1. Dialogue tags.
"I'm not kidding about this one," I said seriously. "It seems like EVERY author in the world uses dialogue tags. But I can't even tell you how many times I've read editors and agents dumping on authors for using them. Figure it out, people! Yes or no!"
2. Passive voice.
Yeah. Right. Sure, you get rid of it where you can, but loads of books are still rife with passive voice. And these are often books that I like a great deal. They are frequently written by authors for whom I have the greatest respect.
3. Show don't tell.
I've had it up to my eyeballs with this one. How many books do I read that contain a paragraph blurb about every character at some point, pretty much telling us what we should think/feel about said character? OK. So Cormac McCarthy actually follows this rule. But almost no one else does ...
4. Don't shift POV.
This rule is so widely mocked and ridiculed, it needs therapy. And I'm not even talking about authors who write from multiple POVs. I'm talking about the dreaded "head hopping" or shifting briefly into omniscient POV to give away plot points that would otherwise be very difficult to get across.
5. Don't rely on coincidence.
And again, ha ha. Personally, I think it's just lazy plotting. If only my life had so many fortunate coincidences ...
I'm sure there are others, but these are just the obvious ones to hop to mind. The sad thing is, indoctrinated as I am, I'll still strive not to do any of this stuff as a writer, even while wallowing in it as a reader.