Thursday, October 25, 2007

Everyone thinks they're a writer.

A coworker friend pointed out awhile back that unlike people most professions, writers don't have any kind of hurdle to clear, certification to get, test to pass, etc. And so - perhaps to annoy the fuck out of the rest of us - everyone thinks they can do it.

Not so in medicine. Or law. Or teaching. Or even food handling, which requires a certificate.

But from time to time, there is writing that is so bad that it's actually funny. You've probably read about or heard of the bad writing contest sponsored by San Jose State every year. We tried to do it in a writing class once, and it was hard! We were proving (we thought) the theory that you have to be a good writer to write terribly.

Well, today one of our prospective authors blew that theory out of the water.

She'd be the perfect contestant.

So....drum roll .... here you are! From a manuscript submitted to the publisher - never mind the lack of ability to properly punctuate sentences:

“How much time do I have to live.”

“A month.” Susan said, her voice full of sadness. “Four weeks at the least, a month at the most.”

A friend of mine said he'd be laughing about that all week next week...7 days at the least, every day at the most.


Jessica said...

Holy crap!!! That is hilarious!
I share your pet peeve. I get so annoyed by people who think they can write or talk about how they'd like to write a book someday, like it's easy or something. Not everyone can, or should, write a book!!!

Anonymous said...

Erika of Feminist Review, here -- just read your most recent post re: product-testing with your friend from Connecticut. Let me know if he makes it to Chicago.

And thanks for the piece on poseurs and Sunday scribblers. Recently had an exchange on this theme with the skittish endomorph.