The best terrible writing advice you will ever receive

I first heard about Nanowrimo (National Novel Writer’s Month) back in 2005, when a friend of mine decided to tackle the challenge. As someone who always secretly believed that maybe she might have a hidden talent for fiction writing, I was intrigued and wanted to try it too. Alas, it was held in November, quite possibly the worst month on the academic calendar, a month of midterms and paper deadlines and other things that make it impossible to write 1,667 words per day just for kicks.*

Then a couple of years ago, I found out about Camp Nanowrimo, which brings together people who want to write during a summer month. This July I’m giving it a shot.

How’s it going? Well,  I changed the year in which the story was set around word 5,000; I realized my plot had a fundamental problem at around word 10,000; then I changed my protagonist’s name around word 15,000. Also, everything I’ve written is probably garbage. But I’m still on track to finish! So, you know, good. Good-ish. Almost good.

In the middle of all of this I discovered my new favorite Twitter feed @WorstMuse, which you should all follow immediately if you’re on Twitter. Here is some of my favorite @WorstMuse writing advice.

Naturally, I was inspired to come up with some more bad writing advice, such as:

  • Make sure everyone in the book falls in love with your protagonist. Otherwise, the reader won’t know s/he is desirable.
  • Remember, it is super-romantic when a male protagonist follows his love interest around even when she tells him to leave her alone. Chicks love that!
  • Metaphors are like Oreo cookies covered in solid gold: you need them in every sentence.

Any other terrible writing advice you’d like to give me as I slog forward into the second half of July?


* Why didn’t I just decide to write my own 50,000-word novel some other month? … um. I’ll get back to you on that.


4 comments on “The best terrible writing advice you will ever receive

  1. I LOVE the Worst Muse.

    Describe your heroine’s eyes using gemstones, because we all know people with amethyst/sapphire/emerald eyes.

    Make all your women strong until the meet The One. Then make them lose all agency and become boring sops who do nothing but think longingly about The One. Chicks dig that too.

    Make all your heroines beautiful, because only beautiful people are interesting.

    • Ooh, to the last, can we add: Your heroine will of course be beautiful, but it’s important that she doesn’t realize how beautiful she is, because women with positive body images are uppity and annoying.

  2. I cherish Worst Muse.

    My friend belatedly pulled me into CampNaNoWriMo this July, so I didn’t start until this past Thursday and had to set myself a low goal in order not to go insane. I’m aiming to do 30,000 words by the end of the month, and I’ve got 8000 so far, so….IT COULD BE WORSE. But I’m finding it very motivating to know that all the other people in my cabin can look at my word count and judge me at any moment. Thanks, peer pressure! I knew you were good for something!

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