Worst Writing Ever

"Solomon hissed like an airbed being deflated, but not for as long, and suddenly yanked out his bloody gun. Because of his training, Owen was ideal in these situations and jumped up wrestled him to the floor. The gun went off and killed a waiter. Bullets from more of Gravedenko’s goons outside then sprayed into the restaurant from all angles, killing three-fifths of a family (not the mum and middle son). Owen hid behind his flipped-over table, using the menu as a shield because it was so thick. In fact, La Cucina has so much on the menu that’s it’s a bit disorientating and very difficult to know what to order. I’d recommend asking what’s on special. Owen grabbed a fork and threw it like how you’d throw a knife at Solomon. It lodged in his neck and clearly hurt like hell because he flailed around like a fish does when it’s drowning in, ironically, air."

This is from "Four Extracts from My Novel" by Tom Basden, and it can be found in the latest issue of free literary magazine Five Dials (No 28). It is hilarious reading.

I also recommend the very good, but equally hilarious, piece from the same publication, Matthew De Abaitua´s "Self & I", about the author´s employment as Will Self´s amanuensis. 


  1. this post title reminds me of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, named in honor of the man who began his novel with, "it was a dark and stormy night". the idea is for contestants to write the opening sentence of the worst of all possible novels. they are hysterical to read. the winners are re-printed at the contest web site: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/winners.html

    sometimes bad prose is more fun to read than the good.

    thx for pointing me to this publication. i'm going to subscribe in my news reader just as soon as i figure out how to do that in my new reader. i miss google reader already.

    1. I have heard of that contest. "It was a dark and stormy night" always remind me of Snoopy!

      And there is much to learn from bad prose, for a writer. One just mustn´t overdose...