Writers who write always want to be writerly writers. Yeah, that sounded like a tongue-twister. It wan’t though. Pay attention.
Every writer gets to the intersection of sucktitude-good-better-best-holy shit that’s the diggity in their writing.
What? Yes, it’s a five-point intersection. BACK OFF. Those do exist. Everywhere.
Let’s face it, even a twenty-dollar-hooker doesn’t really want to suck.
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah.
Being a better writer and not sucking. Fixing your podunk fuckwit writing style.
It’s the holidays, so I know you don’t have much time so we’ll do this in five easy steps. Grab your eggnog, scotch, or chocolate chip cookie dough and let’s plow through, shall we?
I know what you’re asking. “Will this hurt? Will I be put into a magic trance?” The answers you will not appreciate. They are yes and yes. But, ask yourself, “Hey, would’t a magical trance be rad?” Again, the answer you will not like. No. It will be scary. Very scary. Hold tight as you will like exactly what you are given.
1. Practice. Practice. Practice. Period.
Simple, right? You can’t be better at a goddamn thing unless you practice. Wanna be a better nose-picker? Practice. Want to masturbate better? Practice.
Whatever. You heard me.
2. Try Flash Fiction.
Wait, I don’t even know what Flash Fiction is or how to write it.
Are you asking or telling me?
Oh, telling me.
Here’s a quick tip on flashing: Wear next to nothing…
Oh damn! That’s right, flash FICTION. Okay, got it.
This is where it’s good to think small, very small. 500 words or less. Have a beginning, middle, and extremely short ending. If you fuck this up, it defeats the purpose of flash and you have failed miserably. People WILL point this out while laughing at you and talking about you behind your hairy back.
Unlike Congress, avoid the preamble. In fact, unlike Congress, avoid all unnecessary bullshit. Another fact, there is zero room in flash fiction for any bullshit, unless of course, you are in fact writing about actual gooey bullshit. Then, by all means, keep the bullshit.
The meat is in the middle. Keep it there.
Focus on one powerful image/idea/story/person/whatever-the-hell pops in your mind.
Make the reader guess a little.
Use a few allusive references. Maybe there’s a glint off the blade.
Twist that fucker like a Bavarian pretzel.
The end. Except, don’t actually add the words The End unless you’re a complete tool and happen to be writing in a different century or era.
This concludes your very short lesson on Flash Fiction.
3. READ. READ. Read Like A Muthafucker. Then Read Some More.
If you don’t know how to read, then, well, you’re super fucked.
The best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader.
Well then, smarty pants, why didn’t you list it as number one?
Good question. Ready for the answer? Yes?
Here it is: Befuckingcause.
Don’t get me wrong, practice is vital at improving anything. Scratch that, EVERYTHING.
Here: Practice your reading to be better at your writing.
Make sure to read things you normally would’t read. It improves your cognitive ability.
WHOA! Did you just—
HELL YES I DID. Increased cognitive ability helps you remember, reason, understand, and solve problems. Reading will help all of those.
No, not your waistline. Your vocabulary.
I’ve said it before, simple words are simple for a reason – because they work very well in any form of writing. But, there will be times when you need that special word for that special sentence to fit in that special paragraph for your very special story.
I dunno, maybe you need another word for special because you’ve used it fuckteen times within your first two pages and even you’re getting fed up with it. Maybe the word you really want is extraordinary or impressive or superior or another brilliant word to fill that special void.
Hint: YOU WILL LEARN NEW WORDS WHEN YOU READ. Read. Period.
5. Use Good Grammar Correctly.
Get rid of your dingle dangling modifiers. Don’t mess with parallelism. Be careful using homophones. Watch the homonyms. Know homographs. Beware of heteronyms.
Fret not little bee, I’ll list some examples.
That modifier thingy: Turning the corner, the handsome woman appeared. First, a handsome woman is s polite way of saying asscrack ugly. Second, turning the corner should describe the narrator, but in this example, it’s ambiguous or applies nothing at all. Confused? You should be. It’s poor writing and a mistake new writers make trying to show more action.
Parallelism: She likes to strip, diddle, and to have sex. While grammatically correct, it doesn’t read well. Better is she like to strip, diddle, and have sex.
Homophones: same sound. Different spelling – fair (county) fare (rate)
Homonyms: same sound. Same or different spelling – fair (state), fair (reasonable)
Homograph: same or different sound. Same spelling – tear (rip), tear (in the eyes)
Heteronyms: different sound. Same spelling – tear (rip), tear (in the eyes)
If anything, this is conclusive evidence that the English language is indeed fizzucked up to no end.
Upcoming: The Art Of Flash Fiction.
Leave a Reply