Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction

Writers: Have You Annoyed Anyone Lately?


A writer’s characters cannot all be perfect, because if they were it would be quite annoying.

We need to create conflict to keep our stories and our characters real and interesting. Conflict doesn’t happen when everyone is nice to each other all the time. Boredom happens. Conflict creates drama and tension. Boredom creates naps. And then you get nightmares starring Mike Lindell from My Pillow.

When I first began to look more closely at my stories, I saw that many of my main characters were nice, maybe a little too nice. Perhaps, because I find a lot of annoying people in my real life, I subconsciously didn’t want them to show up in my books. Powerless to change them in real life, maybe “editing” their  personalities made me feel powerful in fiction.

Upon further study of my work, I realized I did indeed have one very annoying person in my novels. It was the protagonist. This discovery excited me. I felt vindicated.

Annoying FloHowever, I noticed something else. Since my novels are written from a first person point-of-view, often my protagonists are a lot, well, like me.

Ergo, I am annoying. Often, I want to slap my protagonist (ergo, me) for being so stubborn, so angry, so impatient,  so prideful, so petty, so slow to get it (ergo, me).

Like right now. How annoying is it to use the word “ergo” three times in one paragraph?  Sheesh.

I’m asking my readers, “What do you find annoying in an author or a story?” Let me know . . . please . . . so I will stop doing it.

5 thoughts on “Writers: Have You Annoyed Anyone Lately?

  1. Please don’t stop writing your quirky characters.


  2. I find Mike Lindell annoying, but I kind of like Flo. She has so much aplomb. She is a real role model!
    Some of the things that annoy me in writing are the typical, an unaccompanied female entering a building when she was warned not to. Happens a lot in gothic romances, it’s one of the conventions, but shouldn’t necessarily happen in other genres. Another thing that annoys me is too much exposition. This happens a lot in long-running series. My kids used to read The Babysitters’ Club and it was a great series for kids, but it took half the first chapter to introduce everybody.
    What a fun post but honestly, if you did annoy me, do you think I’d TELL you?


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