1. AltonReed

    AltonReed Active Member

    Apr 3, 2011
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    Greater London

    The Fine line between intentionally bad... and really bad.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by AltonReed, Dec 1, 2013.

    I'm writing a deconstruction of the Paranormal Romance genre, which includes things going very conveniently for the female protagonist.

    At this point I'm confident a reveal at the end will give almost every line a new meaning but how long will readers tolerate language akin to bad fanfiction?

    My hope is that as it's just a short story, the readers will be able to grin it and bear it but I've included lines such as:

    "I asked one of my friends and she told me he had gone for a walk to clear his head."

    I've intentionally removed any description of her friend (spoiler alert: they're not real) and the "clear his head" was again, intentionally angsty-teenager. I've named it "Young Adult, Fiction." (Debating whether to keep the quotation marks) and I'm hoping that will allude to the reader that in some way the story has more than meets the eye. The quotation marks are inspired from Bowie's "Heroes" and the way it asks us to take another look at the word and consider what it means - I'm hoping it will work here, too.

    Have any of you ever written something that treads this line?
  2. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Dec 30, 2010
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    If you have to ask, you're probably doing something wrong.

    As for my opinion? Yes, it's a very stupid thing to write deliberately badly, unless of course you know this is the kind of language this particular niche market is looking for - but that's different. That's not writing "badly" per se, that's following the writing style of a particular genre because the author knows that's the style these readers want. What you're doing looks like self-sabotage, to be honest.

    If you're actually good at writing, you wouldn't need to write badly in order not to reveal your own twists. You'd be able to write very, very well because, actually, that's what's required for an effective twist - with the proper foreshadowing and build up and misdirection. And if you can't do that, then I wonder if you aren't being too ambitious with your writing for right now. By all means carry on, but I'd finish it, put it aside and look at it in a year or two's time when your skills have matured and improved, and then rewrite it when you're ready.
    EdFromNY likes this.

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