Friday, December 7, 2007

What An Author Shouldn't Do

IN THE NEWS: According to HappyNews, "Even infants can tell the difference between naughty and nice playmates, and know which to choose, a new study finds.
Babies as young as 6 to 10 months old showed crucial social judging skills before they could talk, according to a study by researchers at Yale University Infant Cognition Center published in Thursday's journal Nature. The infants watched a googly-eyed wooden toy trying to climb roller-coaster hills and then another googly-eyed toy come by and either help it over the mountain or push it backward. They then were presented with the toys to see which they would play with. Nearly every baby picked the helpful toy over the bad one."

I heard about an " list" over at one of my writer loops. There was a discussion there about what readers believe an author should never do. So I went over to the forum and found myself reading along and becoming highly amused-- until I saw this:

please don´t make your heroine with red hair!!!!!


Then I saw this:

Please DON'T- have your heroine behave like an idiot and write it so that the hero finds this stupidity cute, winning, charming or adorable. There's a difference between making an error and lacking any common sense.


Oh dear. That's pretty much the heroine in my new story. I'm hoping I'm making her look and act less like Lucille Ball, but sometimes the keyboard gets away from me. I guess I will have to tinker with her character some more.


Anyway, if you want to check it out yourself, you can read it here.

Speaking of no-nos, I just started a new suspense book last night that pretty much does something I feel an author shouldn't do. The author takes paragraphs to tell you about the character. I found myself drumming my fingers on the book cover every time I read over those parts, wishing she'd just get on with the actual story and have them do or say something. Oh, and she head-pops. **cough cough** A LOT. (like every other sentence) Not a real big deal, but I don't know, maybe it's just not my taste. But I'll give it a few more chapters.

What do you think authors shouldn't do?


Kristen Painter said...

I think authors shouldn't pay attention to lists like that.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yeah, really. I guess you can't please everyone. :)

Anatis said...

LOL I guess I fall into the Redhead / Klutz category with my heroine(s) too. Well, she's not a Klutz as such but she does some dumb things, thinks some dumb stuff.
And she assumes guilt. If it happened, it's her fault. Period.

So yeah don't pay attention to lists like that, because what one reader likes another hates. You can't win.