Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 2: Epic Makers

Book bloggers unable to attend the BEA Bloggers Conference or Book Expo America (BEA) in Chicago, but would like to ‘meet’ other book bloggers and publishers to discuss books and book blogging can participate in this virtual event.
What Do Readers Want?
What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story?

What do I want?

The Five Senses + Worldbuilding. I want to feel the cooling sea breeze as I lay on a hot, sandy beach. I want to smell fresh, earthy petrichor after a monsoon downpour. I lazily hit the snooze button on the noisy alarm clock as I make my way to the window and open the curtains. I hear the sounds of swords clanging against shields. I marvel at the softness of his sister's baby blanket.

I am transported to the confining cabin of a ship hurtling through space. I am running through the streets of an urban jungle. I am sampling the banquet in a manor house.

Transform your book into a pensieve. Build me a world worth leaving the real world for.

Know the Characters. It is not necessary for me and a character to have something in common. I just want to care about them - whether they live or die or deserving of my book boyfriend/best friend. 

A good character may not be described completely, i.e. blonde, brunette, dark, white. Let me know them through their actions and their journey, through the eyes of the those around them - even a startled raccoon or a night owl.

Food Porn. Give me the local delicacies. Paint me a banquet buffet. Order me ten boxes of pizza. The book is bound to be epic if there's a gastronomic feast. Guaranteed.

To Romance or Not to Romance. I honestly look for romance in the books I read, I live vicariously thru them after all. XD However, there are times when romance does not really contribute to the whole character development or for the plot to move forward. Or there are times that a romance at this point in the story is not the right time.

It is all in the timing and how the characters grow as individuals. Should or should not?

Stereotypes.  If you're looking for stereotypes, look no further than:

Exhibit A: Typical YA Heroine. 

Exhibit B: Brooding YA Hero

Overdone Cliches. A seemingly ordinary  MC who's really a Speshul Snowflake with awesome powers/have a royal lineage/going to lead a revolution. It could be done tastefully, different than the norm. It's possible! Just don't fall into the pit.

Missing/Dead/Absentee Parent Syndrome. That's why all of those speshul snowflakes get in so much trouble.

Insta-love. 'Nuff said.

And my personal favorite: Stacy lives an ordinary life going through a typical, boring everyday routine... until she meets Jack of the gorgeous eyes, thick, dark hair, and a devil-may-care smile. Life will never be the same again.

Filler Scenes That Go Nowhere.  It disturbs the flow of the narrative. If a book is dawdling just because it's trying to stretch the story so it could spawn a clone, then, please, just keep it together. 

Love triangles, squares, tetrahedrons. GET OUT. Will it help the characters grow? Will it forward the plot? If you take it out (and be a slow burn maybe?), does the story retain its shape and structure?

What are your reading pet peeves?

Ayanami Faerudo

8 comments:

  1. WONDERFUL post! I 100% agree! A couple of the reasons why I will DNF a book that is otherwise well written is when there is no world building or a pointless love triangle pops up.

    Feel free to check out my post for day 2 here.

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  2. Love this list! Especially the parent missing thing - then again I do sometimes relate to the over-worked/ not really around parent....

    http://cover2coverblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/armchair-book-expo-day-2-wants.html

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  3. Love triangles/squares/pentagons are a definite turn off for me. I just wrote ib another post that these relationships rarely add anything to an individual's character arc. It's unnecessary drama and if it goes on too long, I sort of understand readers felling like they've been toyed with. Great post!
    My Armchair Book Expo post

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  4. Awesome list of pet peeves! I'm with you on the likes as well. I did forget about the food porn in my post, which I didn't know was a thing until I saw a fellow blogger mention it in one of her posts. Why the dead parent? I get tired of those too, there's only so many ways to get them out of the picture. My Day#2 Armchair BEA

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  5. Love your pet peeves. I'd rather a book talk about the regional food than have another character list off all the name brand clothing they're wearing or get caught up in the cuts of their fashion.

    Armchair Book Expo day 2: What do readers want? and Collaboration

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  6. Yeahhh, I definitely feel you with wanting romance in all your books but not liking it when it just doesn't fit. It might make books more enjoyable but when it has no point it just takes up page space where there could be plot.

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  7. Brooding YA hero and love triangles are two of my least favorite tropes. Sure, I've read a few good love triangles over the years. There are always exceptions, but most of them never seem to add anything to the story.

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