Friday, May 7, 2010

The "Dumber Than a Bag of Hats" Event - Preliminary Phase

So, I'm working the novel, and taking time now and again to check with some of the masters of the craft (vis-a-vis some really great books), and the idea of "exercises" struck a note.

Once, I was in a writing class where the assigned exercise was to "write a story with no meaning whatsoever".  The point was to try your best to be as nonsensical as possible; with the result being that it is nearly impossible to keep meaning out of your writing; so it's best to just go with it.

I started to wonder recently, if this might translate to something else - what if you were instructed to write the WORST piece of fiction you've ever penned? I mean awful.  Use every cliche, stilted metaphor, and hackneyed expression you can get your hands on.  If I'm right, by forcing yourself to use all these, you become acutely aware of them, and the stuff you really want to write can only get better.  My second theory is that the stories will be funny as hell.

Interested? Leave a comment below if you'd like to give this a try, and pass it around as you see fit. If we get 5 or more, it's a go, if not, then this post may be dismissed as the ramblings of a writer working on a chapter-transition problem.  If it goes, I'll post more info, including how to send the stories.

For structure's sake, we'll say a hard cap of 500 words (remember, we're going for awful, so that's about as much as you'd want to see.)  As a prompt, we'll go with "Hats."

Prizes? Probably not; though I've got access to Photoshop, and could likely whip up a blog badge for the winner (and participants).


  1. OMG- Yes! I used to participate in 'Terrible Sunday' at this absurdist site. Only a few of us did it, and not for very long. But it's so damn freeing. It's about letting go of inhibitions and writing a damn awful story. Then, you can see, that your normal work really doesn't suck as bad as it could.

    In fact, I have a piece I wrote for that and it has hats in it! Haha. Count me in.

  2. I'm sure I could write some severe crap, the way things are going at the mo. No time for nothing. Count me in, I'll dig out some of my earlier stuff. ;-0

  3. Okay - we're a week in, and it's just the three of us.

    Unless you guys are gung-ho, I'm going to call this one on account of no interest.

    If, however, you'd still like to give it a go, I'll absolutely post your stories here, which, if you then link to them from your site - may get this going.

    I'll defer to y'all.