A treasure trove of very bad writing | Bleader

A treasure trove of very bad writing




Arch West, leader of the Frito-Lay team that developed Doritos, died September 20 at age 97. This Sunday's New York Times ran an op-ed piece on the ubiquitous snack chips' use as a literary device, offering quotes high and low. Among them was this jaw dropper from Nora Roberts:

They sprawled on the steps of the veranda with a couple of bottles of beer and a bag of Doritos. His flavor of Doritos, Ford noted. With her head tipped back against the post, Cilla laughed so the sound of it poured over the music. And straight into Ford’s gut.

I've never read any of Roberts's more than 200 books, most if not all best sellers, but I did use to freelance edit romance novels. As much a fan of very bad writing as I am of very bad poetry, I kept a notebook of the best of the worst passages.

From California Caress, by Rebecca Sinclair:

Denial was wiped away like a wet cloth gliding over chalked slate, leaving not a trace in the wake of the all-consuming passion that burst through Hope's body with all the speed and grace of a herd of stampeding longhorns.

Every beat of his heart pulled her higher, sucking her headlong into the churning spiral of a tornado that promised eternal gratification with each glorious thrust and retreat.

She had fallen off the horse that was Drake Frazier.

From Nebraska Embrace, by Katherine Kincaid:

No majestic buffalo bull sported grander equipment for pleasing a lady buffalo.

His thighs were supple young oak trees holding down her legs.

Then she was in his arms, laughing and crying at the same time, poignantly reminded of their joyous reunion following the buffalo stampede.

I could go on . . .