History Literature / HowNotToWriteANovel

17th May '16 11:15:09 PM StongRadd
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The book, naturally, is about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin how not to write a novel.]] It is probably the only self-help book that you'll want to read over and over, because it's actually ''funny''. It includes many "samples" (written by the authors, though they claim they're [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory based on submissions they received as editors]]) of writing that range from "good prose, but used tropes vitally wrong" to "[[BileFascination OhgodIcan'tlookbutIhaveto.]]"

to:

The book, naturally, is about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin how not to write a novel.]] It is probably the only self-help book that you'll want to read over and over, because it's actually ''funny''.''amusing'' to read. It includes many "samples" (written by the authors, though they claim they're [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory based on submissions they received as editors]]) of writing that range from "good prose, but used tropes vitally wrong" to "[[BileFascination OhgodIcan'tlookbutIhaveto.]]"
13th May '16 11:43:47 AM Ferot_Dreadnaught
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* SlowPacedBeginning: "The Waiting Room" advises that exposition and background should wait until the actual plot is kicked off, lest readers lose interest. It also advises that InMediaRes can be used to this effect without delaying the plot.

to:

* SlowPacedBeginning: "The Waiting Room" advises that exposition and background should wait until the actual plot is kicked off, lest readers lose interest. It also advises that InMediaRes InMediasRes can be used to this effect provided chunks of exposition without delaying the plot.plot. [[invoked]]
13th May '16 11:40:30 AM Ferot_Dreadnaught
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* MarySue[=/=]MartyStu[=/=]AuthorAvatar (but not so much that last one): "I Complete Me." They ''do'' say that it's perfectly acceptable, but when your character starts exhibiting Sue-like tendencies... well, don't pick out that outfit to wear on {{Oprah}} quite yet.[[invoked]]

to:

* MarySue[=/=]MartyStu[=/=]AuthorAvatar (but not so much that last one): "I Complete Me." They ''do'' say that it's perfectly acceptable, but when your character starts exhibiting Sue-like tendencies... well, don't pick out that outfit to wear on {{Oprah}} Oprah quite yet.[[invoked]]


Added DiffLines:

* SlowPacedBeginning: "The Waiting Room" advises that exposition and background should wait until the actual plot is kicked off, lest readers lose interest. It also advises that InMediaRes can be used to this effect without delaying the plot.
17th Apr '16 7:39:00 AM Berrenta
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* GetOnWithItAlready: "The Waiting Room" and "The Long Runway".
13th Apr '16 3:13:31 PM CorporalPie
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: Some of the headings parody awkward prose this way. Notable examples: "The Penis-Like Sausage" and ""Fuck you," He Said Profanely".
4th Apr '16 8:44:20 PM N.Harmonik
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ClicheStorm: "Breeding Contempt" advises against using too many hackneyed turns of phrase. While they usually became clichés for a reason (they are vivid and evocative), and they are sometimes so commonplace that the have entered the common vocabulary (e.g. "drop dead gorgeous"), relying too much on them will make an author's writing seem unimaginative.[[invoked]]

to:

* ClicheStorm: "Breeding Contempt" advises against using too many hackneyed turns of phrase. While they usually became clichés for a reason (they are vivid and evocative), and they are sometimes so commonplace that the they have entered the common vocabulary (e.g. "drop dead gorgeous"), relying too much on them will make an author's writing seem unimaginative.[[invoked]]



* IJustWriteTheThing: "The Fig Leaf". Discouraged, in that it rarely works and just makes the author look a bit hypocritical. The advice given in that particular case, but which can probably be applied to other examples of the trope, is that if you must include your AuthorAppeal in the work then at least be honest and up front about what you're doing, since no one's going to be fooled anyway.



* IJustWriteTheThing: "The Fig Leaf". Discouraged, in that it rarely works and just makes the author look a bit hypocritical. The advice given in that particular case, but which can probably be applied to other examples of the trope, is that if you must include your AuthorAppeal in the work then at least be honest and up front about what you're doing, since no one's going to be fooled anyway.



* ShoutOut: They occasionally make random references, some named, some unnamed. These include ''Franchise/HarryPotter'', [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark the Underpants Gnomes]], Literature/AChildCalledIt, [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL]], GoneWithTheWind, Literature/GravitysRainbow and so on.



* ShoutOut: They occasionally make random references, some named, some unnamed. These include ''Franchise/HarryPotter'', [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark the Underpants Gnomes]], Literature/AChildCalledIt, [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL]], GoneWithTheWind, Literature/GravitysRainbow and so on.
15th Mar '16 6:51:36 PM LadyJafaria
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* HaveAGayOldTime: Among words you aren't advised to use just for the sake of making the writing fancier (see SesquipedalianLoquaciousness below) is "ejaculated" in its old sense of "exclaimed."
6th Mar '16 3:24:09 PM Folamh3
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ComicBookFantasyCasting: "Channeling the E! Channel" says there's nothing wrong with having a character look like a celebrity, but explicitly stating that they do is a no-no.

to:

* ComicBookFantasyCasting: "Channeling the E! Channel" says there's nothing wrong with having a character look like a celebrity, but [[TextualCelebrityResemblance explicitly stating that they do do]] is a no-no.
26th Feb '16 7:02:08 PM Miracle@StOlaf
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* DeliberatelyBadExample: Though supposedly based on real literary submissions, many of the samples provided are so outlandishly atrocious that any competent-to-good aspiring writers will find them more entertaining than informative. That said, there are plenty of tips following these samples that can be genuinely helpful even to those who already have a decent grasp of the subject.


Added DiffLines:

** However, the authors do concede that the judicious use of an occasional adverb can be helpful because it adds nuance that written dialogue alone may not convey. For example, "'I love you,' he said" is a direct statement of fondness. However, "'I love you,' he said coldly" ''isn't''.
15th Jan '16 10:30:36 AM Anddrix
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* HumorDissonance: [[invoked]]"A Confederacy of Shills" advises against having characters laugh uproariously at every joke during a conversation. At best, it alienates readers by, in effect, [[ViewersAreMorons telling them when to laugh]]; at worst, if the jokes are truly weak, it disorients the reader the same way as would having characters cry or smash things for no reason.

to:

* HumorDissonance: [[invoked]]"A Confederacy of Shills" advises against having characters laugh uproariously at every joke during a conversation. At best, it alienates readers by, in effect, [[ViewersAreMorons telling them when to laugh]]; laugh; at worst, if the jokes are truly weak, it disorients the reader the same way as would having characters cry or smash things for no reason.



* MeaningfulName: They discourage using names where the symbolic meaning of the name is blatantly obvious to any reader (for example, "Vivian", a character who symbolizes life, against "Mort", a character who symbolizes death). Though the biggest problem in the example is [[ViewersAreMorons that the author points the meanings out explicitly]].

to:

* MeaningfulName: They discourage using names where the symbolic meaning of the name is blatantly obvious to any reader (for example, "Vivian", a character who symbolizes life, against "Mort", a character who symbolizes death). Though the biggest problem in the example is [[ViewersAreMorons that the author points the meanings out explicitly]].explicitly.
This list shows the last 10 events of 152. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.HowNotToWriteANovel