Write about a heroine with impossibly long legs…who just happens to be five-foot-two. (It’s not scientifically possible, people…not sure why it keeps showing up in novels)
Have my heroine hear a suspicious noise in the woods/basement/attic in the middle of the night and run off without telling anyone to investigate, especially wearing only a nightie, and/or armed only with a broom/rolling pin/frying pan/high-heeled shoe.
Wax poetic about the hero’s velvet- and/or satin-covered manhood. (The words “penis” and “erection” are in my vocabulary and I’m not afraid to use them)
Have my heroine run away from the hero, who is protecting her from the villain, because hey, he’s not the boss of her and no one tells her what to do!
Have my heroine borrow clothes that are too tight across the bust. (Happens all the time in Romance Land, doesn’t it? Heroines never seem to borrow clothes that are too tight across the thighs or butt)
Have the main conflict in the story be a stupid misunderstanding that could be cleared up with one open, honest, adult conversation.
Have the fate of the world depend on the hero schtupping the heroine.
Confuse a bitchy heroine with a strong heroine. (The two traits aren’t interchangeable)
Head-hopping (It’s confusing and headache-inducing, and there’s maybe only 5 authors in the world who can pull it off successfully…and sadly, I ain’t one of them)
Write cliff hangers. (As a reader, few things piss me off more than a shameless attempt to force me into buying the next book in a series)