Annie’s Unpopular Opinions

Hiya folks!  Today’s lil post is about my opinions regarding book and writing-related things or ideals with which I don’t agree.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t lay in bed until 12:30 AM yesterday watching these videos on YouTube, so I’m going justify my binge-watching by calling it “research” for this post.

Regardless, I’ve got unpopular opinions on the mind and I’m going to share a few of mine today.  Okay, let’s do this and see if all my “research” paid off.

  • I don’t like the word “bookish.  I feel like I’m committing a literary sin by putting this on the Internet.  I have no factual basis for this one, but I don’t like the sound of it.
  • I hate outlining.  I know that outlining has a lot of benefit, but I’ve found that it hinders my creative process–I’d rather write in the moment and clean up the mess in editing.
  • Try as I might, I can’t get into Sarah Dessen.  I find her writing too fluffy and unrealistic for my tastes.  I like my books with a little more grit and a little less cotton candy than Dessen has to offer.
  • I love “destroyed” books.  I write in books, I dog-ear pages, I’m not phased my water damage, and I don’t flinch when I rip a page.  I think these little imperfections give a book character and it’s one of the reasons I prefer buying used books over new copies.
  • While the “princess in YA-dystopia” trope is way overdone, I’m still not over it.  I guess I never really grew out of my princess phase.  If I wasn’t writing a YA-thriller at the moment, you can bet I’d be writing a book about a princess in a dystopian society.  You want to talk The Selection or The Lunar Chronicles?  I’m your freakin’ girl.  This trope is my guilty pleasure, so if you have any recommendations of books like this, help a girl out and let me know.
  • I use a thesaurus.  I’ve seen a lot of people advise against using a thesaurus in effort to avoid sounding ostentatious, but I think it’s too helpful a resource to be put on the bench.  I suffer from chronic I’m-trying-to-think-of-a-word-and-I-know-the-first-letter-but-I-can’t-think-of-the-damn-word syndrome, so is my best friend.
  • I’m not a fan of fantasy.  While I’ll read whatever you put in front of me, I prefer books that have some basis in realism: even if this plot is totally unrealistic and unrelated to the world in its current state, could this book plausibly happen?  I prefer books whose answer is “yes.”
  • I have very little interest in reading screenplays.  I appreciate the way you can learn about a character through dialogue (and the extreme way one does that when reading a screenplay), but I feel like you lose so much descriptive power when you’re dealing with solely dialogue.
  • I don’t let other people read my work until it’s done.  When other people read my stuff prior to its completion, my inner critics rear their ugly heads.  The only person who has ever read my novel is my independent study advisor and I’m perfectly fine with that because my writing is about me and what I envision.  (You can read about my independent study in Novel Writing here).  There is a surplus of opinions in this world and I’ll get them when I’m ready.

So that’s it!  Please remember that my opinions are exactly that: my opinions.  If you agree with me, fabulous!  If you don’t agree with me, also fabulous!  Either way, let me know what y’all thought in the comments or by filling out the form on my Get in Touch page.  And don’t forget to head over to my Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Wattpad to show some social media love <3

XO, Annie

48 thoughts on “Annie’s Unpopular Opinions

  1. Great post.

    I so agree with the princess in YA fantasy trope … I love it so much and may never tire of it. I also love the “runs away from arranged marriage” trope and the “falls in love with guard” trope and … I could go on and on lol

    Thesaurus is my best friend! I suffer from the same … What is that word … syndrome as you.

    Other people reading/seeing my incomplete work is a HUGE no-no for me too. I get really critical of myself. It’s not cute.

      1. It’s always difficult to take an overused idea and make it really fresh.

        But … Oh, does that sound like something I would be totally into reading though! All my favorite tropes together in a short story. You have to make it a hate-to-love romance though to really make it the full Frankie’s favorite tropes list lol <3

  2. Hi, Annie! I always appreciate your posts but I especially enjoyed this one! Mind if I share some of my opinions on these awesome topics? 🙂

    “Bookish” is definitely a bit of a strange word to me. Though a little cute, I like to keep the word “books” for books.
    Ya know what? I HATE OUTLINING TOO. I mean, I hate it. I want to try and write a novella (good luck, me), but I’m not outlining anything past a general chapter summary, just so I know the story (cuz ya can’t write a story without a story 😉 ).
    I have no idea who Sarah Dessen is, but I agree that I prefer grit over cotton candy. 😀 I recommend A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith for something honest and realistic, yet touchingly whimsical. It’s one of my favorite books ever, but I’ll stop now before it turns into a rant. (Notice how early I had to stop myself??? 😉 )
    I have a couple destroyed books myself. I try to keep my books nice, but if they get wrecked, it makes them even more mine, and I’m a selfish person, so…
    I’m not familiar enough with princess in YA-dystopia trope to have an opinion in that regard. Your YA-thriller sounds pretty cool, though!
    YES THESAURUS. I use mah dictionary more, but those moments when you have to avoid repetition and need all the synonyms of a word you can get your hands on – that’s when I need thuh thesaurus.
    I AM a fantasy lover, but mostly because of J.R.R. Tolkien. He’s da man. 😉 Otherwise, I prefer contemporaries. Very soon, though, I’d like to try reading some magical realism, which seems like an intriguing in-between genre.
    Yeah, no, not screenplays… when I read something, I want there to be more than just the story. Screenplays don’t leave room for description, like you said. I make little skits with my friends and enjoy writing screenplays, but like you said [again], I want more than just dialogue.
    I’ve never written a large enough piece of work to have to deal with people who want to read it before it’s done. I write mostly contemporary short stories that are a few hundred words, and those don’t take a lot of time. But lately, I haven’t been showing first drafts to people as willingly as I used to. I like to make it the best I can make it on my own and then get other opinions.

    Well, those are my thoughts. I agree with you on pretty much all these subjects! 😀 Thanks for the post!

  3. omg I love destroyed books too! I never keep mine in pristine condition, it just looks like you don’t love them (in my opinion). And I’m not that of a fan of Sarah Dessen either! I’ve read a couple of her books, but only really enjoyed one of them

  4. I agree with most of these! In particular, the thesaurus one. I literally only use a thesaurus when I KNOW the word I want to use but cannot remember it–which happens all the time to me. I also dislike the word “bookish” but it’s growing on me a little bit, mostly because it gets used so much.

    1. lol you’re welcome 😂 that was my fear about putting that in my post since so many people have bookish in their blog titles but your blog is so fabulous that I can get over myself and read it 🙂

  5. The only Sarah Dessen book I have read is Saint Anything, and whilst I liked that a lot, I do not feel inclined to read any more of her books – they don’t appeal to me. If I read a YA/A contemporary, I prefer something with meaning; hard-hitting subjects that make you more aware of the world. I like the odd fluffy contemporary but it’s not my go-to genre.

    I find a thesaurus a valuable resource whenever I sit down to write. I’m prone to repeating the same words, especially in one paragraph so I need to remind myself of those synonyms.

  6. I love this post!
    I am also a fond believer in not showing anyone my story until it is completed (at least the first draft!). As Stephen King says, “write the first draft with the door closed.” I like the idea of the story being my own, and if someone sees it and offer their opinions, it likely will influence my work. However I do believe in involving others in the editing process.
    I am an outliner. Otherwise I would be lost! I think we all have different processes that works for us.


  7. Well we seem to have the same unpopular opinions then, girl! 😂 I didn’t know all these things about myself until reading this post, haha. Although I will say that a nice fantasy book from time to time really delights me, and sometimes I’ll let others read my writing before it’s done, but that usually ends up being more awkward than not. ‘Bookish’ is a strange word, isn’t it? And thesauruses are SO helpful! However I don’t have a copy of one, I’ll just look up ‘synonyms for ____’ lol! Loved reading this post ❤️ and all of your post titles are fantastic!!

  8. hey, i suffer from that syndrome too. thesaurus, so far, is my preferred drug. i also like the lunar chronicles, but i’ve never been able to finish the third book on the selection series. i disagree with the fantasy angle, life is full of ugly realism and a little fantasy that let’s you dream of something different, takes you to a different place is good for the soul.

  9. We have a lot in common! I believe that books with imperfections aren’t ruined, but instead have character.
    I’m the same exact way with a thesaurus, and I also hate outlining, although I do it a little bit but not nearly as much as other people, mainly to keep the plot points in my books in line and leaving no holes.
    I don’t mind the “princess in a dystopia” trope, mainly because I’m writing a book about a princess in a fantasy setting! lol and as such i do like fantasy, of course. i find it easiest to write because i don’t have to worry about researching as much, and the only limits are my own imagination, so i can truly tell a story freely.
    Aaaand I also don’t like letting other people read my work!
    Great post, can’t wait to read more from you 🙂

    -Helene <3

  10. I wish I wasn’t so uptight and could better embrace messy. I was taught never to write in my books, particularly my Bible, and those are hard habits to break. Yet the well loved books which come to my hands through the school library, the ones the kids had dinner over and went to bed with after they took them into the bath, are a treasure!