Peevy DialogueBy Mari
In my mind, there is a very thin line separating quality dialogue from "trashy". It's not very common in YA but there is the odd book that contains this type of dialogue masked as teenage talk. The most common sources of Mari peeving dialogue are romance novels and my reading slump mind picks up every peevy phrase and freaks out over it. For instance:
".. he has suck-me-in blue eyes that wander over my body like he's seeing me with my clothes off."
-Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry
Ugh, I've been begrudging this terrible compilation of words for a day and a half now. I hate suck-me-in eyes. What are you trying to accomplish with this besides instalust? And if I think a guy I barely know is visualizing me naked, I run the heck away. Call me a prude, but that's a turn off for me.
Don't tell me about your character, show me
Speaking of pet peeves, it irritates me when authors don't show me character development. Telling me a character is fierce is not enough. You can't just say, "this character is shy" and then call that character development. It's lazy. I should infer qualities about a character-- whether they're fierce, brave, dangerous, as I read about what the character is doing. First, give me some proof. Give me lots of it. Then, you can have side character or alternate POVs remark on this. Otherwise, I read another character's description and instead of my own thoughts being affirmed, I become confused, then critical. Don't make me a critical reader. I hate being forced out of the story to contemplate authenticity.