second person, present tense. After reading someone’s decree that any author who dared to try such an abomination would be immediately written off, I like this article. ~ Chazz

See on www.huffingtonpost.com

Filed under: publishing

5 Responses

  1. Reena Jacobs says:

    1st person present tense is actually quite popular in certain genres. I don’t know about crime, but for YA it definitely seems to be the standard.

    The first time I read a book in 1st person present tense, it was a bit offsetting. I didn’t like it. 🙂 Not to the point it’s a pet peeve, but it didn’t sit well with me. After a couple of years seeing it regularly, it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’ve written and published a few pieces myself in first person, present tense.

    Really, it’s more of an acquired taste than anything.

    That being said, I do have my pet peeves. 🙂 It irritates me when the author leaves the reader (me) in the dark about something the main character knows. It doesn’t add suspense. It doesn’t add mystery. It just makes me enjoy the rest of the story less because I end up spending time wondering why the author would think the story is better for leaving the reader in the dark.

    Even more disappointing (if I decided to stick with a book like that) is to reach the big reveal and find out it was nothing even worthy hiding, which is usually the case. That’s one of the quickest ways to have me boycott an author.

    As a reader, if I’m in the point of view of a character, I should know all the main details the character knows… particularly if the character took the time to think about the details. “My best friend will hate me if I tell him my secret” then cutting to the next unrelated scene like the secret didn’t flash in her head doesn’t do it for me. Tell me what the secret is or don’t mention it at all.

    But who knows… maybe others like that kind of writing. One thing I’ve learned in writing is you can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.

  2. Aye, and The hunger games series of present tense won’t ever get anywhere. Wait….

  3. Chazz says:

    @ John the Aussie Hunger Games, aye? Never heard of it…Wait… 🙂

    @ Reena I actually meant to write that Bigger Than Jesus is written in *second” person, present tense. (Writing in a hurry and wrestling with a tech problem with Scoopit! this afternoon made my brain go haywire.) As for holding back information, yes, I don’t like that, either. Agreed. That’s why I love writing The Hit Man Series the way I do. The POV makes everything immediate and Jesus Diaz and the reader discover everything at the same time so the surprising thrills keep coming.

    About boycotting an author. Hm. Not sure about that one. I read someone declare you could never do this or that or “no one will ever read the same author again.” Thing is, I love Kurt Vonnegut, but I just can’t read one of his books. I loved all his other books. Chuck Palahniuk wrote a couple books that I just couldn’t get into and didn’t finish. If I’d started there, I never would have known the joys of his other work. I look at samples, read a bit and go on a case-by-case basis. As you say, you can’t please everyone all the time. I write for myself and hope readers who like my flavor will find me.

  4. 365 Things to Write About says:

    I agree with you (and the HuffPost writer) – more and more, I see bloggers, writers, poets, and readers complaining about their literary pet peeves and denouncing others’ creative works because it doesn’t fit into their preconceived notions of what makes good (or great) literature. Creative expression does not fit into one mold. If it did, we wouldn’t have such a wonderful and diverse selection of books to explore.

  5. […] with it?Related articlesLearning Lessons Through Pet PeevesWhat’s Your Beauty Ad Pet Peeve?Literary Pet Peeves Are CounterproductiveDo my pet peeves make me sound petty?Pet Peeve MondayRelated Posts:No Related Posts This entry was […]

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