Blogger: Cynthia Ruchti
Maybe it’s not discussed often enough in writers’ circles. We talk about what we can do to ready our work for a publisher’s eyes. We list ways to draw readers’ attention with our novels or nonfiction.
Who’s offering us a never-fail formula for writing lousy books with little chance of gaining reader interest?
It’s about time, isn’t it?
The never-fail formula is less complicated than one might think.
Don’t finish the manuscript.
Completing a manuscript is an important accomplishment that inches an author closer to the goal of publication, even if this book isn’t the first one to be published. Statistics tell us that it isn’t uncommon for an author’s first published book to be the fourth he or she completes. So, if you’re intent on avoiding publication or are allergic to the idea of reaching readers, whatever you do, don’t finish the book.
Rely on Wikipedia alone when researching.
Good writers know to confirm their research with at least three other reliable sources and at least one unrelated to internet information. So if you want to write bad books, stick to Wikipedia.
Let your muse do all the heavy lifting.
Logic is overrated. Great books–you know, the ones we’re trying to avoid writing–have solid structure and logical progression. So consider abandoning all attempts at story progression, pacing, character arcs, believability…
Whatever you do, ignore the people who tell you a first draft isn’t your final draft.
Rewriting is for the professionals. Amateurs know better.
Disable the computer functions that point out misspellings or grammatical concerns.
If you can’t disable the function, ignore the squiggly or doubled-straight blue, red, or green underlining on your manuscript. Make sure you have plenty of them remaining in proposals you submit to agents or editors, too. It’ll prove your skill at avoidance.
Leave reader felt-needs out of the equation.
Reader felt-needs will make you work too hard when you write. They’ll make you care. Who needs that hassle?
When caught between a big, fancy word and one that communicates clearly, opt for the brobdingnagian.
Refuse all professional counsel about your book.
Assume that the experts are wrong when they say your topic has been overdone.
What do they know? YOU’VE never read a book like it, so there must not be any on the market.
Ignore reader needs.
This is your book, after all. It’s on them if they don’t get anything out of the reading experience.
Resist conforming to publisher specifications for book length.
The retractable wheels you’ve suggested for the 12,000 page treatise on navel lint and its spiritual implications should cover the length issue, right?
Spend at least as much time on excuse-making as you do with your fingers on the keyboard.
Your next book may be about excuse-making.
Using your best attempt at satire, what would you suggest we add to the list? What else is involved in creating a book destined to go nowhere?
Click to Tweet: Want a never-fail formula for writing a book that goes nowhere?