Space Ramblings

How to Write Like Stephen R. Donaldson

If you’re like me, then you have probably woken up every morning with the burning question on your lips, how can I write like Stephen R. Donaldson. Why would you want to write like Stephen R. Donaldson? What a silly questions, for asking that you’ve obviously been neglecting your supply of magic mushrooms, because I’ll have you know that Stephen R. Donaldson was praised by the Village Voice. That’s right, THE Village Voice you ignorant mushroom deprived buffoon. So pay attention now.

The key to writing like Stephen R. Donaldson is three things.

First overwrought emoting. Over the top and borderline out of your mind is key.

Second, never use a 5 or 20 dollar word if a 50 dollar or 300 dollar word is available. If the word hasn’t been used in a few centuries, no one in this era has heard of it and it doesn’t exist, so much the better.

Third, avoid characters who behave with the faintest tinge of rationality or sanity.

Good, now we can begin as I show you how to translate your writing into the brilliantly magical writing of Stephen R. Donaldson.

You: “Jack was tired and he could barely hold himself together as he staggered over the rocky slope and into his bedroll. When he got up the next morning, he had cornflakes”

Stephen R. Donaldson: “The body of Jack ached with the striated pains and agonies of the multifold awareness of the terrors that had haunted his days and the tremors swelling within the rue haunted musculature of his worn frame. His feet, grizzled by the unwarranted threnody of their unaccustomed dimunition stumbled lonesomely across slate and shale beneath the ashen tinged torc of the hill. He was aware that his bedroll still scented with lavender and anise lay ahead of him but he no longer felt that he had the strength to reach it or the moral right to claim it. His frangible human form clamored for it with the strict insistence of fatigue and injury yet his mind rejected its cushioned wholeness with a rectitude born of his unwearing self-loathing that would not see his own refusal rebutted with a night’s rest. As body and mind warred, Jack could not seem to walk anymore, he crawled in a frenzied haze to a destination he did not know, certain that when he arrived there he would go mad or destroy the world with his barren arena of stratospheric guilt, whose demense was the demented confines of his own worry bred psyche. When he got up the next morning, he had cornflakes.”

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