Will Ludwigsen’s Foul-Mouthed Writing Checklist

Will Ludwigsen
1 min readApr 12, 2014

Have I mentioned before what a terrible writing teacher I am? I suck. I really do. All I really bring to the table are funny and bombastic pronouncements that maybe stick in student minds 20% of the time. I’m like the Lewis Black of professors, twitching and ranting until we all go home tired.

I keep having a hard time with a rubric that really gets at what I think makes a good story, and after much thought, I think this is pretty much it.

  • Is there some sign that the writer gave a shit about this story, put something personal in it?
  • Is it told in a voice more engaging than an asshole zombie groaning for brains?
  • Does something fucking interesting happen, performed on the page with action and quotes and all that shit?
  • Does the main character DO anything or does he/she stand around with a thumb up his/her ass?
  • Does the main character feel or learn a goddamned thing at the end?
  • Does the manuscript look like someone smarter than a fucking monkey put it together?
  • Does the reader give a fuck at the end?
  • Does the story go any deeper than the usual superficial bullshit that coddles dumbasses?



Will Ludwigsen

Will Ludwigsen writes horror fiction and non-fiction, the former most recently in his collection Acres of Perhaps, and the latter in corporate America.