More on writing badly / Moron writing badly

My greatest flaw as a writer—and there was some stiff competition, let me tell you—is that I write way too fucking much.

Oh, maybe not here on my blog, but for each article, short story, review, or even status update I write, I tend to use way too many of those word things.

Case in point: This post was originally going to be a tweet.

It’s a classic pitfall for inexperienced writers, but having known of this weakness for a long while now I still don’t seem very interested in changing it. I am by all accounts meant to be an experiencededly shitty writer by now.

I recently wrote a short story for an anthology, and about six seconds after submitting it I realized that I had written it as if it were a novel. I wouldn’t even consider it if I was the publisher. The story spanned five different complex scenes, with multiple characters who developed and had their own arcs.

When I write fiction, my natural inclination is to figure out my characters and let them take the story wherever they please, which means there are inevitably about as many subplots as there are names. It could work if I would trim the fat after the fact and keep some of the character shit to myself, but I find that nigh impossible.

My awful fiction leans a lot on humor and awkward dialog. I want to keep all of my moments, and all of my jokes, because those are the things that bring joy to writing for me, and they’re the bits I’m most proud of.

This is clearly not what the publisher of an anthology of short stories wants, though.

Elaine M.C.: what are you doing?
Christoph: Trying to write about how I can’t write.

Basically I’m suggesting we start a literary journal for hack writers who can’t be bothered to edit their work.

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