Monday, August 30, 2010

Terrible Bad Writing Excerpts

The following are real excerpts from actual books. They are terrible.

There was no question about it, my computer was locked up like a crazy aunt in a dark, secluded attic, or like the brakes on my '73 Chevy Impala on a rainy day when my wife is driving the kids to origami lessons and is running late because Isaiah, my son, made a fuss at the last minute and refused to be put into his car seat. (Peter L. Belmonte)

In his arms, I wasn't a girl dreaming of sailing the high seas, and I wasn't a farm kid jumping the train, either, but a fully grown woman riding the soft side of the crescent moon. (Ann Howard Creel)

Sarah felt bored and unsatisfied, even though her job as a nurse's aide included helping patients and keeping track of the billiards equipment in the recreation room at the Venereal Disease Treatment Center, and she wondered what her mother had been thinking all those years when she repeatedly told her that a young lady should mind herpes and cues. (Brad Jolly)

It was a barky and wormy night at Dr. Kilmore's 24-Hour Veterinary Emporium when, right in the middle of his 3:00 AM stool watch, Alberto suddenly realized that, pound for pound, Shih-Tzus swallow more tennis bracelets than most dogs twice their size. (Jan Socie)

When the time came for Timothy to fly the nest, he felt the best years of his life were ahead of him, if only because he had spent the childhood ones living in a nest. (Sian Arthur)

The confidence in his smile... that smile that pulled me in like ice cream melting down a cone. (Ann Howard Creel)

Gerald began - but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them "permanently" meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash - to pee. (Jim Gleeson)

Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before. (Dave McKenzie)

As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual. (Dan McKay)

Racing through space at unimaginable speeds, Capt. Dimwell could only imagine how fast his spaceship was going. (Gary Smith)

When Detective Riggs was called to investigate the theft of a trainload of Native American fish broth concentrate bound for market, he solved the case almost immediately, being that the trail of clues led straight to the trainmaster, who had both the locomotive and the Hopi tuna tea. (Mitsy Rae)

India, which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one had thought of it before. (Ken Aclin)

It was high noon in the jungles of South India when I began to recognize that if we didn't find water for our emus soon, it wouldn't be long before we would be traveling by foot; and with the guerilla warriors fast on our heals, I was starting to regret my decision to use poultry for transportation. (Eric Winter)

When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday, his children packed his bags and drove him to Golden Pastures retirement complex just off Interstate 95. (Stephen Farnsworth)

Because of her mysterious ways I was fascinated with Dorothy and I wondered if she would ever consider having a relationship with a lion, but I have to admit that most of my attention was directed at her little dog Toto because, after all, he was a source of meat protein and I had had enough of those damn flying monkeys. (Randy Blanton)

The children of Hamelin were led away by a pied piper (it's common knowledge) to parts unknown; whither they went is now herein revealed, however the precise location is cloaked in accordance with International Fantasy Regulation IFR.02.3a governing site specifics as, for example, in any Harry Potter story the locations are indeed identified, but just you try and find them. (P.S. Hamilton)

She walked toward him, her dress billowing in the wind -not a calm and predictable billows like the sea, but more like the billowing of a mildewed shower curtain in a cheap motel where one has to dance around to avoid touching it while trying to rinse off soap. (Kristin Harbuck)

The night resembled nothing so much as the nose of a giant Labrador in excellent health: cold, black, and wet. (Devery Doleman)

After months of pent-up emotions like a caffeine-addict trying to kick the habit, Cathy finally let the tears come, at first dripping sporadically like an old clogged percolator, then increasing slowly like a 10-cup coffeemaker with an automatic drip, and eventually pouring out and noisily wailing like a cappuccino maker complete with slurping froth. (Chris Bui)

The rising sun crawled over the ridge and slithered across the hot barren terrain into every nook and cranny like grease on a Denny's grill in the morning rush, but only until eleven o'clock when they switch to the lunch menu. (Lester Guyse)

Coincidentally, just as Rose hung out the third sheet out to dry, it started to rain down in sheets and not the soft kind like a fine 400-count Egyptian cotton, but more harsh like a cheap poly blend but even so, Rose didn't notice as she was three sheets to the wind. (Barbara Bridges)

Billy Bob gushed like a broken water main about his new love: "She's got long, beautiful, drain-clogging hair, more curves than an under-the-sink water trap, and she moves with the ease of a motorized toilet snake through a four-inch sewer line, but what she sees in me, a simple plumber, I'll never know." (Glenn Lawrie)

The double agent looked up from his lunch of Mahi-Mahi and couscous and realized that he must escape from Walla Walla to Bora Bora to come face-to-face with his arch enemy by taking out his 30-30 and shooting off his nemesis' ear-to-ear grin so he could wave bye-bye to this duplicitous life, but the chances of him pulling this off were only so-so, much less than 50-50. (Charles Jaworski)

They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently. (Mariann Simms)

On holiday in Paris, France, we watched the Parisians sing and dance and soon they made us feel so good we fell into the festive mood of that city's cheerful pace that keeps a smile upon your face where there's such a lot to do and see, but it's hard to find a place to pee. (Walter Hamp)

His knowing brown eyes held her gaze for a seeming eternity, his powerful arms clasped her slim body in an irresistible embrace, and from his broad, hairy chest a primal smell of "male" tantalized her nostrils; "Looks like another long night in the ape house", thought veterinarian Abigail Brown as she gingerly reached for the constipated gorilla's suppository. (Paul Jeffery)

As she contemplated the setting sun, its dying rays casting the last of their brilliant purple light on the red-gold waters of the lake, Debbie realized that she should never again buy her sunglasses from a guy parked by the side of the road. (Malinda Lingwall)

They say she carried her own warmth around with her, like one of those thermoregulating arctic mammals, say, a polar bear, or a baby harp seal (though not a penguin, which is Antarctic, anyway, and not a mammal, but a bird), but she wasn't fat or blubbery, which makes it all the more unbelievable why anyone would have wanted to club her to death for her fur coat, which wasn't even white, I'm told, but black. (Harry H. Buerkett)

I won't delay this story with any fancy "Once upon a time" nonsense, preferring to dive right in, like Pete Rose bowling over Ray Fosse at home plate in the 1970 All-Star game at Riverfront Stadium, erupting a controversy over the point of the All-Star contest since that infamous slide did end Fosse's season and compromise his career in a seemingly pointless exhibition game, which was nothing compared to the subsequent controversies surrounding Charlie Hustle's tax fraud, betting habits, and haircuts. (Elizabeth Metz)

It wasn't the desolate remoteness of the campsite that bothered him, or even the terrifying roar of the rapids beating themselves against solid granite below, so much as the eerie sound of pigs squealing in the distance and the fact that, in this light, cousin Billy looked disturbingly like Ned Beatty. (Cindy Erickson Gilman)

The sobering scene was laid out before Detective Robinson like a centerfold spread in Better Homes and Gardens or Martha Stewart Living, if the splayed bodies could be considered home furnishings such as hand-knotted 100% wool Tibetan area rugs or allergy-free hypodown throw pillows stuffed with European goose down and the blood on the walls had been a carefully spattered burnt vermilion latex paint for a classic aged or contemporary Jackson Pollock-like finish. (Theresa Olin)

Detective Inspector Mike Norman slipped six fingers into his overcoat pocket, five of them clad in a latex glove and attached to his palm, while the sixth was wrapped in a plastic evidence bag and apparently belonged to the kidnapped pianist Ricardo Moore, or, as it now seemed likely, the kidnapped ex-pianist Ricardo Moore. (Alan Campbell)

T'asha lay in bed musing at the slight wrinkles in the down comforter which like waves in a gently wind-blown semi-calm sea heaved gently as she moved her legs under the cover and alternately wiggled her toes, causing a rogue ripple to course across the bed and die against the shore of the pillow. (Bob F. Bledsoe)

He knew that, at most, he had five seconds left to live, one one-thousand, two one-thousand, the gun barrel pointing at his face like a scolding finger, three Mississippi, four Mississippi, the hired assassin Ricardo's grip tightening on the trigger, five white elephants, six white elephants, and then a bright blast of light as he wondered which was really the most accurate way to count five seconds. (Vincent M. Zito)

The rhythmic breathing of my companion was interrupted violently by a fit of coughing, causing the peace of the early morning to be ripped from me as if Richard Simmons had charged into my bedroom in his be-sequined health fervor and started Sweating to the Oldies on the end of my bed. (A. Caywood)

I'd stumbled onto solving my first murder case, having found myself the only eyewitness, yet no matter how frantically I pleaded with John Law that the perp was right in front of them and the very dame they'd been grilling the sultry but devious Miss Kitwinkle, who played the grieving patsy the way a concert pianist player plays a piano the cops just kept smiling and stuffing crackers in my beak. (Chris Esco)

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. (Joseph Romm)

Although Sara could believe the brassiere she had found was from a mix-up at the Laundromat, that the lipstick on Bill's collar really had been from a cramped elevator, that the stiletto heel was indeed something the cat dragged in, when she pulled Chloe's unmistakable prosthetic arm from under the bed, she realized she had been played for a fool. (Nicholas R. Eaton)

"Bring a bottle of wine and wear something uncomplicated I'm in no mood for a struggle tonight," rolled from Jean-Pierre's lips like a bowling ball shooting up the return ramp, only to slow itself abruptly at the top before ka-whonking! into the balls already lined up there like all the lines she had heard before, and Sylvia knew at last that all the good ones were not married, gay, or in Mexican prisons. (James Pokines)

Standing in the concessions car of the Orient Express as it hissed and lurched away from the station, Special Agent Chu could feel enemy eyes watching him from the inky shadows and knew that he was being tested, for although he had never tasted a plug of tobacco in his life, he was impersonating an arms dealer known to be a connoisseur, so he knew that he, the Chosen One, Chow Chu, had no choice but to choose the choicest chew on the choo-choo. (Loren Haarsma)

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