Do you want to write a novel? Most people try to write a good novel and fail. Dare to be different. Try writing a bad novel instead. If you finish, you will have either succeeded in writing a bad novel or failed and written a good novel. It’s a win/win situation. Here’s a guide to writing an absolutely terrible novel. The path is clear. All you have to do is follow it.

  1. Remember that real writers use a typewriter. They don’t like these newfangled computers. A manual typewriter and a bucket of Wite-Out are the tools of a serious writer.
  2. Never pick an average name that a regular person would have. Go with something that explains the character. If your character is a cop on the edge, then try a manly nickname coupled with the name of a gun — something like Rip Magnum.
  3. If your book is about a real person, just alter their name and location slightly — Josue Bidenos, Presidente of the Federated Territories.
  4. Make sure you’ve got a lot of similar names too. Donald, Donna, Dina, Dana, and Danny just feel right together.
  5. Make sure that the good guys are clearly good and the bad guys are overwhelming evil. Don’t confuse your readers by having all the characters have good qualities and bad ones.
  6. Explain everything. When your character is angry, just say that she’s angry. There’s no point in trying to show that through her actions when you can just tell that to your reader.
  7. Don’t explain anything. Why did your villain spend the whole book clutching a blanket? Leave it up to the readers. They’ll fill in the blanks.
  8. Pile on the adjectives and adverbs. Why have a woman speak when you can have her whisper breathlessly in her lustful, wind-swept voice?
  9. Fill your book with coincidences, especially towards the end. Nothing beats having the exciting climax occur because the hero bumped into the villain in a small-town cafe when they both had a craving for peach-filled semi-sweet chocolate pie. Did you mention that both characters love the exact same pie? Now would be a good time.
  10. Don’t let your character’s established traits get in the way of a good plot twist. Just because your hero is a priest who preaches non-violence (We’ll call him Father Angeltoe) doesn’t mean he can’t be an expert marksman with an itchy trigger finger.
  11. Use lots of technical jargon. Don’t worry about whether your reader will understand it, or whether you understand it. Just stick it in. It will make your characters sound smarter.

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