how to write badly wellI told my husband about the problem I had on FictionPress, when all the quotations and apostrophes were (for a still unknown reason) stripped from the files I uploaded for Chapter 2 of As Long As She Lives. He immediately told me about a blog post on exactly this issue, entitled “Lump All the Dialogue and Narrative Together”.  The blog is filled with often hysterical examples of bad writing (much like How Not To Write), but also instructive, and has now been made into a book which I’m looking forward to reading!

“Lump All the Dialogue and Narrative Together

The thing is, I can’t see this working. I patted the side of the machine and shook my head. Why not? Well, we don’t have enough fuel for a start. That shouldn’t be a problem. I pointed towards the furniture. I know you did, but we’re not going to burn it just because you pointed to it. So this was how he was going to play it. Please don’t refer to me in the third person when I’m standing right here; it’s rude. Oh, sorry. So, what do we do? I thought for a moment. What do you mean you thought for a moment? You thought for a moment just now, or a while ago? This is confusing. I know. How are we supposed to tell who’s talking at any given moment? We can’t really. Like just then – you answered your own question, but it sounded like I answered it. I stopped to think for a moment. I know, so did I. No, I didn’t actually say that out loud, that was just… I stopped to think for a moment. I know, you said that already. I stopped to think for a moment. What’s the matter, cat got your tongue? No, I was just stopping to think for a moment. Oh, okay. You know what? Some aspects of modernism are hard to pull off, it turns out. I nodded. Me too.”

– Joel Stickley, How to Write Badly Well.