World Renowned Motivational Speaker, Anti-Suck Book Author and Bookshelf Battle Blog Columnist, Vinny Baggadouchio
Hello 3.5 Suckers.
I’m motivational speaker Vinny Baggadouchio and I won’t rest until everyone and everything in the entire world is one hundred percent suck free.
Is a suck free world a lofty, unattainable goal? Maybe. But if we can’t hold out hope for a suckless tomorrow, then why bother trying not to suck today?
If you’re tired of being an economy sized suck face, check out one of my many anti-suck books:
Journey to the Valley of the Suck
Desuckify Now! Ask Me How.
50 Ways to Stop Sucking
A Long Day’s Journey into Not Sucking
I Used to Suck But Now I Don’t
I Sucked but Now I’m Free
How to Spot a Sucker at 50 Paces
A Suckface Says, ‘What?’
The Sucktastic Voyage
Zen and the Art of Sucklessness
Bookshelf Q. Battler tells me this is a blog where writers are free to drop in and discuss ways to improve their writing skills.
As the world’s foremost anti-suck coach, I have counseled many writers on how to perfect their craft and stop writing in such a sucky manner.
MY FORMER WRITER CLIENTS AND HOW I HELPED THEM TO NOT SUCK:
Steven King – In the first draft of Carrie, Carrie and the school bullies learn to resolve their differences over cookies and milk. Carrie’s mother is so moved by this that she seeks professional psychiatric help and vows to become a better, less abusive mother.
I got up in Stevie’s grill and was all like, “Throw a bucket of pig’s blood on your protagonist and get the party started!”
RESULT: Steve’s book sales did not suck at all.
Suzanne Collins – Suzanne originally set out to have Katniss and friends compete in a friendly game of checkers of in order to determine who got to eat the last chocolate chip cookie.
My advice? Add in an evil dictator, give Katniss a bow and arrow and instead of checkers, make all the kids fight to the death.
RESULT: Four part movie deal. Boo-yah!
GEORGE R.R. Martin – GRRM’s had a vision of a fantasy world where a mere three characters agreed to disagree in a polite manner and followed all the rules while resolving their differences.
“Georgie Boy,” I said. “Try 9,072 main protagonists. Add in lots of backstabbing, violence, betrayal and gratuitous boobs. Dragons and more dragons. Make a slave girl march across a fantasy continent for like 20 years while she gets set on fire all the time and shows everyone her jugs. Oh, and be sure to make everyone think the good guy is about to win and then boom, he doesn’t. Also be sure to explain who the bad guy ended up becoming the bad guy so people have no clue how to feel about anything. Finally, throw in a brother and sister who do it and their doing it destroys all peace and stability in the realm.”
RESULT: George is one rich ass nerd.
DISCLAIMER: Mr. Baggadouchio may or may not have made up the above mentioned anecdotes but in all likelihood he probably did.
So, you want your writing to not suck?
Here are my steps to Desuckifying Your Writing
- Write and Read More
- Seek Help
- Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Climb aboard the anti-suck train as we go through these steps one by one:
- Write and Read More
If you’re reading this, chances are English is your first language. It could be your second. If you’re new to the English language and this blog is one your first experiences with the English tongue, my condolences, and allow me to recommend this cat named William Shakespeare. That dude’s book sales are legendary. Some very not-sucky numbers.
You might think you know all there is to know about the English language but you don’t. Some know more than others but overall, even the experts are learning new rules every day. It is difficult to master them all.
To complicate matters, there will always be rules where experts disagree.
The more you write, the better your writing will become. You didn’t learn how to ride a bike without wiping out a few times and you won’t learn how to write churning out a few sucky turd nuggets on paper either.
Can you learn how to ride a bike by watching someone else ride? It does help. Thus, you may not realize it at the time, but when you read a book, you learn how another author has handled a scene, dialogue, or other predicament.
Will practice make perfect? Perfection is in the eye of the beholder, but I can tell you that practice will make you suck less.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your novel won’t be either. After you write it, you’ll need to rewrite it.
You didn’t know who your characters were when you started. Now you do. You have had time to think about it and you realize certain details need to be added in the beginning. Perhaps a scene isn’t working. Maybe a sentence is clunky.
A good rewrite will knock the suck right out of your book.
Think of your book like a steak. Sure, you could plop a piece of meat on a plate and serve it up to your guest. They’ll eat it. They’ll go away with a full tummy. They might be left with the notion that you’re a sucky cook due to your poor presentation.
But take that same steak, drop a sprig of parsley next to it, garnish it with some garlic salt and smother it with a nice creamy bearnaise and your guest will be singing your praises.
3. Seek Help
Your book is like your child. You’re too close to it. You’ve tried your best but you can’t identify every way it sucks.
Sometimes this is because you’ve grown so used to the suck you can’t tell the suck from the non-suck.
Other times this is because what you believe to not suck does, in fact, suck.
There are editors out there who can help you desuckify your book.
They won’t be cheap and you need to be careful. Shop around. Seek recommendations from authors whose books you like. Do your homework.
But just as a good counselor will be able to analyze your kid and tell you all the ways you can help that kid to stop being such a giant suck bag, so can a good editor check out your book and advise you how to suck the suck right out of that draft.
Remember – once you click the publish button on Amazon, the eyes of the world (well at least the people who come across it) will be on your book.
You want to make a good impression. You want to do all you can to make it so your book does not suck.
4. Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
Unfortunately, I’ve a very busy anti-suck coach so I can’t advise you all on a one on one basis.
Some of you may believe that your writing sucks and you may very well be right. You could be correct in assuming that a drunk blindfolded llama with a pen stuck in its mouth could write a better novel than you.
Then again, some of you may be so wary of the need to not suck that you have mistakenly convinced yourself that your writing sucks when it actually does not suck.
Is your novel idea too far fetched? Maybe. Is it so far fetched that it sucks? Possibly.
But consider that the most popular show on television today features a drunken dwarf advising a dragon queen how to conquer a land being fought over by bastards, incestuous families, and ice zombies.
Yes Game of Thrones is on HBO, the same network that aired True Blood, a show about vampires who just humped and made funny quips all the time.
Does your farfetched idea suck? Maybe. But if you can honestly visualize it being turned into a show in the HBO lineup, then maybe its just the right kind of suck that people will love.
People, do you realize that for years now, a series of films about a man in an iron suit working with a green rage monster, a Norse God and a well-preserved World War II hero have been the most bankable box office busting flicks?
Let me share a piece of advice that entertainment insiders don’t want you to know:
Most book/movie ideas suck!!!
Do you know what is realistic?
Real life. You wake up. You poop. Brush your teeth. Take a shower. Eat a bagel. Go to work. Deal with assholes all day. Come home. Wash your laundry. Watch TV. Go to bed.
REPEAT THAT SHITTY SUCK FEST FOR 60 YEARS!!!
No one wants to read realism in a book. No one wants to see realism in a movie.
Do outrageously farfetched ideas suck?
In theory, yes.
But they’re a special kind of suck that, if discovered by enough people, could put some fat stacks in your bank account.
That’s all the desuckification advice I have for you today, 3.5 suckers.
Stop sucking around. Grab your laptop, start clacking your keys and get to work on desuckifying your writing career.
If you still need help, you can always pick up a copy of my book, Suck Free Writing: A Guide for Beginners Who Really Suck at a bookstore that doesn’t suck.