What kind of story would you pay good money to never see again?
BW: That’s not a very good business model! I would never do that. Besides, just when I say I never ever ever want to see another Adam and Eve story, or a Hell Is A Bureaucracy story, or a Surprise! The Narrator is a Cat! story, a really good one will come along. I don’t like unicorn stories, for example, but Shimmer’s run three of them now.
SM: Any story where the characters are constantly addressing each other in dialogue. It drives me crazy and I can’t get through the story! No one talks like that in real life except infomercial hosts…
GL: My God, if I never see another “poor struggling author who is at the mercy of evil editors” story it’ll be … well, it’s already too late. My eyes, they burn! I mean seriously people, we’re all writers, we’ve all been there. What makes you think your frustration at not getting published is so special that the rest of us need to see it?
SW: I really dislike it when authors use their stories as substitutes for therapy. I know there’s a lot of attraction to writing characters with messed up psyches, and I do it all the time, but once the story starts touching on issues that the author has… it gets a little weird. You can tell if that’s what’s going on based on the writing, and I’ve never responded well to it.
KK: I feel like I should be able to snark on demand for this one, but I can’t think of anything. (I’ve already ranted about time travel and heaven vs. hell stories. Basically, your chances don’t improve when you’re starting with the same tired concept that a million other people have already used and been rejected for…) I suppose I’m most frustrated by stories that start with a really intriguing idea-germ and then plug the Neat Idea I Haven’t Seen Very Often Or At All into a standard plot. So I start out thinking “WOW, this is a great voice” or “WOW, you could really do some neat things with that,” which just means that the disappointment is that much worse when I get halfway through the story and find a big steaming pile of MEH in the middle of it. Yes, yes, drugs are bad, people like to get revenge, detectives solve crimes and fairy tales still end with fairy tale endings…
Next time: What stories do we not see enough of?