What are your “red flags” in books?


I see I see. Usually when I try to write my stories I do not use over the top names. I think the most bizarre one I used was Kane, Khan and Khan’te, but I made those on my own for triplets, (something that I really want one day).
Truly I am trying to figure this whole writing thing out. Any other suggestions? Especially on getting more reads


Social media helps a ton. Suggest people to your page and advertise your stuff outside wattpad. ^^


Ah, I don’t see that much, at least not with what I read. So this is OK then?

Thumping bass and wailing guitars force open my eyes.


Well, all clichés can be done well — I’m just putting that out there.

And yes, I think that’s fine. :slight_smile:


OK cool. That one really took me aback. Who knew an alarm clock was cliche? :rofl:


Basically any time a male writer describes or references a female character’s breasts.


I could see why that would be annoying. Us guys are jerks.


Frogs. Any amphibians, really.


Will give it a shot, thank ya very much.


I don’t think she’s worried about the original draft that’s on wattpad. Not when the story is already published on bookshelves and has a moving coming out.


Okay, this might be a ling one:

  1. Bad grammar/punctuation in the blurb. This is often a tell tale (is that the saying?) sign that the story isn’t going to be…academically pleasing? All I know is, when I see bad grammar and bad punctuation in the summary, I already know that the author doesn’t care.

  2. This is a personal thing and it only happens like 50% of the time, but bad covers? A lot of times when a story has a bad cover, the story is kind of bad too. This is EXTREMELY nitpicky, but it’s just what I’ve noticed recently.

  3. It’s been mentioned, but the alarm clock in the beginning. I don’t want to read “BRIIING BRIING.” No, just don’t. You’re not being original, you’re not being relatable anymore because it’s overused and unprofessional.

  4. Full songs in the middle of the story. I hate, hate, hate when an author put a full song in the writing. I don’t know if it’s to make the chapter seem longer, or what? But it’s baddddd.

That’s all I can think of right now, but there’s a lot more. I recently tried to read a story where the author wrote paragraphs as one long sentence. No periods, just commas. I was so sad because they tricked me with a good blurb.


Most of the things others have mentioned - and it’s a long thread :slight_smile:
Wattpad is a great showcase for all of them, but you find them all in trad published books, too.
Most recent peeves (because they’re in WP books I tried to read and couldn’t):

  • Instalove
  • The girl with all the gifts (and I don’t mean the book with that tongue-in-cheek title)
  • In a wilderness battleground, chased by wolves and ogres, just before killing three ninjas, said girl-with-all-the-gifts has time to check out her gorgeous long wavy red hair and green eyes in convenient pool of blood. That’s paragraph 3. The hunk with the six-pack appears in paragraph 6. Now you can stop, because the plot is clear.
  • teenage billionaire gang-leader bad boy werewolf alpha’s mate … that’s half of WP, right there.
  • Grammar, ignored. I’m not young enough to ignore that. And that’s 95% of WP, right there. A nice, quick filter, because it usually starts in the blurb. Maybe the only real value-add of trad publishing is the grammar filter. There’s plenty of cool and great imagination outside of trad, including with bad grammar.
  • On WP, blurbs that start with dialog. I never have to look inside, because it’s guaranteed to be bad. Bring it on, because it makes for a quick filter.
  • On WP, even one exclamation mark in the ~23 words of the blurb you see when skimming a hotlist. Bring 'em on, because they make for a quick filter.
  • Did I mention bad boy?
  • Red hair + green eyes … back on the shelf.
    'Nuf said.


Thanks for making me laugh. And YUSSS to half of WP being about nerdy werewolf billionaires or whatever. It’s scary. On the other hand - traditional publishing is no better. Or take the film industry. We’re getting one remake of a bestseller that remakes a bestseller which originally was a remake of an
We’re supposed to be creative, right?
Makes me wonder if there’s a curse on the tribe!


"My [xxx]'s [yyy]"

Where xxx and yyy can be any combination of:

  • best-friend
  • brother
  • sister
  • mother
  • father
  • step-dad
  • step-brother
  • cousin

Actually “My Best-friend’s Best-friend” sounds interesting… :sweat_smile:

Edit: It exists and is a K-pop fic… :upside_down_face:

  1. When a character is named a ‘slut’ for wearing little clothing/enjoying casual sex AND purely exists just to create tension between the the protagonist and the love interest. Discrimination is not cool, and being the supposed nerdy and clumsy protagonist does not make it okay.

  2. Unnecessary, mundane descriptions. If having a shower, brushing your teeth and picking an outfit for the day does not progress the story in any way, don’t include it in your book! I understand that this is a common trope for a lot of wattpad stories, hence why it’s easy to believe that’s how a good book should be written. To me it shows a lack of individuality and understanding of the story, where it is going etc.

  3. Lengthy sections of information at the start of the book that aren’t actually apart of the story. When I read a book, especially fiction, I shouldn’t have to study how the mechanics of a world works, or the names of fantasy creatures and what characteristics they have. The reader should be able to trust the author to provide such information, appropriately, throughout the narrative.

These are the three that first came to mind. There’s definitely more where that came from though, haha.


Me too. My books are on present tense. Care to share why it’s a red flag?


I’ve seen the term purple prose a lot around here. What does it mean?


From a dictionary: ‘writing that is too elaborate or ornate’

Here’s an example that I found on a blog. Something from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, I believe. Her writing is supposed to be a great source for examples of purple prose.

she lay upon her silken sheets in her ornately embellished robes of satin, her chest ascending and descending easily with every passing second, deep inside the caverns of her subconscious mind.

In other words, she’s asleep.

Given the popularity of Twilight, readers must love purple prose.


What?! :no_mouth:
I actually read Twilight ten years ago and in my native language, but I didn’t know Stephanie Mayer’s prose was like that! I’m actually shocked ahah


Hahahaha okay, yeah, that’s awful! So glad I never read Twilight.