by Raelene Gorlinsky
Some writers are hesitant to submit their work to an editor or agent because they aren't sure if their writing is "good enough" to ask someone to look at. Well, if you ever feel like that, you can perk yourself up by seeing the REALLY BAD stuff that some people submit. Several years ago, our editors compiled a "worst of the worst submissions" list. Believe me, none of you reading this blog could do worse. Pity the poor editors who have to look at this stuff.
~ Aack! Thirteen-year-old boy gets drunk, has sex with his four adult aunts, gets them all pregnant. By the time he is 17, he's fathered seven children. Author stated this is the first in a four-book series about the "hero's" life. Claimed it was an important psychological study of the development of the male psyche.
~ OMG! Futuristic post-Armageddon Earth. Chapter One contains a murdered, mutiliated baby, evil beastmen sodomizing and slaughtering villagers. Graphic violence, no romance, no 'good' sex. Why was this submitted as an erotic romance?
~ Historical with gang-rape of captured women. Sixteen-year-old heroine gets sexual turn-on from rape. Suggest writer look up "sensual" and "erotic" in dictionary; this story is neither.
~ A lovely, uplifting story of an escaped prisoner, the family he takes refuge with (all of whom he eventually kills), and the woman who loves him enough to commit murder and suicide at the end of the book so they can be together forever.
~ Where to begin? Hmm, maybe with the gratuitous rape of the 'bad guys', or the death scene that involves a stabbing in the crotch, or the utterly cliche and offensive Southern characterizations.
~ First person fan fiction featuring Nintendo characters. Umm, "romance"?
~ Historical romance based on the Iliad, featuring spankings and rape. Very boring. Neat trick to be able to write boring rape and spanking scenes.
~ Paranormal contemporary tale about a selkie. Basically the sex life of seals--Aesop's Fable meets National Geographic special.
~ Story told in first person by dying serial killer. Describes his first murder--of his best friend by cutting off his penis and slashing his throat--then pinning the murder on the new kid in town.
~ Ick, ick, ick! Hero and heroine marry when she is three years old. Hero actually gets turned on at one point by child bride. Typical dialogue from husband to wife: "Suck it, bitch!" I don't think so.
~ A cheery story about a cheating husband who kills himself at the end of the book. (Well, okay, maybe that counts as a HEA for the wife.)
~ Secret baby! Hero who can't make a commitment, heroine who learns that "love is letting go"! "Heated kisses:, "ultimate jewel in the orb of happiness". Her cute widdle doggie gets a bwoken tail. Need I go on? Did the author miss any cliches or chances for purple prose?