I was thinking about things that annoy me as a reader, and that I'd really like to avoid as a writer. Since all writers are readers, I thought I'd toss this out to all folks- writers, non-writers, pretty much anyone who reads books:
What bugs you and to what level?
I've noticed that the longer I write the harder it gets to read for enjoyment. I get annoyed far to easily nowadays, and that annoyance is far more likely to result in me not finishing that book than it used to.
So what bugs me?
A character that I can't relate to. If you have an amazing world, but I really dislike the main character- I'm outta there. To be honest, usually this only happens with free books I get (aka- ones I didn't go out hunt down and buy ;)), simply because if I'm buying the book, I look inside to read a bit on the character. Now, I can still be tricked, but usually that gets rid of those.
Flashbacks. Ok, little ones might work if you can do them well-- but sometimes authors get way too into the flashback. If the story from the past is that interesting- TELL that one! My suggestion is use the flashbacks in small doses- let us see how the character is now, then show us bits and pieces of how they got that way. I started reading a book years ago where I liked who I thought was the main character- only to find out two chapters in, that the rest of the book was about ANOTHER character completely in a flashback! Yeah- that one went sailing into the giveaway book pile.
Prologues. Not a fan, but not a book deal ender either- I just don't read them. So, ya better hope they aren't needed for the story ;).
Stupid people. I've raved about this before. Making a character do something because YOU want/need them to, isn't the same as their behavior being a logical (or at least plausible) outcome of their current situation. Nuff said.
Focusing on stuff of no importance to the story. Yes, you need to make your world real, but if you have the "book camera" pan on a vase for half a page, then don't have that vase be anything important later- I will hunt you down and pummel you. As a writer you've just wasted valuable "reader focus" and you've also lied to your reader- both are a crime.
I know I have more, but those are mine. What are your peeves when you read? And do you stop reading or muster on?