Fun,  Lists

How To: Write A Crappy Novel

By: The Narcissistic Rose

Here is a collection of things I’ve learned over the years. Unfortunately all of these examples are real life mistakes I’ve made or seen other people make. No names will be disclosed to protect the guilty. ^^

1 – Have a prologue that is as vague and enigmatic as possible. DON’T explain anything. This is crucial. 

2 – Get feedback on your novel but don’t listen to any of it because you don’t like that they said.

3 – Start your novel the same EXACT way another popular novel started because it’s easier than coming up with your own original opening and no one is going to notice.

4 – Have so many unimportant characters in your story that reader can’t possible keep up or care about everyone. 

5 – Don’t mention setting or anything to ground the reader into what time period they’re in or what country they’re in until chapter two because it’s totally okay to have a chapter just floating there in the time-space continuum. 

6 – Likewise, don’t describe anything. The reader doesn’t need to know that your MC lives by the beach, what they look like, or if they’re even a human being. They don’t like pictures painted for them at all.

7 –  Blame the beta reader’s lack of understanding on their own ignorance because they clearly didn’t read closely enough because it’s impossible that you didn’t explain it right. 

8 – Ignore feedback because you don’t feel like making any changes or don’t feel like the changes that need to be made are a big deal. It’s not going to make the story better or anything.

9 – Dump pop culture references all over your manuscript because that’s the only way to describe things and everyone’s seen Gossip Girl so they’ll totally get to the reference, no matter that the reference you’re making has NOTHING to do with the plot whatsoever. The less they make sense, the better. You’re going to look so cool because you clearly spent more time watching TV then working on your novel. 

10 -You MUST talk about the weather like you would in real life. Nothing makes a story more exciting to read then: “It sure is cloudy today.” – “Yep. It might rain.” – “Yeah, we could use some rain.” – “I guess. I’ll have to mow my yard though.” – “Oh…yeah.” – Sneeze.

11 – Don’t have any plans for how you want the story to turn out at all. It’s totally okay think exhibit B is the villain for 50 pages but then change your mind halfway through to exhibit N. That won’t be confusing for the reader at all. 

12 – Your character is depressed and there’s no reason for it until you dump all that information on the reader at the end because they don’t need to know any of that background info earlier on to like or sympathize with the character or anything. 

13 – Have a character with too many issues. The more the merrier!! She’s broke, fat, ugly, depressed, riddled with health problems, taking prescriptions that make her hair fall out, binges every other day, and has body dysmorphic disorder, but it’s okay, it just makes her more human because all humans struggle with about 25 different major issues everyday and will therefore find her totally relate-able.

14 – Likewise, have a character with too much going on. He sings, he dances, he plays the oboe, he volunteers at the cat shelter, he runs marathons, he’s writing a novel, cutting his own cd, and teaching ballroom dancing classes, but it’s okay because that’s not too much to keep up with at all. 

15 – Name all of your characters after people you know. In fact, every single person who’s a part of your life should be in your story!! Taylor Andy Smith down the street should be Andy Taylor! He’ll be so flattered you included him in your story and the fact that you barely know him isn’t going to creep him out at all. 

16 – Have a girl fight on every page because, oh my gosh, who doesn’t love a good girl fight that’s about absolutely nothing. 

17 – Change focus halfway through and don’t go back to the beginning and fix it. 

18 – Your love interest in your non-fantasy book looks like just a vampire because ALL women think skinny pasty guys with red lips are sexy. 

19 -Work on the same story for several years because it has to be perfect because there is such a thing and only perfect stories get published.

20 – Let your own personal mommy issues spill out into everything you write because that’s not going to get old at all.

21 – Kill as many people as possible because that’s going to make for the most exciting read. Blood everywhere = New York’s Times bestseller for sure. 

22 – Never try anything new. Your first story ever was a ghost story. Only write ghost stories for the rest of your life. 

23 – Never edit anything. Take what you learned and apply to the next story until you can write a first draft that’s perfect because you’ll never need to know how to edit or revise anything anyway.

24 – Don’t have regular pow-wows with other writers. All good writers are always completely alone with only a dog and bottle of whiskey for company. 

25 – Each scene needs to have a minimum of three paragraphs worth of description. The reader MUST know that every single grain of sand sparkles like the rarest of rubies under a scorching sun in the middle of a barren, isolated desert full of hot, acrid winds.  

26 – Please don’t take the time to punuacte your sentences. You’re busy and can’t be bothered with such things. 

Live, Grow, & Prosper. ^


  • Thea

    Haha, great list! The points relating to feedback are why I very rarely beta-read for anyone these days (and if you snap at me once, you are immediately removed from the list of people I'll do it for, my time is valuable).I might be guilty of naming some characters for friends, but I always clear it with them first!

  • krystal jane

    Totally. I don't do repeat feedback freakouts anymore. It's waay too much work to not even get a thank you in return. I based a character on my sister once. ^_^ And I am naming a character in my next book after someone I know. I just really like her first name, but the character is nothing like her at all. I told her. She's afraid I'm going to kill the character and didn't give me permission exactly, but it's not like she's going to read it. Lol!

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