Literary Pitfall #4782: Repeat-shit-itis

April 24, 2012     The Bluestocking Bookworm     Books, Random Thoughts

(And so launches my arbitrary number system)

This is something that bothers me enough that I needed to write and grump about it a little bit. I am still working on my list of what I like in a story, but this is most definitely something I do not like.

Repeat-shit-itis. The act of repeating something every few pages in your novel. It can be something small like the color of your main character’s eyes. It can be product placement. It can be the way your character feels. All three are annoying.

Your readers are smart. They will remember that your main character’s eyes are blue, if it is important to them. They will know that your character finds something annoying, or aggrivating, or that they are depressed or happy. Or whatever they are. Your readers don’t need to know about it every few pages. And product placement? Just don’t. It is annoying as hell, and there is no real reason for it.

I am currently reading Maze Runner by James Dashner. And it suffers from repeat-shit-itis of the third type. Every few pages, I read about the main character’s feelings on his kind-of amnesia. His feelings don’t change. But still, I have to read about it every few pages. I am already sick of it, and I am only 10 chapters in.

Other books that I have encountered with a severe case of repeat-shit-itis: Feed series by Mira Grant (though I still LOVE the books), Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire, Across The Universe by Beth Revis.

Repeat-shit-itis. Don’t do it.

2 responses to “Literary Pitfall #4782: Repeat-shit-itis

  1. I was liking this one romance novel until it became apparent that the heroine was dazzled by how beautiful the hero was in every chapter. I got tired of it and gave up.

    • Romance can be especially bad, I find. It is part of the reason there are only two true romance novels on my shelf. One was written by a friend’s mom and one was given to me for free. Muscular arms and chests are all well and good, but noticing them every other page gets a little dull.

      Thanks for commenting!

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