we all have them. some of us have lots of them.
and you've probably already guessed i'm one of those with a long list.
some of my pet peeves are just harmless annoyances:
when people say "i could care less" instead of "i couldn't care less".
when drivers don't wave thank you when you let them pull out in front of you in bumper to bumper traffic.
when someone misses the trash can when throwing their garbage away, and they just leave it on the ground.
and some of my pet peeves push my buttons to the point of irrationality. like my book pet peeves:
i HATE it when someone borrows a book and breaks the spine.
i HATE it when someone tells me the ending of a book that i'm only just halfway through.
i HATE it when someone tries to converse with me when i am clearly reading.
and i have author pet peeves. and these pet peeves seem to haunt me years after i've read the novel, silly as it may sound.
for instance, about four years ago i read the chicklit novel time after time. as someone who is admittedly 80s obsessed, i was looking forward to reading this book since it had some fun 80s flashback references.
but the book opened with a conversation in italics, between two girls, discussing a boy and his betrayal.
when the font goes back to normal, we see the book is actually written in first person, and that the main character is at her reunion. now, she was NOT one of the girls having the preceding conversation, nor was she the subject of it. in fact, the two girls never reappear in the book and their conversation is never referenced.
that is the sort of thing that REALLY annoys me.
i can only guess the author was trying to "set the mood" but the only mood that came over me was a foul one. we've all heard the importance of the opening page, and this one just seemed to be one huge non-sequitur.
i also hate when an author opens in a certain time period, and never goes back to it.
for the life of me i can't remember the name of the YA novel (i probably blocked it out) or who wrote it, only that the author wrote under a latino pseudonym because he didn't think anyone would buy a book about chicano culture written by a jewish male.
anyway, this novel opened with a drunk twenty-something man driving up a hill to look down at the valley below him. it was the valley where he grew up, and within the first five pages we are smack in a flashback and reading about the narrator as a teenager. the entire book is about his experience as a teen. at the conclusion of the story, the narrator (still as a teenager) lets the reader know he has a lot more adventures, but ends the book with this statement: "but that's another story for another time."
end of novel.
you can't start a novel in the present day, tell the story in a flashback and never come back to the present!
well, i guess you can since that's what this author did, but it bugged me immensely. so much that i still get quite heated when i think about it.
it's true that as a writer you can write a story in any way, shape or form you want.
and as a reader i can be selective about which authors i will give my time to.