What are your “red flags” in books?


Lol. Well, there is something called editing…


Oh, yes. That one as well. Also, when she never ever saw value in all other women because she was so different from them all (implied: better). The worst form of Mysigonism is putting down the rest of the womanhood to elevate the MC.


Sign of insecurity really, I understand it from teen writers but adults should know better


If the first chapter follows the same formula I’ve read time and time again, I don’t see the point in continuing. I read certain tropes, but look for a refreshing take on them and can tell in the first chapter if ot will be more of the same or something new.


It is some kind of a hunting instinct to chase down and bag a man, so all men are awesome and desirable, even the piece of trash that is her abusive werewolf LI, but the entirety of womanhood is eliminated from the competition for the pair of pants pre-emptively. No romantic love is worth this extreme egocentrism and belittlement of humanity.

It is natural to dream about being exceptional, but that’s too much and it comes accross as… something I don’t want to read.


With everything going with her book maybe she has no time but still she needs to stands to her claim especially the book was gaining too much publicity. So yeah editing is a must to her book.


There are far too many abusive werewolf alpha mates out there I really can’t read past a chapter if I see them.


Idk. I’m working on a mystery’thriller right now, and I really like the immediacy of present tense. I feel like it makes my scenes come alive more, and fits better with my visual writing style than past tense. And I write in third person because it allows me to stay somewhat omniscient and hop from character to character so that I can flesh out the world they’re in. But I guess whether or not it works all depends on the quality of writing! I think we should all write in whatever style seems to work best for us, since we each have different styles of writing anyway.


I agree! It’s perfect for thrillers and any story that throws you into its world. You can’t “feel” what the characters feel as much when it’s past tense, because it’s already happened. But the immediacy of present tense makes everything feel more relevant, imo


Weak and whiny MCs in teen fiction. Like if that was me getting bullied and hurt I wouldn’t take it. I hate how the bad boy comes and saves her when the situation wasn’t even a big deal.

Also, I hate in fantasy stories when the MC is too overpowered and yet they barely know how to use their powers.

Finally, useless plotlines that make no sense in the end like don’t add it if its not gonna help the story move on


I’m not completely against an original quote, but I’m still not completely for it, either. In my personal opinion, the story should speak for itself. When you add a quote in there, it seems to take away from the writing. Set the mood of your story with the writing, not a quote.


Grammar and punctuation are #1. This includes my perennial unfavorite “lower case intended” as well as text talk and emoji’s in the main text.

Words used in a context that makes it obvious that the writer does not know the proper definition of the words. The subset of this is Smirk in any context except as an annoying self-satisfied smile and orbs anywhere on the body except in a pocket or pouch. I will make a rare orbal exception for characters possessed by a power who have actual staring, glowing eyes.

Characters that can’t put together a sentence without cussing. Double down on slurs used in any context except by antagonist bigots. I don’t like it in real life, so I absolutely don’t want to deal in fiction.

Excessive swaps of your & you’re, there and their etc. Now I have managed to use the wrong spelling myself, I admit, but once or twice is a mistake - every time is a problem. I know my particular typing quirks and search for them. I scan for it’s and its for example, and I often type juts instead of just and liek instead of like - the first being the hardest to catch, since the spell check has no context.

Stories that open with several chapters of media (pictures, music, videos) - faster exit if that includes outfits and their pet.

Real person fanfiction. I just can’t at all anymore. I can’t read people using real people like puppets to fulfill their personal fantasies.


Typos on the synopsis!!

If you have a few in your first chapter, I might let it slide. But your synopsis? Come on!


Double down on bad grammar and no punctuation :woman_facepalming:t5:


A quote, especially when it’s original and comes from the world you are building, is part of the writing, though. So it still speaks for itself. I don’t know, maybe you have seen too much pretentious works that tried to maneuver some “deep” meaning that it puts you off like that? xD

Overused, I’m not too fond of it, either. But with the start of each new Act (each Act having several longer chapters), I simply do it out of necessity. I’ve seen so many Fantasy novels where you get like 20 pages description of the world before the story begins, and I consider that mostly unnecessary and instead work with poignant snippets from side characters. That doesn’t “set the mood”, it shows part of the world to the reader, gives them knowledge that comes natural to the protagonists, who don’t elaborate on it because of it.

As I always say: done right, every tool is valuable.


Can I just say here that while ‘first draft’ may include numerous grammatical errors and other faults, it does not excuse lack of capitalization, punctuation and paragraphs?

I have no issues with someone getting a story hashed out ‘in the raw’ while the inspiration is there (although I can’t do that. :woman_shrugging:t5: ) But that isn’t a first draft, it’s a rough draft. To be a first draft, it needs to be in good enough shape to be read by an editor. And believe me, no editor is going to wade through a story with virtually no grammar.



And also, I’m against posting something on WP as a first draft. I mean, you can write as you go along (that’s what I’m going to do), but edit each chapter first. Please.


I am easy on punctuation. I just picked up Conan Doyle from the library to read to my daughter, and all the dialogues in that published book are using single ', with the quoted speech within those dialogue lines included in the actual quotes ". Which actually makes sense to me, given how much requoted dialogue his writing has.

Overall, the rules around the punctuation of the dialogues is fairly fluid, and is not normally taught - or taught to a different standard. I was taught to punctuate the dialogue like this, for example:

He said: “Something he said.” Overall, back when I was in school, in the last quarter of the last century, we used semicolons and colons with far less hesitation.

So, I pick up the proper modern punctuation from the books I read, and only after I was told I am doing it wrong.

M-dash & n-dash do not always form automatically in some software, and I am not sure I can wholeheartedly get behind being annoyed by – instead of the solid longer line. I think it is clear what the author is trying to accomplish.

My relationship with commas is complex and often adversary - I freely admit it. Grammarly messes it up as often as it helps with it. :frowning:


Yes, a lot of what you’re saying does not bother me. It’s more like this:

“Big long super song paragraph with multiple sentences. And thoughts. Words words words words words. Some more thoughts and sentences. Something hedging on an information dump, something something something. By this point, I’ve already figured out who is talking and that they are explaining something, but the end thought is still finished out like so,” she explained. (Either establish sooner or don’t at all).


“She said something.” She said. (Comma, no capitalization, please).

And so forth. The worst is this, will turn me off right away:

“And she said something!” she exclaimed. “This is a response,” he responded. She looked down. Hesitated. “Said something again.” He lightly touched her cheek. “Something,” he promised. (Like, learn when to indent!!! It’s not that hard).


I actually call exactly that my “first draft”, as the text I write first is often just my stream of consciousness that leads to THAT ONE SCENE I want to write in said chapter.

So I go over that text before I post it on Wattpad. Add descriptions of the environment when I see that I lack them, juggle around dialogue so it makes more sense etc.—that’s my first draft, even though it’s already edited.

Wattpad always messes up my em-dashes when I post! It is so annoying, I always have to go over my published chapters again, and Wattpad only ever catches the em-dashes when I publish them the 2nd time. :sob: