How to Make Your Readers Angry

Authors are crazy. They get some weird sort of sick enjoyment out of torturing their readers. That's not nice, is it? Try telling them that.

Authors make their readers angry and we all know how quickly that can go sour...well, if you're anything like me. I'm going to side with the readers today (you know me, I usually have a green foot in both camps) and talk about the ways writers make their readers angry.




1. Your favourite character dies.

No matter who I vouch for in a story...they die. It's getting frustrating. For fear of spoilers, I won't give you details, but least to say the authors of The Hunger Games, Divergent, Gone, (oh, the feels of Gone. *sheds green tears*) have tortured me to the point of -- well. You know.


2. Said favourite character dies without making up from that last heart-wrenching fight (usually with the other favourite main character). 

This is particularly gutting. No redemption. If you're going to die, you can at least go out without leaving hordes of guilty people who you fought with before your imminent doom.


3. Your favourite character goes insane. 

Peeta. About every single person in the Gone series goes insane. Understandably. Ender's Game? The author drove Ender bonkers. Since when is that okay?!?!!


4. The girl picks the wrong guy in the love-triangle. 

Sometimes I wish characters could hear what the readers are screaming at them. Then I must remind myself it's the psychotic author who is the REAL problem. In Matched, who were you voting for? I actually vote for Xander. And in Why We Broke Up...let me just say, I'm glad they broke up because she went for the wrong guy.


5. The end of the book DOESN'T RESOLVE ANYTHING. 

Three words: The Hunger Games. This is so cruel, particularly when there's no sequel. I can imagine the author's, laughing evilly to themselves at our pain. Loki. Don't get any ideas.


6. You're unsure who's actually alive or dead at the end of the book. 

Vagueness can be cool and trendy and all...but HECK. The least you can give a reader to hold onto at the end of the book, is a clear understanding of who survived.


7. The villain bites the protagonists finger off. 

First of all, ew. Second of all, just ew, okay? Who gave Tolkien the impression that this was okay?


8. The "perfect couple" break up. 

They spend the entire book getting together. First book ends: happy, lovehearts in the air, life is bliss. Second book? Let's break up the couple and turn their lives to misery! WHY? We readers were finally happy and comfortable.


9. The protagonist doesn't get there in time to save BBF/mother/father/sibling/love-interest from dying.

Cinder. Okay. Breathe in, breathe out. It's okay. I'm fine. But really, this happens constantly and why? WHY? What joy, oh authors, do you get from tearing out our souls?


10. When Hawkeye needs an eyeball. 

Um, Hawkeye? Don't shoot me? But seriously. That was disgusting. Even I'M not that gross (I just smash people, not extract their eyeballs for evil purposes). Nevertheless, I'm glad you're on the right side now, mate.








PS. Books that make the readers angry are usually the best books. I don't know why. It doesn't seem right.

PPS. I have to go. This post was far too stimulating. I think I'm about to --

Spending another 3 & a half hours at work tonight only 45 minutes after having done an 8 hour shift was not what I had planned for my evening really.Although watching a group of four blokes on the CCTV get covered in smoke & fall into a stack of Kopperberg did make me laugh considering.

18 comments:

  1. Okay. The finger thing. Ugh.

    And the not-making up thing. Nooooooo! You can't die now!

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    1. Yes, and yes. It's gutting enough watching Awesome Character die without knowing that they didn't SAY SORRY for that fight. *weeping in frustration*

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  2. Wow, Hulk, you really love romantic dystopian trilogies!

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    1. I have a very soft side. (And IS there a dystopian without a romantic love-triangle?)

      - Hulk

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    1. Oh good! I don't stand alone. ;)

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  4. I have to agree - the finger thing was gross. Just gross. But that's Tolkien; he is the father of epic fantasy and apparently finger biting.

    And four; I've actually gotten so sick of love triangles and girls always picking the wrong guy - I don't like to read books with them.

    Sigh, authors do know how to make us angry and we still love them. :)

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    1. Like I said, they do it for the psychotic enjoyment. Why else would they MAKE US SUFFER?!! Ah. *sigh* I suppose if author's consulted their readers there would be way to many happy endings and rainbow skies. Excuse me. I need to smash something.

      - Hulk

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  5. HAHAHA. Yes! This is like the best list I've seen. It's so true!! Dude yes TOLKIEN. I get that you're trying to show the desperation/madness of Gollum, but the finger? Really?! AND I love what you said about romance and just messing them up. Throwing in stupid arguements or breakups is like the most annoying thing ever. BAAAH. But it's so true what you said about those are the best. WHY WHY WHY?!?!?! It's something so painful about when our hearts are torn that we love the book. Ah well.

    And um, thanks? Sorry? *shrugs*
    --Hawkeye

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    1. *pats Hawkeye awkwardly on the shoulder* You're welcome, mate. (I'm practising my Australian too, by the way.)

      Maybe the YAvengers should avenge readers world wide and...knock some author heads together? Yeah. Mm. I can see how that wouldn't go down well. They might stop *gasp* writing.

      - Hulk

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  6. Hmm. Ender breaking down is actually one of my favorite parts of the book, second only to the few chapters where he's with Dragon Army.

    Gollum's finger-biting is pushing things a little.

    And I am sick of love triangles. I'm making it a point to include two hot guys that FMC CANNOT get with in a few of my stories.

    This is a fantastic list. :)

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    1. I think the perfect love-triangle is a girl + a guy + the fridge = perfection. They can stare goopily into each other's eyes and eat a sandwich. Why hasn't anyone written that yet? (And why is everyone so darn hot? As if.)

      Gollum's finger was TOO overboard. I mean. It was at that point in the movie that I actually said, "Okay, that's just freaking me out." Even the battles were okay-er then that.

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  7. Great post Cait!! Yes, the best books make readers angry... Hmmm. Something to think about.

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    1. Hehe...it was kind of fun. Okay. A LOT of fun.

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  8. Re: not knowing who is dead --

    The only reason I will read the sixth Game of Thrones book is to find out whether Jon Snow is alive. Seriously. I don't even care about anyone else anymore, I just need to know what happened. And if he is, I will be furious.

    Every time someone died in one of those books, I text Charley: "But are they really dead? Are they coming back?" And her reply was nearly always: "Trust not the squid boy!" (Which generally meant they were coming back.)

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    1. I felt that way ALL through Divergent and Insurgent. By the last chapters of Insurgent, it just got to a point where I had to find out who was going to make it through. It gets worse when...THERE'S A CHANCE IT WAS FAKE AND THEY DIDN'T DIE AFTER ALL. I mean. How are we supposed to live in this state of unknown?

      The squid boy, eh? Hehe...Charley. She's hilarious...!

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  9. Ummmm YES!! Authors USE THIS ADVICE!! We reaaally don't like it when this stuff happens in books. Yes we may end up living and maybe, possibly, not really be okay with it but we'd rather not have to go through it. Awesome post!!

    ~Taherah

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    1. Thaaaanks! The amount of time I've had to suffer through these occurrences....ohgosh. The bookish heartattacks. XD

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