Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s prompt from Top Ten Tuesdays is a seasonal one — a Hallowe’en themed freebie. So here’s some things that scare me in books… perhaps not all traditionally scary.

  1. When you just know a character is going to make the wrong decision. You know better than them, or you’re just smarter than them, and you can see them about to make a big mistake…
  2. Tense moments in books in third person/multiple first person. You know the character can actually die, because they haven’t had to survive to tell you the story!
  3. Knowing something a character doesn’t. Especially when there’s miscommunication going on. This one ranges from heartbreaking to embarrassing…
  4. Temptation. You know, like Frodo with the One Ring. Gaaah. You can’t help them because they’re allegedly not real. You just have to watch.
  5. Atmospheric moments. Suddenly, you’re getting a description of the weather, the atmosphere, the darkness pooling between the street lights…
  6. When you know an author is not afraid to kill characters. Scott Lynch, I can’t trust you.
  7. When a character betrays principles for a dubious higher cause. Aka the entirety of The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Gah.
  8. Revelation to another character. “I accidentally killed your best friend and we fell in love and now I’m telling you that and you’re going to hate me.”
  9. Misunderstandings. Like the above, only someone doesn’t stay to hear the full story, or somehow something else garbles the story.
  10. That moment when you hear it’s going to be a movie. Right?

Yep, I’m a giant wuss and I’m not really into actually scary books, so a Hallowe’en theme for me was a bit of a stretch!

22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. I can so relate to all your points. The first one, it’s like you KNOW, you can feel it in your bones that they’re about to make a mistake and you can’t do a single thing about it. The frustration!
    BTW, I love your idea for this week’s list! 🙂

  2. 6, 9, and 10.
    It hurts when I begin to care for a character and she later dies and it becomes a recurring thing.
    Misunderstandings irk me.
    And movies are always somehow off mark, except the Princess Bride and Beloved.
    Here’s my TTT list.

  3. I’ve been mulling the first person / third person thing, as I’m pondering whether to restart the project I tried for last year’s Nanowrimo and write it in first person instead. It’s a horror story, and I don’t really want the reader to feel safe / as if my main character will necessarily survive.

    How important is it in a first person narrative that the question “how is the story being told / who to” is answered? Diaries, journals, blogs, letters… they are all a bit of a stretch for novel-length tales anyway. Then again, can I write a first person tale where the narrator comes to a bad end?

    I’m sure there must be other stories that do that – use first person for the immediacy and then kill off the narrator anyway – aren’t there?

    (At one perverse moment, I even contemplated whether I should try and write the project in first person present tense, but I think that would probably not work.)

    Third perso or first person, that is the question.

    • It’s a pet peeve of my friend Lynn’s, which she passed onto me. I just… can’t help reading a first person story and going “but how can you be telling me the story??” or “why would you be telling me?”

      (I actually like first person present tense, but usually just for short pieces.)

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