Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't Catch the Bug!

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your writing book recommendations!

Still on the theme of improving your writing craft (for those who hang out here for London-based stuff, there's a post coming up soon -- promise!), I came across this today on Lynn Viehl's Paperback Writer blog. It made me laugh several times (in recognition of things I'd done), so I thought I'd share it!

Ten Things You Might Catch from Other Writers' Books

Dragonorrhea: the prevalence of countless, beautifully colored, magically-endowed, bejewel-eyed dragons in a story when said dragons are not logical to the world-building, have no lives, apparently have nothing better to do than suck up to puny mortals, and (no matter how enormous or powerful they are) usually behave like fanged, flying, fire-breathing bunnies.

Good Girlitis: A serious and often grotesque inflammation of the heroine's moral pulchritude, which results in her utter inability to acquire flaws, make bad decisions or otherwise mess up like the rest of the ordinary mortals on the planet.

InfoMumps: Swollen, boring and largely unattractive monologues offered by dull characters who seem to serve no other purpose except to be on hand to confirm what Bob already knows.

HEAlzheimers: no matter how emotionally screwed up one or more main characters were during the first nineteen chapters of the novel, in the twentieth they forget all their troubles, commit to a serious relationship for which they were always incapable of trying much less sustaining in the past, and otherwise present a permanently welded-on mask of unnatural, lobotomized bliss.

Projectile Dysfunction: the unreasonable, unrealistic but steadily persistent eruption of guns, knives, swords and other phallic symbols wielded by the hero to underscore or serve as visual substitute for his masculinity, heterosexuality, virility, or any other manly man attribute.

Pseudo-BadBoydom: a surface condition which presents the hero as a nasty dirty lowdown mean leather-wearing foul-mouthed ingrate who should be publicly flogged for his innumerable sins and yet mysteriously and instantly vanishes whenever the heroine confesses her love, self-doubts, troubles or any situation in which a real bad boy would actually come in rather handy.

For more, click here.


Helena Halme said...

Very funny, I think we are all guilty of some of these, if not all of them at some point or other in our writing career. Especially Good Girlitis. I try to make my heroines have affairs, lie, be envious or have an attack of jealousy at least once in a novel. But when you're enchanted by your characters, it's difficult to admit they too have flaws...or the other way around make 'baddies' have good sides to them.

Oh, I could go on.

Excellent post.

Helena xx

Ann said...

Had to chuckle while reading your post especially the Pseudo-BadBoydom.

Theresa Milstein said...

I ordered, Bird by Bird and, On Writing yesterday afternoon. I'm about to finish, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, so I need the next "how to". Thanks for your recommendations.

Funny list! I've committed a few of these and I recognize these bugs from other books.