To go back a bit to the original question, I do have a few things, that I will occasionally or even frequently skip over when reading. However, the things that make me stop reading a stor entirely are often very different. Sections with bad grammar or spelling, for instance, wouldn't be something I would skip but may make me stop reading altogether.. For this post, I'll stick to the first category - parts of the text, that I will skip or skim over:
Physical descriptions of the characters with the sole purpose of telling us how hot they are
My standards of beauty could be wildly different from the author's and in any case I'm perfectly able to imagine hot guys myself.. It mostly serves no purpose in the actual story. If it does, let it be communicated by how other people react to that person.
Descriptions of songs or even (ugh!) song lyrics.
Nothing pulls me out of a story quicker than an author telling me that this song really sums up that character, scene, or mood. I understand that to the author there might be an extreme and appropriate association with a piece of music (I have that for many things myself) but it really doesn't communicate well. Music is an extremely subjective thing. Don't use this as a shorthand for emotional impact. Earn my tears..
They frame the reading in an way that is often not helpful. If I see a mention of non-consensual sex in the first paragraph, my reading of that chapter is gonna be focused on this and all the work the author did on the other parts of that chapter could be wasted.. I realize that a lot of people find them very useful but I always avoid them. Whether they are a good thing or not in general is a much longer and much more complicated discussion. Let's argue about that another day.. 😉
Not all of them but frequently they are too long or too awkward or too poorly written. These criticisms are ones that I frequently have in well-reviewed bestseller printed books as well. As an example I love Pillars of the Earth but it has two of the worst sex scenes ever put to paper that feel SO out of character with the rest of the novel. It's simply really, really difficult to write sexy well. Smut is easy. A cursory examination of Nifty.org should prove that beyond any doubt, but writing something to be sexy and moving and still feel like an organic part of a novel is incredibly hard. To be honest, I have much the same problem with film and television. So many bad sex scenes.. Even without the saxophone music..
Author messages about their backgrounds for writing or how sorry they are about the delays
I'm sorry. I'm going to seem like such an asshole here, but I really don't want that in the story proper. If I'm truly invested in the story or find it sufficiently good I may seek it out, but even then I would prefer it contained to the comment section or the forums. And this goes both ways actually. If an author's real life caused certain delays in the publishing of an online romance novel, that's just the way it is.. They don't owe me anything. I have a right to feel frustrated that I won't get the resolution to a story, but I don't get to demand anything from the author..
All right. That should be more than enough to generate a reaction. 😉
These are my personal skips. I do not speak for the larger audience on GA in any way. Please don't feel that you have to appease me in your writing. Write for yourselves first, as someone else pointed out earlier in this thread.