Show, not Tell

There are 3 rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Lesson 11

with 2 comments

I came across a blog post earlier that outlined How to Succeed in Writing By Not Really Trying. There are, however, a vast amount of people who don’t know how to not try, so this is for you!

Lesson 11: How to Succeed in Writing By Trying Really Hard

1. Use really small words. Who needs big words? Then children can’t even read your book and you want children readers! Children are the future!

2. Write really big, long paragraphs. People respect authors whose paragraphs take up the whole page–or even two whole pages! I mean, really, we all know this is why Joseph Conrad is so genius even though he uses big words–and I already told you big words are a big no-no (sorry you didn’t get the memo, Joe).

3. Never describe the character’s personality. Let the dialogue do it all! Actually, don’t describe anything at all. People have imaginations, right? Let them imagine it all on their own! It’s a build-your-own-world story! That’s new and creative, right?

4. End your novel with the expected. My mom always tells me to give the readers what they want! If they think there’s going to be a happy ending then you better end it happily. Who cares if you don’t have any readers yet–your heart will tell you.

5. Give your characters common names. Jane and John Doe. Then they can imagine themselves as that character, or their best friend–or that sexy vampire in their dreams last night.

6. Never open your story with a dream. Open it your story with them waking up FROM the dream. Yes. We all start our days in the morning (or at least some of us do), so your book should start there, too!

7. Don’t even describe the setting. No one needs to know where they are. It’s fictional anyway. Or if you do decide to place it somewhere real (imagine that), make sure it’s absolutely nothing like the real place! Don’t even bother going there. Travel is for losers, and so is research. Published authors do not travel or research.

8. Use a lot of verbs. Forget ‘he said’ or ‘she asked.’ Everyone uses that. He shouted! She questio–no, she interrogated him! Use big bold verbs so adverbs are totally unnecessary. You may need to take out The Saurus for this!

9. Make sure your chapters are really long. Actually, make sure you have somewhere between one and three chapters total. Four is too many. Every chapter should have at least 100,000 words in it. Debut novels are supposed to be of epic proportions.

10. Make sure the title of your novel is never mentioned in your book. Ever! It’s supposed to be abstract! It’s not supposed to have anything to do with your novel; it is just a mere marketing ploy. Therefore, naming your book COFFEE or CUPCAKE is totally legit. Everyone loves cupcakes and coffee!

Now go out there, you try-hards, and get published!

Elena Solodow is the brilliant mind whose how-to article sparked a sudden witspriation for this post. Her talent, of course, reaches further than just advice on writing–she even talks about writer’s block or better known as, “The Block.” Her blog is titled You’re Write. Except when you’re Rong. Check her out!


Written by Jessica Lei

September 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Posted in Humor, Lessons, Writing

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks so much for the blurb at the end! Great post.


    September 12, 2010 at 10:01 am

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