We’ve all been given tips on writing. Some of us seek this advice; others of us receive it unsolicited. Often the advice we receive is refreshingly helpful. But what about advice that’s just awful? We all hear it. I struck up a conversation about nonsense writing tips with my co-workers last week and captured the best of the worst. Now we can all share in the despair together!
Bad Writing Tips for Students
- Use giant periods. Since periods are so insignificant, no one will notice and you can reach that arduous page limit!
- If you have a double spaced paper due, write it in single space, and then convert it to double space. In an hour, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished so much more!
- Fudge your margins to make your look longer. Who pays attention to margins anyway?
- Create a super-long title. It’ll make you look like you care more and will help you reach the page limit.
Bad Writing Tips for Novelists
- Set everything up in your first chapter – goals, characters, dreams, etc. Development is too tiresome for the reader.
- Describe the character’s physical appearance in extreme detail – like how you would order a sandwich at Subway.
- Be more realistic. No one wants to read about “stuff that could never happen.”
- Characters must behave predictably. No wild flim-flam.
Bad Writing Tips for all Writers
- Remove all your commas; they pull the reader out of the story.
- Add fluff to your work to make it longer.
- Never use short or run-on sentences, or one-sentence paragraphs, or one-word paragraphs.
- Quantity equals quality.
- “Said” and “asked” are boring. Use more fun and descriptive words!
- Read the works of any famous author and copy their writing style, then you’ll succeed.
- For all people meant to write, writing comes easily.
These samples represent the negative stigma sometimes associated with writing advice, but remember: most advice can be helpful. I beseech you, come to the UWB Writing and Communication Center and put our peer consultants to the test!