A pet peeve of mine, summarized best in somebody else's word from another board:
My thought on writing is that if no one can understand it, you've failed. If people are still trying to understand what the [heck] you were on about years after publication, you've failed. Writing is communication - you can have all the deep'n'meaningful shite you wish, but make sure there's a story there to back it up.
Point is, a lot of people try too hard to incorporate "deep" and "meaningful" themes into their stories, and think themselves clever. Confront them with a "What drug were you on when you wrote this pretentious tripe?" and they'd tell you in a roundabout way that "Your pre-Homo habilis
brain cannot possibly understand the magnitude of my intellect and deep, deep philosophy!" I quite frankly think this is the case with a number of overrated, overhyped "classical" literature. And I don't care what awards they've won, be it Pulitzer, Booker or even Nobel. Some neophyte writers follow suit, and usually, the lecture/sermon/didacticism found in the writing is there to thinly cover the utter lack of actual plot or characterization. So don't look down on your readers; don't try to brush off comments and impose your delusions of granduer on dissenting opinions. Chances are that you are
deluded as hell and need to wake up.
Which brings me to another point.
Never write angst for the sake of angst. Don't let your character wallow in self-pity or soul-searching for pages and pages where nothing happens. Most sane, discerning people don't want to read about conversations and inner monologue that go nowhere except to give the character to revel in his/her/its depression. That seems to be the case with various teenagers, by the way, who just love
telling the whole world how miserable, depressed, or "insane" they are. (See example
here.) This can spill right into their writing, and they often think it makes things "full of soul" and will drag the melodrama throughout chapter after wretched chapter. It's not cute, it's not amusing, and the only thing I want to do to these angsty characters is to deliver a slap to the head. We have the name for these self-centered twits, you know, which is "drama queens."