Don’t Have a Plan
If you’re in the business of ruining your novel and you have a plan, scrap it. Start from scratch. Write whatever comes to your mind, as it comes to your mind. If you like to write this way anyway, be sure to never think ahead. DO NOT figure out how your novel is going to end before you get there.
No plans. Got it?
If you are a writer who will die without an outline, no worries, you can still ruin your novel. Just use the first outline that pops into your head. Don’t revise it. Don’t optimize it.
Don’t Get Feedback
If you’re trying to ruin your story, feedback is the last thing you want. Once you finish your novel, don’t send it out to friends and family. Don’t join a critique group. Just read through it once and send it off to agents.
If they happen to give you some feedback, don’t listen to it.
Do Write With Flowery Prose
Short, concise writing will be good for your novel. You should fill your sentences and paragraphs with fluff. Put in as many adjectives (better yet, adverbs) as you can manage. The more, the better.
Flowery, fat prose will do many things to ruin your novel. It will slow your pacing to a crawl. The more random junk your characters say, the less real they will sound. Your novel will be waaaay longer than it should be. Fluffy prose only has benefits as far as we’re concerned.
Do Take Long Breaks
Yeah, every writer needs breaks, but yours should be super long. I’m talking months or years. This way, when you come back to your novel, you won’t really remember what you’ve been writing, and your work will turn out disjointed. Perfect.
Writing is hard, after all. Taking long breaks will be better for your health.
Working hard on your novel only leads to publication. If you want to ruin your novel, take breaks often and make them as long as you can.
If you happen to be one of those crazy people who actually want to write a best-selling novel, just do the opposite of everything above. It’ll work.
Can you think of any other ways to ruin your novel? I’m always looking for ideas.