Tuesday, December 29, 2015

When Writers Go Bad by Betsy Ashton

Writers can go bad. Some should have a "use-by" date on them. Others should be prevented from writing from time to time. To that end, a group of eleven writers in Lake Writers, a subchapter of The Virginia Writers Club, and the literary arts group of Smith Mountain Arts Council, set out last year to write the worst book ever. Think Bulwer-Lytton and "It was a dark and stormy night" on steroids.

This group of wickedly funny writers laid down certain rules. The main character, Lorelei Leigh Lakewurst, has long, flowing auburn tresses which she constantly tosses and emerald green eyes that flash at the blink of an eye. Stories have to take place on, in, under or around Smith Mountain Lake. There was no such thing as too many adjectives strung together, too many adverbs modifying too many dialog tags.

For example, the first time Lorelei attends a Lake Writers meeting, she meets Myown Poveratti, or POV. A plastic surgeon, he focuses on her heaving bosom. As Lorelei begins to get serious about writing, she says candidly, "I'd decided to write about an alluring s-x goddess who swims naked in the lake every month of the year. Why naked, you ask? Because I am allergic to spandex, that's why. And I intended to write what I know--just like I learned from my author buddies at Lake Writers. How else would I KNOW what it feels like to swim nated in February?" You get the idea.

Not only is the writing, um, odd, so is the production of the book itself. Fonts change from chapter to chapter or within a chapter. Line spacing flips from single spaced to double. An editor address "O Gentle Reader" directly to explain what has just happened, in case the reader is too, um, feeble-minded to understand for him/herself.

The back of the book warns: DON'T BUY THIS BOOK! in red. DON'T READ THIS BOOK! in red. And it comes with a warning: "if you persist in reading this dreadful book, the members of Lake Writers take no responsibility for any damage to your intellect or sensibilities. You have been warned."

In true writer/disclaimer fashion, none of my words are in this novel, although my copy has numerous coffee splurts.

Nekked Came the Swimmer is a project to raise money for scholarships given out by the Smith Mountain Arts Council. A mere $10 spent on Amazon  will give you minutes of laughter. It's such a small amount of money that I know you can afford to own one of your own. Believe me, you will regret it.

So, how about helping me raise a bit of money for scholarships. Follow the link above. I'll be forever grateful, wildly happy, bosom heaving with emotion. Or some such rot.


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Jannine Gallant said...

Too funny, Betsy. I bet the group had a great time writing the book!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Hilarious! And I haven't even gotten to the book yet. Thanks for my morning guffaw.

Rolynn Anderson said...

This sounds like a fun project, Betsy. It's important we don't take our art too seriously...and parody is always a hoot. Good for you and your friends for playing for the farcical.

Brenda Whiteside said...

How fun. And for a cause.

Unknown said...

Thanks Betsy for the fun entertainment, great way to start a new 2016, it lightens the soul, having good clean fun, God Bless, love, Marge Dawson.

Diane Burton said...

Sounds like fun.