100 Ways to Write Badly Well

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Pan, Oct 1, 2012 - Humor - 224 pages

"His use of language, his ability to twist the narrative and turn the obscure into the profound is outstanding." – The Stage

Looking for a creative writing guide out there that will tell you how to write better? A book to tell you how to structure a perfect plot, create great characters, use language in a powerful and poetic way? This is not that book.

100 Ways to Write Badly Well is an adventure in drivel. It will teach you how to botch a plot, how to create characters that no one in their right mind would identify with and how to reduce the beauty of the English language to an incoherent mush.

Using one hundred practical examples, each awful in its own unique way, blogger and creative writing tutor Joel Stickley will lead you methodically up the creek and carefully remove your paddle before running off and leaving you stranded. The route is lined with mixed metaphors, terrible plot twists, piles of adjectives and characters staring at themselves in mirrors for no apparent reason.

Based on the popular blog and live comedy show How To Write Badly Well, this book is an invaluable guide to the art of awful writing that no would-be author should be without. Remember – if a thing's worth doing badly, it's worth doing badly well.


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Have everything happen suddenly
Present your research in the form of dialogue
Commit to your genre
Fail to contextualise dialogue
Pick the wrong hero
Use semicolons because you think they look good not because you know how they work
Explain the plot all at once
Write from multiple points of view within a single

Cast childrens stories exclusively with orphans

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About the author (2012)

Joel Stickley is the author of the hit blog How To Write Badly Well, which has dispensed bad advice to over half a million visitors since its launch. With long-time collaborator Luke Wright, he wrote the book Who Writes This Crap? which The Guardian called "an inspired piece of parody," and the animated film Crash Bang Wallow, which won the NFBC Short Film Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. He is Poet Laureate for the UK county of Lincolnshire and teaches creative writing at the Open University.

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