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Lost World
11-20-2009, 12:11 AM
Have you ever purposely written something horrible as a feature in one of your stories? Here follows such a snippet from one of my short stories. Background: the man writing this bit of muck is trying to pen a fantasy novel, but he sucks at writing, as you'll plainly see....

Lord Snave heard someone shouting his name over the rancorous clashing of battle. It was Heathcliff his faithful squire. “Lord Snave!” Heathcliff yelled loudly “Kronac’s forces are filling in the mote!”

Snave raises a fist. “Damn him!” He ran over, following Heathcliff to the far side of the castle. Sure enough Kronac’s men were toiling with shovels and even their bare hands, filling in the moat. Snave bent down and snatched a crossbow from one of his own dead men. He leaned out between the protective stones and fired, and he took out one of the enemy.

“Fire men!” Snave yelled out to his soldiers about him on the walls. “Stand together like a band of brothers!” Snave was struck in the chain armor beneath his plate mail by a crossbow arrow bouncing off a stone. “My lord!” Heathcliff cried alarmed. He rushed to his masters side.

Snave pushed him away roughly. He reached up and grabbed the arrow gritted his teeth and pulled it out of his shoulder. He uttered one fierce grunt, then it was over. He was cheered by his men for such manly bravery. "They’ll never take us! Not so long as I draw a breathe!” Snave addressed his men, who shouted confidently and turned back to shooting people down on the ground.

“Fire!” someone yelled. Snave looked up and saw a flaming missile flying over his wall to crash down in his courtyard. The flaming barrel exploded and the flames covered his great hall. Snave’s serving peasants and wenches ran from the building. “No!” Snave shouted when he saw Tallulah the serving wench he’d been bedding scurry from the hall covered in flames. He smelt her burning hair.

“No!” Snave shouted again in grief. He tossed his leg over the wall and was ready to leap down into a hay cart to help his love. Then he heard Heathcliff babbling once again. “What!”

“Me lord! Kronac wishes to speak with me lord!” Snave looked down into his courtyard where his beloved lay writhing in flames. He pounded his breast and fought back his tears. “Oh fowl injustice!” he cried, but he got up, dusted himself off.

Heathcliff lead him to over his main gate. His men stopped firing, Kronac waited for him down below. “Lord Snave it appears your outmanned and outmatched!”

“Fiend! You’ll NEVER batter this down!” He shook his fist and so did his brave soldiers.

“And you’ll never get out alive! So I say we settle this one on one, man to man!”

“A duel is it?”

“A joust sir! To the DEATH!” With that Kronac threw down his metal glove. Snave tossed his down below where it crashed into the bloodsoaked muddy earth on which Kronac was standing.

“I accept!” Snave said. He turned around. “Heathcliff, saddle my horse!”



So, have you ever had to stoop this low and write something this fowl in order to move your plot, or prove your point?

Shadow_Ferret
11-20-2009, 12:17 AM
You mean I wasn't supposed to like that and want to read more?

Karen Junker
11-20-2009, 12:17 AM
If I came across this in a novel, I would lose any sympathy I may have built for the character and would stop reading it.

Wayne K
11-20-2009, 12:18 AM
I agree.

Lost World
11-20-2009, 12:31 AM
If I came across this in a novel, I would lose any sympathy I may have built for the character and would stop reading it.

As would I...if the character were a protagonist whom I was supposed to like. The idiot who wrote this passage is anything but.

Freelancer
11-20-2009, 12:32 AM
Do this only if you REALLY have a reason to do that, otherwise don't. Even if you know you made it directly on this way, you can't explain this to the reader at all when he / she will read as you'll not be there. So, don't make a horrible writing by design. You can make it with a style where you don't have to explain anything and it can be entertaining. But forget the "poor execution by design" method.

But if you think for the story; I don't see any horrible in it at all... well, I couldn't get any real atmosphere from this snippet and of course there is the "by design" execution. But maybe it's my fault that I couldn't get the atmosphere as I'm a bit tired. :)

Jess Haines
11-20-2009, 12:44 AM
Heh! I, for one, am thoroughly amused.

I've written things poorly on purpose, but it was more like LOLspeak between friends. :)

Rhoda Nightingale
11-20-2009, 12:57 AM
I.....don't think I could live with myself if I did that. Even my melodramatic fanfiction gets obsessively edited.

maestrowork
11-20-2009, 01:00 AM
What are you trying to accomplish? To show the protagonist is a lousy writer? You really don't need to go through all that trouble and torture your readers to prove a point. When you do that, the character becomes a caricature.

I remember a good piece of advice: If your protagonist is a great poet/writer, do NOT show the poetry/writing in the novel itself. Find another way to convince the readers.

The same advice applies to "bad writer."

LOG
11-20-2009, 01:19 AM
I frequently visit FanFiction.Net, that stuff looks better than most of what I would find on the FF site.

blacbird
11-20-2009, 01:32 AM
I once wrote a short satirical parody of South American Magic Realism, a la Garcia Marquez, that probably would qualify.

caw

MGraybosch
11-20-2009, 01:53 AM
Have you ever purposely written something horrible as a feature in one of your stories?

No. My wife would kill me if I even indicated that I was thinking of doing it.

Matera the Mad
11-20-2009, 07:18 AM
I've done it in a couple of short tales about someone who has to deal with amateur writers. Very short passages -- the pain is intense, but brief.

Polenth
11-20-2009, 07:53 AM
I think it's best to keep such things short... I wouldn't read a chunk that big. A few lines could be funny if well chosen, but not pages of the stuff.

RG570
11-20-2009, 09:22 AM
I've done it before. A couple of times, actually.

Once it was to make fun of the way journalists write nowadays, and the other was a satirical story about language.

But sometimes I write to push buttons, not to entertain, so it's probably best to ignore me when it comes to questions of should a person do weird thing X, because by default I'll probably say yes.

The Lonely One
11-20-2009, 11:08 AM
I remember a good piece of advice: If your protagonist is a great poet/writer, do NOT show the poetry/writing in the novel itself. Find another way to convince the readers.

The same advice applies to "bad writer."

You should have told the writers of the Sex and the City show that. Do NOT show Carrie Bradshaw's writing unless you want ME to puke.

kaitie
11-20-2009, 11:54 AM
I frequently visit FanFiction.Net, that stuff looks better than most of what I would find on the FF site.


I was thinking the same thing.

blacbird
11-20-2009, 12:03 PM
No. My wife would kill me if I even indicated that I was thinking of doing it.

If she did, how would you know that was the reason?

caw

MGraybosch
11-20-2009, 06:43 PM
If she did, how would you know that was the reason?

We do this strange thing called "talking to each other". You might have heard of it?

C.M.C.
11-20-2009, 07:07 PM
I wouldn't waste my time writing something if I wasn't trying to make it the best it could be.

Phaeal
11-20-2009, 08:24 PM
Yeah, that suxxors pretty bad. Flaming wenches are so tiresome -- why don't they wear asbestos chemises?

Stew21
11-20-2009, 08:30 PM
Ed McBain has a character in several of his books named Ollie. Ollie is a cop who wants to be a writer. He's bad at it. Horrible in fact. Throughout a very well written novel are tiny excerpts of Ollie's book. It is added for humor, and because the reader knows Ollie so well. Those sections are purposefully written poorly, but McBain does it so well (as an addition to a very well-written novel), that the effect is quite funny.

If done right, it can be hysterical, but it has to be the right character. Your reader needs to really know that character to forgive him the poor writing, and it has to be (in my opinion) only sprinkled into a very well written book with its own strong plot.

It's called Fat Ollie's Book (http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Ollies-Book-Novel-Precinct/dp/0743202708)

I also recommend reading Money, Money, Money and The Frumious Bandersnatch before reading Fat Ollie's Book.

Lost World
11-20-2009, 09:19 PM
I think it's best to keep such things short... I wouldn't read a chunk that big. A few lines could be funny if well chosen, but not pages of the stuff.

This I'll keep in mind. Perhaps I'll slice it a little.


You really don't need to go through all that trouble and torture your readers to prove a point.

There is a humor factor involved as well. A matter of one's particular tastes. You don't get it and find it torturous, which is fine. Some others feel differently and thought it worked. Hey, you can't please everybody...

Lady Ice
11-20-2009, 10:01 PM
Yep, there have been some melodramatic pieces of writing. I have quite a few self-important hacks.

Hittman
11-20-2009, 10:23 PM
I think it's best to keep such things short... I wouldn't read a chunk that big. A few lines could be funny if well chosen, but not pages of the stuff.

Agreed, this was a bit too long. Funny, though. I especially liked " Not so long as I draw a breathe!"

S.J.
11-20-2009, 10:52 PM
... and write something this fowl in order to move your plot, or prove your point?

No, I don't usually write about chickens!

Haha! But in all seriousness, I don't do it; I'm worried about people not being able to tell the difference.