Gawker, Buzzfeed, Gamasutra and many other websites responsible for the god-awful amount of clickbait websites suck. They have been around for a long time and thanks to them, Facebook is filled with posts for bad clickbait be it shitty excuses of articles or disappointing videos. Heavy metal has it, too. For a long time, I put up with Metal Sucks and their lackluster articles. One of the main owners, Axl Rosenberg not only refuses to spellcheck but brags about not reading comments all while shitting on bands acting like everyone hates the band he’s talking about. The article is a list of guidelines to help you in case you want to really get into writing.
1) Stay away from cliches.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you if someone says “Better to have loved than lost.” but when placed in writing, you’re going to annoy some readers or piss them right off. It creates bad lyrics, stories, articles and any other form of writing.
If you want to write a character that is supposed to be annoying or obnoxious, there is the idea of writing someone who says cliches as if they were the first person to come up with them which can be used for amusing character interaction. Otherwise, you must treat writing as a creative art. Respect it as such because using cliches will not be looked at as creative.
2) Do not use memes.
First, let’s make sure we’re on the same point. A meme is not just a funny image. A meme is an idea. It’s an inside joke. A picture of Bad Luck Brian is not a meme, Bad Luck Brian itself is the meme. This is why when people started saying “I made a meme” it confused the shit out of me.
Why should you avoid memes? Because fewer things will date your work like memes will. If you want to write a novel, you want it to be as timeless as possible but, long as you shove memes in your writing, your work will continue to be dated. Let me show you. How many of you remember this?
For those who don’t know, this is a meme called Longcat. The peak of it’s popularity was in 2007 and the concept explains itself. In that year, I discovered 4chan and 7chan and this features some of the best times for humor on the internet in my opinion. Memes weren’t abused so much back then and you had to be unafraid of going to some dark places online to see them. Meme humor back then was pretty wonderful.
Move forward to 2015 and memes are so obnoxious now that Gearbox Software owned up to the problem of using some good humor opportunities to shoehorn memes. How many people are going to remember the double rainbow shit five years from now? Memes are put in Hot Topic shirts, phone cases, backpacks, Halloween costumes, cartoons, advertisements, comic books and more. They have become a problem now because they are a symptom to a lack of creativity which is the fun in humor.
Avoid memes at all costs or you will look like an unfunny shithead to an audience you pushed away.
Ernest Hemmingway did it.
This harks back to when I mentioned Metal Sucks. Metal Injection is seriously guilty as well. These are websites that have advertisements and because of this, the websites are making some type of income. The only thing more embarrassing in this situation than having tons of typos on your work is knowing that you’re doing it and telling your audience off because you’re too lazy to fix your work. From missing apostrophes to fucking up the spelling of a band name, you only strip away your credibility when you don’t check your work.
5) Don’t force it out, puke it out.
I did not come up with this and credit has to go to Corey Taylor. Did you crash a wall trying to write? That happens to all of us. What matters is how you handle it. Let’s say you have a concept and perhaps you have a point A with a point B but don’t know the path from the first to the last. Fuck it, puke out your writing and fill in the blanks when you can. Were you kidnapped and don’t know where to start on writing about it? Puke out the details. Just write down whatever you have no matter the order. This is why first and second drafts exist. As the writer, you are able to strip out and write in whatever you think will go well for your work. If you wrote something that doesn’t help or compliment your writing, was it like you had anything to lose?
It’s going to take more than five pointers to make someone not suck at writing but, take these pieces of advice and your work will improve. That’s a promise; especially the drinking part.