What are your “red flags” in books?


Oh, so something that has a lot of wording or when a table is described by fifteen paragraphs :rofl: I actually admire people who can pull it off, but each to their own I guess. Or perhaps I haven’t found a story that is truly over-structured.


Honestly, it can be the way it’s written. Sometimes I know right away it’s not for me… and I mean, the way the story has been told.

:thinking: It seems weird to say the clichés… life is cliché and every new ideas becomes overused at one point. I try not to read books with similar ideas for that reason. // When it comes to grammar, if it’s completed and I don’t see any sign of editing, I walk away right there… but when the book is ongoing, I can be more forgiving. We aren’t supposed to edit while writing, not really.

There would also be the stories where you can figure out the plot by the first chapter :triangular_flag_on_post:


I don’t know if you’ve ever read “The Scarlett Letter”, but despite it being one of my favorite books, I can’t read the first chapter. It has absolutely no significance to the story and it literally only talks about a red door. When I had to read it in high school, but teacher told us that we didn’t even need to read it because of how absolutely pointless it was.


It is my humble opinion that many books we revere as classics today would never be published in today’s industry without a good deal of cuts, revisions, and tightening.

Of course, they didn’t have TV, films, or video games back then, either, so what else were they going to do with their time but read?


If during the first chapter, I read the words “How did this happen?” Or alternatively “How did I get here? I’ll explain…” That’s an automatic nope from me




when I already hate the mc after the first few sentences


when it gets overly erotic


Describing eyes as “orbs” nopedynopenopenope


Didn’t writers also get paid by the word back then? So basically, the more pointless garbage you could shove into a book, the more you got paid.

That’s why there are so many “abridged” versions of books out there. The originals had so much pointless nonsense shoved into them, it could all be edited out without losing the integrity of the story.


Yes. And that explains Dickens and his purple prose… :woman_facepalming:


Ooh, you know what else…when the author forgets their own plot. You probably shouldn’t be writing if you can’t even remember the name of your MC’s older brother who you chose to randomly mention in chapter 10 to add ‘substance’. You probably shouldn’t be writing if you start a conflict but choose to dissolve it in the next chapter because you didn’t know how to finish it.

Bro, if I see an author forget a recurring supporting characters name, I gots to go. Like, I’ve seen it so many time where an author is like “Oh, sorry guys, I keep getting him mixed up with another character in a different story, lol.” Yet they choose not to fix it?

How can you forget the plot of a story you created and have been updating? Ugh.

  • Anything that states in the blurb “He was cruel; she was kind. He was callous; she was innocent, etc.” I already see that it’s going to be another psuedo-abusive bad boy dynamic just based on that.

  • Anything to do with high school or “she was just your average teen”. No thanks. I don’t mind works with younger characters, but not so much if it takes place during modern day.

  • Written in first person. Not that first person narratives can’t be good, I just find more that are poorly written than well done.

  • When the female MC is written to be “spunky” or “sassy.” Usually she just comes across as a mouthy brat.

  • Broody anti-hero type MCs. Especially if they have a “dark past” meant to excuse their shitty behavior.

  • Characters who act more like anime characters or cartoon characters than real people.

  • Bad, cheesy dialogue that doesn’t sound real


Meaningless sex scenes (if i wanted to read smut, I would), naive cookie cutter female protagonists, cliche bad boys, romanticised abuse.


I feel exactly the same. I always hear people saying “I don’t want to read anything too ‘heavy.’ I read fiction to escape reality.” I feel like I’m the opposite. I want to read something that makes me feel things, not just an escape from my mundane reality. My mundane reality is actually pretty awesome, thank you very much.


I thought you were talking about me for a moment :joy: because I actually mention the MC older brother in chapter 10 and name him. But I never forgot his name or any other names so O’s safe.


I used to do that just to get around using the word ‘eyes’ too many times, but I realized how stupid it sounded when I was seventeen and rereading the novel I was working on at that time.


Lmao. This came because I read a story a month ago where the plot just like fell apart. The author said the mc had an older brother in college but he was never mentioned again. Then she kept writing two different names for one guy and forgetting her own plot. Very frustrating.


Honestly, any book that starts with the character waking up in bed or things starting off extremely slow tend to bore me


Yeah, that’s just unnecessary. I write like 5 books at once but I can easily remember names and what happened and all. Hell, my boss is reading my book and I could literally guess which chapter she was on based upon which part she said she was at because I know my books that well.

Plus, the MCs brother does show up in the sequel so mine does serve a purpose… :sweat_smile: I hope.

I have mixed up names once before… But this was not intentional. Let me explain.

So I print my books first, for myself. Then I plan to publish them. Well, I can publish my Peter pan series legally if I change one name. So I have his name as Felix on wanted, but the printed book will have his name as Kace, but they’re the same. Well, when I accidentally ordered the first book, I forgot to replace the sequel sneak peek file in the book pages with the name update so you read Kace throughout the first book but them it shows Felix in the sequel sneak peek and it looks like a new character is showing up but he’s the same guy… But that’s not because I forgot his name. Its because I’m just dumb with documents. :joy: