Time has expired and the results are in. Although I didn't have a staggering turn out, 31 people shared their opinions on the points they find most annoying while reading. Here's how the votes were cast:
Head hopping = 5 (16%)
Too Many Tags = 2 (6%)
Repetition = 13 (41%)
Prologue = 0
Too Much Back story 5 (16%)
Cliches = 6 (19%)
Head hopping doesn't appear to be a big thing. Probably people have gotten used to it from reading Nora Robert's books. She does it with style and grace, in a manner that doesn't confuse you. It's an art.
Tags. I suppose I'm the one most bothered by those. It annoys me to read the character's name in every bit of dialogue, especially if there are only two people in the scene. I think I can follow without a road map of names. *smile*
The winner and most annoying writing habit appears to be repetition, and I agree. I detest reading the same thing in later chapters that's already been described earlier.
So, all those articles I've read that say avoid prologues might be true. Either people aren't using them anymore or they don't bother readers at all. Now I'm really confused.
Back story? It's essential as long as it propels the story forward and doesn't mire the reader down in useless information. I've read some books that offer so much 'history' that I scratch my head and say, "who cares?" At least one of them was my own, written before falling under the editorial whip.
As for me, I consider cliches a way of life and they don't bother me at all. I don't stop dead in my tracks when I read one, but boy, editors sure do. *lol*
Thanks to everyone who participated, and please leave your vote in the new survey.