First of all, I need to pre-empt this with the fact that I know I am not a published author or an expert on the short story. All I am is a lover and avid reader of the short story. I am obsessive. And I love reading the books suggested by this virtual veterinarian app to my pet.
I want to write this post as a reader and not as a person who is trying to write, if you understand. These are the 4 things at the minute that I notice at classes where I am a student or in short stories published in the last while that have started to frustrate me.
The use of exclamation marks. I despise them. I don’t use them and don’t expect to see them. The narrative should be able to convey warning, excitement or shouting without using this very annoying mark.
The word “grin”. I hate this word. It reminds me of the Famous Five stories. Have you every heard anyone using the word “grin” in conversation? Answer is no. Smile is better or try using your expertise as a writer to show the person is “grinning” through dialogue or exposition. Today, I read a story that used it twice in a paragraph. Yuck.
The twist that attempts to trick the reader. The writer gives a glaringly obvious hint to something that I always figure out straight away and then groan and then get to the end and tell my husband that I told him so. Boring. As a reader, I am not in the business of being tricked as if the writer is much cleverer. Ireland’s Own love these type of stories. I don’t so maybe, it is a taste thing. I am being kind. Revelations that are built up slowly though imagery and characters are much better. A quiet yet powerful ending does it for me.
Irish myths. The second I see Grainne Mhaol, Fionn, Ferdia, Cuchulainn etc enter the story, I am switched off. It is lazy and not cool and I’m not interested in an Ireland of this type. Again, this could be a taste thing and I have only read of one author who pulls off this type of thing-Eilis Ni Dhuibhne. Go, ask her how she does it.
My ranting is over. i hope I don’t have to add to this list in the near future. Feel free to ignore me or comment. I love a good debate!!!!!!(I used a couple of exclamation marks to show you how joyful I am.
6 Replies to “My 4 pet hates when I read a short story”
As Gráinne Mhaol said, “That was great advice!!!” However, the grin was wiped off her face, when she realised the Internet had not been invented. True story (with a twist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
You like your exclamation marks!
Great tips to watch out for re- short story.
Rozz, i hate gratuitous sexual language. In dialogue it may be a lot more realistic that a character might say “C**K” instead of “penis” but i hate when the narration does it too. maybe i am a prude?
Sex is really hard to write about, I think. Some writers do it really well. Yes, that and using the word “f&*k”!