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How To Write Badly Well
October 10, 2009 10:01 AM   Subscribe

How To Write Badly Well
After years of running poetry workshops, writing editorial reports and teaching creative writing classes, I finally realised what I had been doing wrong – people didn't want advice on how to improve their writing. They just wanted to know how to write badly really well. This blog is for them.
posted by him (14 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by filthy light thief on October 22, 2009: How To Write Badly Well

See also How Not to Write a Novel.
posted by Obscure Reference at 3:20 PM on October 10, 2009


Thanks OR, I'll check that out. Not sure if it's made it to the UK, but I'll see if I can get my hands on a copy.
posted by him at 2:45 AM on October 11, 2009


UK version. Sandra Newman publishes more in the UK than in the US.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:29 AM on October 11, 2009


You make my head hurt! Seriously. The samples are like trying to find the picture in the hidden poster. They make my eyes go all wonky.

My tricks, limit myself to no longer than 10 minutes per writing session, and never edit after the 10 minutes is up. Surprisingly, this works better than you'd think.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:34 AM on October 11, 2009


This is epic. More! More!
posted by RokkitNite at 4:02 PM on October 12, 2009


Thanks Rokkit. The plan is to post a new tip every Friday until such time as I forget, then remember a few weeks later, then feel embarrassed that I forgot, then shut the whole thing down and pretend it never existed.

You know, the usual journey of a blog.
posted by him at 12:39 AM on October 13, 2009


You're taking these examples from MetaFilter comments, aren't you?

Not MY comments...?
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:21 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm disappointed to realize that these are all your own work, and not harvested from the fertile fields of actual fiction workshops.
posted by cmyr at 8:33 AM on October 15, 2009


Very Biercey vibe from the "rhyme scheme" one.
posted by decagon at 9:08 AM on October 15, 2009


I'm disappointed to realize that these are all your own work, and not harvested from the fertile fields of actual fiction workshops.

I know. Examples wouldn't necessarily have been that hard to come by, but it seemed too much like a legal and moral minefield.
posted by him at 9:21 AM on October 15, 2009


That mixed-tense example, well, it COULD be for a time travel novel.

So, yeah, it is writing badly. :)
posted by sandraregina at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2009


You're on the front page of delicious today. Congrats.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2009


Wow – thanks for the heads-up. The blog has also managed to get 13,000 views on StumbleUpon and a mention on Kottke since I posted it here. What can I say? Thanks, MeFi!
posted by him at 2:28 PM on October 27, 2009


Excellent. Reminds me a bit (in a good way) of a more-generic Digested Reads.
posted by primer_dimer at 5:31 AM on October 28, 2009


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