Amph How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes: The Cheerleader

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    [face_blush]

    I was consumed in a fit of passion to write that thing, for whatever reason. I'm glad some people here find it as amusing to read as I did in writing it.

    Reading over it now, though, I notice that it has a few things in common with The Big Lebowski... in which, of course, the Macguffin is a rug that "really tied the room together" and in which, as it turns out, there is no kidnapping, no money exchanged ("we threw in a ringer for a ringer!") and no threat of violence from the ludicrous villains. The only death is an accidental heart attack which was not in any way established as a danger in a previous scene. Events occur for no apparent reason (picture the "what-have-you" of the Dude's landlord frolicking on stage in a peach leotard) and the protagonist rarely if ever does anything laudatory or intelligent.

    [face_thinking]
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    My first Roth was Sabbath's Theater. The second word of the book is the f-word, which makes sense because the book opens with a conversation between the main character, a man in his sixties, and his mistress. Before the 100 page mark, the main character has masturbated on a grave and then . . . well, I'd best not say what he does then; suffice it to say it's worse than masturbating on a grave. And I loved the book. Roth has some spectacular talent, that's for sure. Great novel, but if you have any prudishness at all, best to stay far away.
  3. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    6. Sidekicks and Significant Others.

    "I love you more than any woman I've met on the Upper West Side in a really long time."

    "So your protagonist is a stick figure or--better still!--downright rellepnt. Now let's turn to filling her would, and her bedroom, with caricutures and bores."

    Wherein a friend character is introduced to no purpose...and you get five pages of exchanges, designed to show a side of your main character which, you know, you could just describe.
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The Clone Entourage

    Wherein friend characters proliferate into an indistinguishable mass.

    "If a protagonist is going to have more than one friend, they should serve more than one purpose and have more than one personality. More crucially, they must be distinguishable by more than the names that have been assigned to them. Generally, if they can collectively be referred to as "the guys", "the gals" or "the gang" with no harm to the plot, there doesn't need to be more than one of them."
  5. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The Cheerleader

    Wherein a sidekick exists solely to admire the hero(ine)



  6. Vader_vs_Maul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    All of these prose clichés have got me thinking about clichés in other mediums and genres, chiefly porn. What's with all porn flicks using the line "ah ah ah ah ah"? It's such a tired cliché. You'd think they would be able to give the characters a bit more original dialog.