Friday, July 6, 2012


Light no fires
There's a new craze sweeping the Twittersphere.  Somebody wrote a short blog (which I now can't find) offering a tongue-in-cheek bad writing tip. Twitter has gone wild with enthusiastic tweets offering more bad writing advice, and bloggers and feature writers have weighed in with their versions.  I've collected some of the tweets and put my own spin on them.

Start every second sentence with "Suddenly ..."

Use really, really long words, even if you don't know what they mean – readers won't know either but it will seem intelligent.

Give your characters names that clearly indicate whether they are good or bad, like Pollyanna Smith or Hannibal Lecter.

Your characters names should all start with the same letter.

There are lots of plots out there so just borrow one, it saves having to think.

All words ending in S should have an apostrophe in front of them. You might be right about a third of the time, and near enough is good enough when writing.

End all chapters with "then he woke up!"

When your characters are in the middle of fast-paced action of some kind, have them stop to enjoy the sunset.

Your first thoughts are your best thoughts, so don't bother to re-read and re-write your manuscript, it's a waste of time.

Don't bother to punctuate properly – make the readers work out what you're trying to say. If they stumble it's their fault.

Think of at least a thousand ways to write "he said" and use all of them.

The first four chapters of your novel should be back-story and scene-setting, without action or dialogue.

Writers know best, especially new writers. Don't let editors, publishers or agents tell you to change a single precious word.

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