Unashamed Writing

Authentic writing from the gut - the studio of a self-taught writer

Five stupid writing tricks – And then there were four

the power of wordsYesterday I talked about Chuck Wendig’s post on writing tricks and the mental stimulation I get out of reading his blog. Today, I’ll try to summarize his post and to point out one major mistake he made. Even our idols are not perfect! What a relief.

Before I start, I should say that this post will only make sense to writers … and that’s the best case scenario. I doubt that “normal” people would be interested in reading about plot flexibility, double surprises (they surprise the writer first, the reader second), and finding one’s own “writing voice”. But, if you love my writing so much that you can’t resist reading this article, please go ahead. You have my permission to do so.

Now that I got that warning out of the way, here’s my summary of Chuck’s post called “Five Stupid Writing Tricks Starting … Now”:

  1. Plot is not an inflexible, rigid, obsidian sex toy. Embrace change. It can be your friend.
  2. Allow yourself to be surprised by your own story. Let your readers (and yourself) experience the pleasure of walking through the wrong door and stumbling across a secret orgy. Oh, how loudly will they sing your praises! Even Hugh Hefner and his Playboy bunnies would not be able to take readers away from your book now.
  3. Don’t take any sexual acts involving goats out of your story. Everybody likes a good surprise. Everybody!
  4. Barf brain matter on paper … Don’t censor yourself or prettify your words. You’re losing your voice when you do that. You’re not you anymore, which is a pity (most of the time, anyway) since originality and authenticity are what readers are looking for.

Now that you’ve read my summary, there are two things that need to be said:

  1. Chuck’s post has 891 words (yes, I counted them one by one). My summary of his post has 137 words (again, painfully counted one by one). Do you think that I might have missed some key points from his article or compressed it too much for it to be useful? Absolutely! That’s why you should go and read his post. Then come back to mine and see the genius of this summary. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. Chuck’s post has five writing tips. My summary only has four. Why? Because Chuck made a huge mistake with tip number 4. He used absolutely no sexual references in it. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Now, come on, how am I supposed to anchor that writing tip then? How am I supposed to remember it? All I could see was “Tip 4: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.”

So, Mr. Wendig, I actually have one writing tip for you: in the future, please do not forget to tell me how a good list of keywords can help one’s novel the same way a good sex toy can help one’s love life. Then I’ll understand why you need me to have those keywords and get down to making my own list of them right away.

Otherwise, your tip number 4 will get out of my working memory faster than you can say “orgy” and that’s definitely my loss, since it was a good tip.

Going back to my novel now. I’ll change the plot, orchestrate an orgy, bring some goats to the party, barf some brain matter (sorry, I know that’s gross but I have to do it), and even make a list of keywords for it. See you later!


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