Thursday, July 7, 2011

Writing a Wrong

Only really good writers actually trying to be awful could write this wrong.

When the time came for Timothy to fly the nest, he felt the best years of his life were ahead of him, if only because he had spent the childhood ones living in a nest.

The mad muddy maelstrom of his mind meandered, mourned, and mulled, but did not mend or mollify his mood.

The double agent looked up from his lunch of Mahi-Mahi and couscous and realized that he must escape from Walla Walla to Bora Bora to come face-to-face with his arch enemy by taking out his 30-30 and shooting off his nemesis' ear-to-ear grin so he could wave bye-bye to this duplicitous life, but the chances of him pulling this off were only so-so, much less than 50-50.

Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before.
(I actually sort of like this one.)

With the broken sob of a candy mugged infant, Brett rolled across the bed into the recently vacated hollow - a depression created by the recently departed Maria.

She walked toward him, her dress billowing in the wind -not a calm and predictable billows like the sea, but more like the billowing of a mildewed shower curtain in a cheap motel where one has to dance around to avoid touching it while trying to rinse off soap.

Bad writing can teach us as much as good writing can.  And examples are always fun. not try this at home.  Multiple adjectives and bad metaphors can be addicting.


  1. I used to live super close to Walla-Walla!!!! (I've never been so excited about this fact before!) (Did you know that Walla-Walla onions are like the best ever?)
    And yeah, we can definitely learn from bad writing. I still prefer to fall in love with good writing, though. :)

  2. Too late. I've already tried it at home. I have a metaphor addiction. I'm getting therapy. It's called rejection.

  3. What bad writing? I have no idea what you're talking about.

  4. I'm with you. I kinda like the "chewing on a piece of a hiker" one.
    Ruh roh. I think that makes me either one sick puppy or a thriller writer.

    Ummmm...those aren't the same, are they?

    Great post!

  5. LOL oh so true! All of the above excerpts are great examples of over-writing and like you said, trying to write too well. Also known as being too literary. BEst to just keep it short, sweet, and easily understood. As the term goes, don't try adn be clever, be CLEAR.

  6. LG, LOL!

    Great post Marsha! I love the first one about Timothy and the nest. And I really mean that! It's hilarious. Maybe the author didn't intend it that way, but it's brilliant.

  7. Ha! Thanks for the chuckle.


  8. Haha, love the warning notice at the end.

    They make me think of novices pretending to be experts :P Though, it would be fun to try to come up with the worst descriptive metaphor for something... I might suggest that in my next creative writing class.

  9. Usually it's a bad writer trying to imitate a good writer...but failing miserably!


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.