Words to Avoid When You Write a Novel
Author: Cyil Wayne Thornton

Chapter 22
The Cale Kelly Syndrome

"Hey Kelly ... Mr. Johnson wants to see you in his office.”

"What now?" Cale Kelly asked and then threw his broom against the wall.

"I think he's going to fire you for arguing with a customer yesterday."

"I never argue with customers."

"Sure you did. You called an old man a douchebag because he was wearing an American flag lapel pin in honor of our soldiers."

"No way. Calling people names is not what I do."

Kelly then pontificated his philosophy on the subject. “Name-calling is what people do when they want to hurt you but can't. They call you names instead. Insecurity. Impotence.”

"It's on tape. Kelly. ... Mr. Johnson showed me the part and then told me to send you to his office."

"Well, he doesn't have to fire me, cause I quit."

Kelly went berserk and knocked the impulse buy items off the counter top in the 'Tobacco for Less' store. Then he picked up the broom and tried to break it over his knee, but it didn't break so he slung it toward the back of the store.

He slammed the door and then bumped into someone on the sidewalk on his way to the bus stop.  

The previous 21 chapters depict and illustrate what the literary agents have told us not to do when we write a novel, short story, or other forms of story telling,

This chapter shows how Cale Kelly, a wannabe author, has made every mistake in the book – so to say.

Cale Kelly, a 45-year-old fat man, quit everything he ever started, high school, a paper route, three marriages, three seminary schools, three diets, three exercise programs, and a multitude of jobs in his life - today added another job to his list of failures on record at the unemployment office.


To improve your writing study the life and times of Cale Kelly, a 45 year-old crybaby with an "F" tattooed on his forehead? 

To improve your writing, do not adopt the personality or writing techniques of Cale Kelly.

Kelly grew-up in a lower class uneducated family and community which he later blamed for his becoming a social outcast in high school. He failed 3 marriages, he flunked-out of 3 seminary schools, but has since claimed he graduated from one of them, and he quit or was fired from all his jobs in his life.

  Cale Kelly brags about committing adultery, yet he tells others what they are doing is immoral. He said this on his internet chat group: “I have only shown my penis to females who I was certain were interested in seeing it.”

Kelly wrote this, “While it's true, I did conduct an affair with a married woman 20 years my junior a few years ago...that shouldn't invalidate my opinion on this.”

One of his ex-wives raises his young son and two daughters, but he pays no child support. He refers to his children as his kids, but he has not spent much time with them, except to show-up a few times a year and try to convince them to not believe in God. In the late 80s and early 90s he attended a "Christians Only" school. However, after failing to understand the concepts of the Bible, he decided he was an atheist and tried to convince his family to join him in that non-belief system. He actually stated on his internet chat group that the Bible was mainly about saying that sex was dirty, and that same gender sex was even dirtier.

Kelly admits that he cheats and lies when given a chance, but he justifies it by stating that ‘everyone’ cheats and lies when given a chance to not get caught. He has about 5 different accounts on his chat group and he secretly gives himself a thumbs-up (a high rating) for his answers to questions on that website. What Kelly doesn’t know yet, is that there is a record of him giving himself those thumbs ups.

Kelly wrote, “With respect to my children, my dog, my wife or my car, I don't trust anybody …”

Guess what?  Kelly is such a loser that he lost his children, his dog, his wife(3 wives) and his car.

He is unemployed, on welfare, and on anti-depressant drugs.

 Kelly shares an apartment with 2 other failures in life. He is a regular on an internet chat group where he claims/insinuates he is a college graduate, a good father, a seasoned author, and a lady's dream man – he’s a legend in his own mind.

 After he flunked out of college Kelly searched the dictionary and memorized several [sesquipedalian] multisyllabic words so he could pretend to be intelligent and well educated. On a local TV network he was interviewed and he introduced himself as “corpulent Cale Kelly.” Currently he calls himself ‘Cale , the cunningly linguistic Kelly.’

He pretends to be a college graduate and uses a myriad of pseudo-intellectual words and expressions when he asks and answers questions on an internet chat group -- a ploy that most college graduates would be ashamed of.

[A Princeton research paper included thousands of Interviews with real college graduates and concluded that they think it is stupid to use words that are not easily understood by the average person in our society. (One may simply Google “Educated people think it is stupid to talk like a pompous ass.”)]


Examples of words used [out of context] by Kelly in an effort to impress uneducated people:









False dichotomy




ad nauseum.



















pretentious to tell the Asker on a given question

refrain from being so pretentious

pretentious behavior

particularly salient points 

mea culpa





"persecution complex"-ish






[my brilliant answers]










Kelly makes a habit of adding ly, ing, ous, ment, and other letters to the end of words in order to impress the reader. What it does in effect is to force the reader to step through an additional syllable to read his work.

 Several literary agents wrote articles on the net and told us not to add those extra weeds to the ends of words – especially when writing a novel. Kelly has gotten all of his work rejected by literary agents, but he just can’t figure-out why the agents are not impressed with his ‘pompous ass’ attitude.

Examples of other words used by Cale Kelly, the motor mouth of Yahoo Questions and Answers:










Fortunately, I think





I sincerely






your father and brother probably think



regularly interacting



really ...






You're probably



substitutionary /substitutionarily













3. Keeping


[Reminder: As mentioned in chapter 1: Ing verbs are fine in normal conversations and short term correspondence, but a novel is a long haul and cannot afford anything that slows down the sense of urgency to read "what happens next." This subject was addressed in more detail in earlier chapters.]

suddenly become

felt impelled to immediately


Not sure exactly



"Stop being so obtuse." = something Kelly heard a college student say. So he uses that expression to pretend he is a college graduate.

This is how Cale Kelly feels about himself when he is not depressed: “As one of the smartest people in the world, I think I can authoritatively say that you are a moron.”

“as far as I'm concerned”

. I'm sure

He claims to be an atheist.

"sin" is a fiction.

"heaven" is a fiction.

"repentance" with regard to "sins against God" is a fiction.

However, he slips and says such things as:

"Oh, dear God"

For the love of Jesus

"Dear, sweet Jesus...."

'Teach them that God would rather ..."

'Dear god, man. You can get one for five bucks or less at most used bookstores”

"God doesn't define "bad" the same as we do."

"Physical or emotional suffering and even death aren't "bad" things to God. We don't 'like them, but that doesn't make them morally "evil." They are the result of human sin, so we have only ourselves to blame when they occur to us."

"We may not like being broke or being sick, but that doesn't make these things BAD. God may use them to bring about spiritual growth and progress, which are more important than physical discomfort or deprivation".

 Kelly flunked out of 3 seminary schools and he thinks that qualifies him to say the following on the internet chat group:

“I am better educated about religion and general and about Christianity specifically than 95 percent of the theists in this section.”


former seminarian, now agnostic atheist.

Question: If you flunk out of seminary does that mean you are a “former seminarian”?


He claims to be a college graduate, but uses lower class uneducated terms and expressions.





all that stuff

right this instant

The problem you run into

try to make a buck off of it.

I think you should scrap all that cheesy crap

I already did.

I'm gonna

hardly anything

hard to find

(Why do lower class uneducated people have a habit of using the word ‘hard’ when they mean that something is difficult?)


I think that


I don't guess you've ever heard of this

for an entire month

(What is the difference between a month and an ‘entire’ month?)

no wonder

It's a stupid idea

I don't remember, but I think they think

 a bunch of

from the very beginning.

As long as

this isn't gonna matter to you one lick.

Yup. I thought it was my browser, but it was just Yahoo having trouble. Whatevs.

came up


They think

Trust me, babe.


wore the pants in that family

gonna do



ignoramuses  (This word falls into two categories of personality-types)

unbearably cheesy

people post stuff

*have to*

Little did she know



One of my roommates was whining

I hope my daughters never hook up with a guy like this Grey character. I'd probably end up murdering him.

I see a lot

looked over

the lowdown.

pretty ignorant

all other sorts of good stuff

You may want to read up on the

I now find such places creepy.

People pretty much know I'm odd

 see what you can find out there.

I sort of like being me.


You’re apparently

walking around

just as much

driving me nuts

hardly ever

I generally don't care

they surely know


the only person *period*

Technically, yes.

 virtually zero.'

You are ignorant

you know practically nothing  

much like I do.

so I'd say

 sloppy drunk


Make me


that's what

shouldn't you be

 I can't even

every bit as

I figure I know

 I'm pretty solidly


if the truth be known.

They didn't go into this much

 I analyze everything

 that my problem is that


 stop trying



quite a bit more

I defy anyone

Of course, at this point, I think

 hands down.

I don't see that either is

although I'm only familiar with

I have no idea why anyone would

I've read a bunch

"But I don't believe ..." 

"But I don't think .."

[He starts some sentences with the word 'but.' - That indicates he never spent enough time in college to learn not to do it. It's almost as bad as an uneducated person who tries to act educated by starting a sentence with the word "actually."]

Kelly has a habit of adding useless words to his sentences.

The word 'that' is useless.

The word 'just' is useless and it is a lie.


"then they come up with all kinds of semantic gibberish to completely negate that "real presence" statement. "

[The above sentence fragment shows the real Cale Kelly.]

then they = then is useless and who in the heck are 'they'?

with all kinds of = all = a term used by small children and uneducated people/

semantic gibberish ==  semantic is useless in the sentence .   Is there another type of gibberish?

Here comes Kelly with his ly words again = completely = Who is he trying to impress?

negate that = 'that' is useless and 'negate' smacks of Hoity Toity.

"real presence" == why the quotation marks? == who is Kelly quoting ? 

Perhaps you could make your question a little more specific. =  [Anger management language]

I was pondering the same thing recently.

 (which is to say,

, it just seems

to occupy my brain

I think it's just

I hope you realize that

Perhaps you should study

Kelly is trying to become a professional author by reading at least 50 books a year [written by famous authors] and then he copies/steals ideas from them, which is a big mistake.

He was told by someone in his neighborhood writers group that he wrote lousy dialogue because he didn’t use contractions that are common in most people’s conversation. Now, Kelly contracts everything he can think of – regardless if it applicable or needed.

Examples of his crazy contractions:



London's …. He thinks that means ‘London is.’


After he lost his job at the ‘Tobacco for Less’ store, he got two minimum wage jobs, a night clerk at a run-down hotel, and a Pizza delivery person.

 (They repossessed Kelly’s car, and he used his ex-wife’s car to deliver Pizzas in exchange for Kelly’s promise to start paying child support.)

He lost both jobs because he argued with customers.

Kelly will never have to look for another job. He convinced the unemployment office to start sending him a mental check.

Kelly has bragged on the internet about what he said to the examiner.

“I'm an agnostic atheist. I'm irreligious, but I once studied to be a minister. I'm developing a series of novels of horror and paranormal suspense. I've been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder-recurrent and with Avoidant Personality Disorder.”

On the internet chat group if anyone disagrees with Kelly or points out his mistakes, he jumps down their throats.


you know practically nothing

the answers were just silly.

How does THAT make sense?

I recommend that you not overgeneralize quite as much

 I think that's rude and presumptuous
Oh, dear god, you douchebag.
What you've done is rude and presumptuous.

Try to have a point next time


no one wants to talk to you.

You are ignorant

I pity you

'It's semantic gibberish.

Is there another type of gibberish?

(Kelly keeps using that term, but he doesn't know what it means.)

you know practically nothing 

I demand that you take that down. That's an invasion of my privacy.

That's bullshit

'It's semantic gibberish.

pretty naïve and stupid

silly and childish

completely idiotic

So go ahead and perpetuate an ignorant myth

Holy Cow!

refrain from being so pretentious

You seem narrow-minded and petty

Who the hell told you

Dear god. You can read a huge book

You clearly don't care about

oh, dear god. You want us to look at your story, but you're not even

“I would tell you that I'm glad you're not *my* mother, but the truth is, you sound a lot like her. And you can, perhaps, see how her approach has turned out for her.


45 year old agnostic atheist, former Christian and ministerial student.”

If you put out work like this for public consumption, you'll just embarrass yourself and annoy your readers.

(Maybe Kelly should follow his own advice.)

I'm going to pretend you didn't add those additional details, because additional details turn your question into a violationable rant.

silly semantic argument.

That guy is a creep

You apparently don't understand

O ineffective one!

I don't want to see that crap.

Your mother is ignorant

Cale Kelly uses vulgar language which he seems to think is colorful – it isn’t … it just illustrates that he is a lower class person who writes like a gutter snipe.



a complete @ss.

this sh*t goes on every day

That's bullshit

piss off



don't give a sh*t

f*cking death

Yeah...stop f*cking around on the internet and read.


he's pretty f*cking stupid

crazy-as-sh*t goal

How the hell did this happen?

I sh*t you not.

basic sh*t


Cale Kelly tried to join the Army, but was rejected because of his record of being a quitter – college, marriage, and about 40 jobs.

Since the army rejected him he rants against our soldiers and their duties.

Kelly condemns our past presidents and our elections.

He wrote the following on his internet chat group:

“Obama? I think the guy's a war criminal. And doesn't he have the Secret Service to help him out with [elections] stuff like that?”

“Carter was a shitty, vacillating President. But he's the only President we've had since prior to WW2 (with the possible exception of Eisenhower...I'd need to do more research on him) who wasn't a complete psychopath.”

“Kennedy was a psychopath, albeit less of one than LBJ or Nixon or Reagan or either Bush or even Clinton.”


To improve your skills and write a novel, do not adopt the personality or writing techniques of Cale Kelly.



a shitload





I actually read




of evolutionary

idiotic extrapolations

'It's rude to say

Because that way you get more

I would totally date you

 Like *that* accomplished anything.


 too self-indulgent

The man is a nut, and he's drunk on his own power

(Kelly wrote that about  someone else, but in reality Kelly described himself.)


Oh, dear god...it's horrible.


Generally when they


But in all honesty, no one knows


However, as a former student

Both of you--GC and Gary B--are making unfounded assumptions, unless you're quoting an authoritative Catholic tradition I'm not aware of. Neither of you knows exactly how Jesus knew the words of the Tanakh, so why are you both pretending?


People ain't going to see

People today would rather watch sh*t get blown up.


If all books/movies are like Divergent in the future, I'll want to kill myself.


 Most Christians are too ignorant


 "Blake." I'm pretty sure that what you are is "an imbecile."


 It's a ridiculous waste


people can't figure out




you son of a b*tch.


the whole goddamned category


 Kelly was a virgin on his wedding night because he was an ugly fat slob who married another ugly fat slob.  Yet he later told his internet chat group that he was a handsome well fit athletic -looking young man and that even though he was 45 years old he looked a lot younger.  Kelly has never provided any pictures of himself to the chat group, but he provided a picture of himself on Facebook - it would make you vomit.  For his avatar he uses a  skeleton and cross bones. (Which kind of explains why Kelly is unemployable and receives a welfare check for his mental problems.)

Chapter summary:

If you are a pompous ass, like Kelly, your personality will infect your novel, slow the pace, and bore the reader.


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