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What makes bad writing bad?

June Writing Competitions

This is the challenge

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Richard Turner

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Yes, I can see myself in some of these. The first book I wrote had many things wrong with it. Family and friends were nice about it, and I still believe there is a fair bit of good writing in it, but copies would be sent out and a long silence would follow. It didn't take me long to realise that for most people it was hard work. The second book I abandoned in mid-stream in favour of a new project - to learn how to write a commercial thriller. I now focus on how to draw the reader in and make him or her want to turn the pages. Is there anything more important than that?
 

Bluma Bezbroda

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Great piece. A bit painful, I have to say. I try to silence my "excuse writer" as much as I can. On the other hand, there is something about assertiveness. If you don't believe in your work, no one else will either. Balance, balance..
 

KG Christopher

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I think there is bound to be a piece of yourself displayed in your prose, can you really not emphasise with your characters?
 

Bluma Bezbroda

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@KG Christopher when I was asked which one of my characters is most like me I replied "All of them". This was an exaggeration and me trying to be cute, but it's true, in a way. They grow a lot in the process of writing and acquire lives of their own, but still each of them is composed of bits of who I am, who I wish I would be, as well as who I really don't want to be/become. Dangerous road? ;)
 

KG Christopher

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@KG Christopher when I was asked which one of my characters is most like me I replied "All of them". This was an exaggeration and me trying to be cute, but it's true, in a way. They grow a lot in the process of writing and acquire lives of their own, but still each of them is composed of bits of who I am, who I wish I would be, as well as who I really don't want to be/become. Dangerous road? ;)

I suppose it goes back to the 'life is stranger than fiction' saying. In order to write believable prose, we have to try and build our characters and understand their motivations. In doing so, we probably use our own personality as a starting reference point, ergo we put some of ourselves into the characters.
 

Katie-Ellen

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Dear Powers That Be, deliver me from writing a stinker. And if I do, however loudly I howl at the moon, swaying on hands and knees, please let it decay in the dark and never reach the light to bore and afflict the innocent. Let me not suffer the ignominy of McGonagall (and how the wind did bray o'er the silvery Tay) and I will be eternally grateful in all future incarnations (should I undergo regression in a future life and remember, when the point of forgetting is mercy.)
Thank you, Amen.
 
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June Writing Competitions

This is the challenge

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