Instructions On How To Write Badly

Insert descriptions that may detract from the ongoing story:

Gripping her brand new brown coloured Luis Vuitton bag tightly, Nandita rushed out of her three bedroom Alaknanda flat, banging the newly polished mahogany front door loudly…

Write as you speak:

‘”She wasn’t there at home, it’ll be later when I’m going to call”

Punctuation is for idiots:

Each night you stay at our world famous spa at the fully published rate you will be entitled to a special discount at our fine dining Indian restaurant The Santoor.

Describe every character in minute detail:

Ram shifted his weight, the weight he had steadily gained over the last five years on a steady diet of dark chocolates and whiskey and which showed no sign of diminishing, while he soaked his tired and aching feet in a tub of lukewarm water. His feet had always been a source of irritation to him, imbued as they were with a mysterious capacity to ache at odd and unrelated times. The aches and pains were not new and were not related to his weight gain. This had been the case since the age of about 15 when his father had bought him his first pair of black formal shoes from Gata. Within a week, he had callouses and the aches had begun.

Suddenly the front door opened and his wife Monica, who was the Vice President of Client Servicing at XYZ Advertising in charge of the prestigious Calorie Cola account, walked in wearing her black patent leather stilettos.

Use buzzwords like ‘teamwork’, ‘validate’, paradigm’ and ‘focus’ wherever possible:

“analysis and validation of support strategies for customer satisfaction parameters”

Buzzwords are especially good when writing mission statements…

Always use adverbs even when they are not necessary:

Joseph Little’s new book is truly unique.

Authors you should read:

Danielle Steel:

“She wore a dress the same color as her eyes her father brought her from San Francisco” – Star

Stephen King:

“Even before the deal with Straker had been consummated (that’s some word all right, he thought, and his eyes crawled over the front of his secretary’s blouse), Lawrence Crockett was, without doubt, the richest man in ‘Salem’s Lot and one of the richest in Cumberland County, although there was nothing about his office or his person to indicate it.” – Salem’s Lot

Dean Koontz:

“Eighteen years ago, on the night of her eighth birthday, in a seaside cottage on Key West, Chyna had squirmed under her bed to hide from Jim Woltz, her mother’s friend. A storm had been raging from the Gulf of Mexico, and the sky-blistering lightning had made her fearful of scaping to the sanctuary of the beach where she’d retreated on other nights. After committing herself to the cramped space under that iron bed, which had been lower slung that this one, she had discovered that she was sharing it with a palmetto beetle. Palmettos were not as exotic or as pretty as their name. In fact, they were nothing more than enormous tropical cockroaches.” – Intensity

Barbara Taylor Bradford:

“An ineffable tranquility hovered over the villa, was broken only occasionally by the intermittent sounds of the staff going about their duties: the whirr of the vacuum, the faint birdlike chirpings of the maids as they dusted adjacent rooms, the echo of the butlerยดs brisk tones issuing orders, the click of a door closing, the patter of distant busy feet. Gradually these individual noises were beginning to merge, flowed together to create a vague and muffled hum that hardly intruded at all on her gentle peregrinations through the labyrinth of her mind.” – Voice of the Heart

[For more examples of fantastic writing, go to The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest website]

I am the author of these examples…I didn’t have to try hard writing them as bad writing comes naturally to me, but I am a good reader and these are some of the things I don’t like reading…


25 thoughts on “Instructions On How To Write Badly

  1. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I don’t need instructions to write badly , it comes naturally ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ah, but you my friend are the best writer I know so bad writing does not come naturally to you…I, on the other hand, make all the mistakes a good writer shouldn’t ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  2. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bones – it’s the same with me – I end up doing all this and notice them as soon as I read them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bad writing does come naturally to me too ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    What are you talking about? If you think you write badly, then I shouldn’t be blogging at all…Anyway, blogs are different…I don’t know how some authors get published…


  3. Have you read “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”? Great fun. And it has loads on my two pet peeves in writing – misplaced commas and apostrophes.
    Nope, I haven’t read it…I’ll try to get my hands on it…


  4. Come come Bones , flattery on the first count and very wrong on the second !
    Seriously, you are good and funny…Ask anyone…I always wondered why you didn’t try your hand at copy writing…


  5. This is very very educative, I am a bad writer and a bad reader as well…. hence proven. I think the bad writing follows from my bad reading, since i now realise, i don’t even observe the mistakes while reading. ๐Ÿ˜› OMG… how often have you been spotting my bad writing Sraboney? Please feel free to point them out always, atleast that way I might have a fair chance to improve. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    No GM, you write well…My post refers to published works


  6. Lol!
    You should read Sidney Sheldon! It’s really awful! ๐Ÿ˜€
    hehehe! I’d a good laugh! Really! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I’m glad…I was trying to be funny…How do these people get published?


  7. Actually, if you do all this in a manner that is unpredictable and weave it without planning or thought into an exotic story that tells the world without saying as much how rotten India actually is, you might just get the Booker!
    Ah, you really have it for Ms.Roy!
    Her affidavits are also ‘lyrical’…Eg. “If the Court uses the Contempt of Court law, and allows citizens to abuse its process to intimidate and harass writers, it will have the chilling effect of interfering with a writer’s imagination and the creative act itself. This fear of harassment will create a situation in which even before a writer puts pen to paper, she will have to anticipate what the Court might think of her work. It will induce a sort of enforced, fearful censorship. It would be bad for law, worse for literature and sad for the world of art and beauty.”[link:…What does one learn from this? If you don’t have substance, use language to confuse the reader…


  8. Poor punctuation really gets my goat!

    And I know that exclamation marks will be my nemesis one day ๐Ÿ˜›
    I too have a problem with exclamation marks!


  9. YOu’d be surprised how many clients want ‘bad’ writing – the overwhelming use of adjectives, adverbs, et al. But again, that is mostly marketing copy and can hardly be classified as high literature. But as a professional writer, I can say with conviction, that I am adept at bad writing as and when required! As for ‘good’ writing – if I was sure I was good at it, I’d be a published author by now! :p


  10. Bones, I see that you read me just before writing this. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Arre bhai, you are good writer and have a way with words…I wish I could write like you…Like I commented earlier, this pertains more to published works and not blogs…


  11. For the same reason I avoided writing stories and wanted to improve my English before writing them but my English didnt improved so continued writing again ๐Ÿ™‚ actually I couldn’t distinguish whether a sentence is grammatically right or not. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ its
    Your English has improved since you started writing so please don’t stop


  12. dont tell me about this… after the last fiction piece I wrote and me got Pallu to edit it… when I received her opinion I was like shocked… !!! lol.. !!!
    You communicate well, that’s the important thing…


    • I do ?? aha.. !!! :mrgreen: dont you know I am a wrong guy to be told anything nice.. !! lol…

      no but seriously I aspire all of a sudden to do some fiction work.. at times I am amazed how writers describe places minutely and build up a whole scene in our imagination… !!! I would love to do soemthing like that some day !!
      Try writing…You never know what you are capable of unless you try…Good luck!


  13. I blame The Times of India for my hair fall! Every morning I practically tear the hair out of my scalp at their grammatical and other errors. Rahul Varma who was murdered on the first page will be Rahul Sharma on the fourth page !! Ha ha!


  14. Just as I was thinking that I don’t need instructions on writing badly, you give me a list of a few more things I didn’t know. But I suppose where blogs are co0ncerned, the sincerity of feelings or the honest desire to share one’s thoughts or opinions makes the readers overlook the flaws in writing.


  15. Hmmmm………

    That is interesting.

    In India, we have evolved a very distinct flavour of English and would definitely not meet a propah Englishman’s approval.

    Many authors try to get into difficult prose just to show off their command over the language. I do not know if this is a virtue or not.

    The important point is communication and if that is complete….who cares abt correctness or otherwise…

    You write well yourself and your posts do not have any of the defects mentioned in your post.


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