Coincidence, contrivance and cheesey scenarios

I am reading some pretty damn contrived books at the moment. I think there’s something in the water.

If you’re writing your next book can you please observe the following? Thanks.

  • Do not have enemies become best friends by missing out some time in the text. It’s the most annoying thing in the world. They’re chasing each other through the streets – page turn – and then they’re best friends forever. Brilliant. You can’t invest in these characters enough to share their journey towards becoming friends so why should I?
  • Do not have your protagonist run away from home, talk to one person, and then end up staying with them for the rest of the story. I mean, really, every time I’ve been to London I’ve not seen anybody talk to each other let alone offer their handily free spare bedroom to them.
  • Do not have your protagonist look for something (oh let’s say a castle with three towers and a lake in the shape of a four leaf clover) and magically end up in the one county that has such a thing. And, even worse, could you maybe make it a little difficult for them to find it rather than some countryside cast-off from Oliver go “Oh you mean Castle Scarycliche! On the hill over there!”
  • That brings me onto my other pet peeve of the moment. I am a girl from the North of England. This does not mean I have a flat cap and a whippet. I can’t stand people writing regional dialect. There is more to a character than how they say something and I feel writing presented in dialect is just lazy characterisation.
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