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Angry Xelrog's How-to-Creepypasta Guide, Part 3: Trolling

Yes, that's right. It's time for a guide about trolling... sort of. This isn't about the kind you do in comment sections. Seriously, stop that. That's being a dick. No, this is a guide about writing trollpastas. Contrary to popular belief, there is a very clear distinction between a good trollpasta, and a bad one. Like any other type of pasta, most... are the bad kind. Here's some tips on how to hopefully make sure yours isn't the bad kind.

Rule 1Edit

Know what a trollpasta is and what you're trying to accomplish.

Let's make this clear. A trollpasta is a parody of bad creepypastas. It takes the things that make bad creepypastas bad, such as overused plot elements, abundant clichés, and poor writing structure, and exaggerates them to a ridiculous degree. Such is the art of hyperbole. If your goal in writing a trollpasta is to poke fun at bad creepypastas, then congratulations—you're starting from the right place. If your goal in writing a trollpasta is to fill a wiki with identical, terrible articles that took you two seconds to type up and which were written purely for your own amusement because it's so much fun to tap those pretty letter keys at random, then... well, don't expect any kind of positive feedback, to be sure, because you've pretty much just equated yourself to a monkey with a typewriter.

Rule 2Edit

Illegibility is not funny.

Intentionally typing like a toddler with Down's Syndrome does not make your trollpasta a better trollpasta. It doesn't add any comedic value simply because it's overdone. And by "overdone," I mean it's present in absolutely every trollpasta ever written everywhere since the dawn of time. THAT overdone. You'll get a lot more attention, and be a lot more unique, if you write a trollpasta that's comical for reasons like... oh, say, satire... parody... you know. Actual elements of comedy. Zalgo-type takes no talent, no vision, and no class. Once again, any monkey with a typewriter can do it. And on top of not adding any comedic value to your pasta whatsoever, it makes it a lot harder to read. Most people, upon seeing so much 1337speak that they need a decoder ring to read a pasta... aren't going to bother reading it at all. They'll skip it right over as the piece of crap that it is. Don't make your pasta a piece of crap. Even if you are, in fact, possessed by Zalgo.

...and yes, THAT INCLUDES OVERABUNDANCE OF CAPS AND SUPER LONG CHAINS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS AND ONES!!!!!!11!!!11!!1111111!!!!!!!1! Seriously, just stop, monkey. Who gave you a typewriter?

Rule 3Edit

Be original. Running gags are only funny if they're your own, and then only for so long.

Honestly, enough ending trollpastas with "and then a skeleton popped out and I died." Come up with some fresh way to parody a bad creepypasta ending or don't bother. Would you want to read storybooks if every one ended in exactly the same way? Would you watch a comedian if he re-used the same tired routine as his closing every single act? No. And the audience wouldn't either. Eventually they'd just be sitting there, rolling their eyes as crickets chirp to his 50th retelling of the same tired old joke. Now imagine this is your trollpasta audience. Wanna know a secret? You don't have to imagine it at all, because that is your trollpasta audience! At least, it is if you use the same gag that's been used in dozens of other trollpastas prior.

Rule 4Edit

Everything in moderation.

Use of clichés and lousy plot structure in terrible creepypastas are the foundation of mockery in trollpastas. That said, tying in with the previous rule, don't get carried away re-using the same bit over and over again. If "THERE WAS BLOOD EVERYWHERE" appears two or three times in a trollpasta, that's already a pretty exaggerated hyperbole of the overuse of blood and gore in a bad creepypasta. If it appears every other sentence, well then, that's just going to distract from the other jokes in the pasta (assuming there are any), and very soon you'll wind up with that bored audience of crickets. A good trollpasta, like a good comedy act, has multiple gags and prods that it can pull out, and doesn't rely on the same one throughout the entire pasta... except in cases where the trollpasta is making fun of that cliché, specifically, in which case you've made it much harder for yourself to stay fresh, and I hope you're a very good comedy writer indeed to make up for that handicap.

Rule 5Edit

Avoid being cheap.

This was already sort of referenced in rule 2... actually, in all of the other rules. It takes no time, effort, or talent to type terribly. It takes no time, effort, or talent to re-use other people's gags. It takes no time, effort, or talent to draw a 5-second doodle with red spray paint blood in MSPaint. None of these things take any form of investment from the author, and one of the worst things you can do for your pasta is to make it obvious to your readers that even you couldn't be bothered to spend more than a few seconds on it. If that's the case, they're certainly not going to take the time to read it (or decipher it, as the case may be, Zalgo-monkeys). The "make things as cheap and bland as possible" shtick was—very debateably—funny when Tim & Eric did it the first time. Not so much the next 12 times. And the fact that it's so incredibly easy and effortless to do, of course, means that everyone and their grandmother is doing it. Don't make your pasta like everyone and his grandmother's, the wrinkly old bag. Be fresh. Be original. Give people a reason to invest their time in reading it.

This has been the third and likely final installment in Angry Xelrog's How-to-Creepypasta Guide. I hope you enjoyed this series if you are one of the very, very few strong writers who follow all of these guidelines. And if you're not, I hope you took the time to learn from them, angry though they may be. Ciao.

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