Examples of the Duh Factor:
- Rhetorical questions:
- What would you do if the fate of the world rested on your shoulders?
- If you were given a time travel machine, would you use it?
- If you had a choice between what you wanted and sacrificing everything you've ever known, would you do it?
- Inane statements:
- Stephanie never asked to be given super powers
- Lucas never wanted to be King but fate intervened
- Things never went Susan's way
- Vague statements or questions:
- Imagine what would happen if a young boy is suddenly transported to a world unlike he's ever known.
- Rocko's life is about to change in a really big way, and he won't see it coming.
- Obvious dialogue:
- Brian walked into the room. Sue was surprised to see him. "Brian," Sue said. "I'm surprised to see you."
- "I see you are drinking coffee with sugar. I know you always need your coffee in the morning before work."
- "Darcy, meet my friend Liza. We've known each other since second grade. She really likes cheese. You will like her."
- Dark Moon is a YA fantasy that will appeal to adolescent readers who like being transported to new worlds
- Red Desert is a NA mystery that will appeal to older teens 18-24 who enjoy mysteries
- Teddy Bear Gruff is an easy reader targeted towards kids 3-6 just learning how to read
- Normal (not "normal") characters:
- Becky is a sarcastic, bitter 17 year old girl
- Edgar is a quiet but sensitive bad boy who isn't interested in any of the shallow girls at school, until Amy, the pretty new girl, shows up
- Paul will do anything to save his family from the corrupt government, even if it means sacrificing himself
I know I'm missing some. So, please, share your own!
Anything that references the legendary "fiction novel." I've heard some agents will auto-reject on that phrase alone.
While I'm pretty sure I've avoided these, it is nice to have some hilarious concrete examples to work with.
Thanks for the tip.
Good tips. Thanks. I'm looking at mine with wide awake eyes now.
"She really likes cheese." *snort*
LOL *wipes tears from eyes*. Now my stomach hurts. I'm feeling better about my query. :)
LIVING IN A TERRIBLE FUTURE is a dystopian novel about living in a terrible future.
And LOL - i love the Pizza Hut sign! Good to know they don't just serve salad.
...and they had many adventures.
....and stuff happened.
I'm guilty of a variation of the "obvious." I'll put in every little detail of the dumbest thing (re: filler)
So instead of writing, "she grabbed a soda from the fridge,"
I'll have, "she walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door. She picked up a can of soda from the shelf. She closed the refrigerator door."
I always find it in my first drafts, so irritating.
I loved to hate your dialogue :)- the cheese bit was my favorite.
Let's see....oh, I've got one. I ALMOST put this in my query (in the final sentence) --
Unpredictable friendships will be built and dependable ones will be broken.
I'm reading this and rolling my eyes this instance! I'm so glad I saw the error of my ways before I clicked send :)
"If you had a choice between what you wanted and sacrificing everything you've ever known, would you do it?" Um... is there a third option? :)
Thanks for this, Vickie! Gave me a good laugh, plus, it's incredibly helpful. Sometimes you don't realize you're doing these things until they're blatantly pointed out. You rock!
I'm waiting for someone to say, "My book will appeal to people who enjoy reading."
*Grins* Thanks for sharing, Vickie!
I literally laughed out loud at some of those, but some, I had to squirm a little in my seat. :)
LOL! I agree with Amber. The cheesy line was my fave too!
And Carrie has a good one to add to the list. I'm running a blank here but I know there are tons more.
Great post! Thanks for making me smile.
I don't know about you guys, but I base my friendships entirely on whether or not a person likes cheese.
Great examples, Vickie.
To be fair, discussions about cheese are never inane :)
But great points--the ones that really make me cringe are when something happens and the author feels the need to immediately give a summary of it or explain it. "Bob stubbed his toe and sprawled on the pavement. He had tripped." Yes. Duh. He tripped. Even worse in a query when every word counts so much!
Thanks for the laugh! Thing is, a lot of times people don't realize how dumb sounding, or redundant, or vague something sounds until it's pointed out by someone else. Inane and vague statements (and I'm probably guilty of a few over the year and queries) are the worst.
Great post! The Pizza Hut picture made me laugh ;) Thanks!
I have a list of "duh" words at my blog. Tumultuous, for example. A tumultuous story. I sure hope so, because dull, plodding stories about nothing are out of style.
"Hilarity ensues." (I just love that phrase).
A lot of these come down to telling instead of showing, I think.
These were great and made me consider going over my writing.
I'd like to see examples of some of these statements revised.
"Her world was turned upside down."
Could be an intense sci-fi premise, or just inane synopsizing.
Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)
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