Stop the Lousy Writing, Please!

Again, yet again, I plead with my fellow fantasy novelists: enough already with the rotten writing! Please don’t do it anymore. Please!

Do what? Please lay off the following:

Don’t try to write your book as if it were a graphic novel–that is, a flaming comic book. Just for once try to write as if you thought grownups might read it.

Don’t make all your characters talk like you think teenagers talk. Come on, now–a lot of teens are nowhere near as dumb as all that, and the ones who are, are not going to read anything anyway. Do try to lift your dialogue some distance above the level of a text message.

Don’t resort to the bleeding obvious. I mean, don’t call the bad guys “bad” or “diabolical” or “reprehensible,” etc. Don’t editorialize about your characters. “And then the nefarious villain, Maalox the Dwarf, snickered evilly, distorting his tremendously ugly face, and spoke with unpardonable disrespect to the beautiful princess with nice knockers and incredibly lovely blond hair that was like something indescribably beautiful, ‘Hah! You’re all tied up, now you can’t do your jumpin’, spinnin’ kicks…” If I never again read anything like this, it’ll be too soon.

Try to avoid, in your narrative passages, such contemporary slang terms as “taking them out” or “being there for her” or “got a problem with that,” and all the rest, too depressingly numerous to mention.

Please don’t write like this anymore. It gives fiction a bad name, and contributes to the non-development of the reader’s brain. It might even actually kill off brain cells–we’re waiting for the research to be published.