I read this delightful essay on the literary insults writers hurl at each other, and it inspired a writing prompt!
Write a letter or review full of insults
- Imagine a correspondence between two writers, one whose writing you admire, one whose writing you loathe. What would your favorite writer pick up on, in the writing or reputation of the other, to criticize. What style would he/she use?
- Write an insulting letter to someone who regularly annoys you or someone who picked on you at school. Banish compassion. Write it with style, wit and ruthlessness. Be clever, artistic, snide. Have (guilty) fun.
- Write a rebuttal of an imagined unfavorable review of your work. Be sure to point out the critic’s shortcomings in the most colorful, inventive language you can, but challenge yourself to keep it fit for print (no profanity).
- Damn someone with faint praise.
- Create a rich picture in your head of each of the characters in your story (insulter and insultee). Allow their personalities to shine through you words.