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"Bad writing" can either mean the use of words, idioms, figure of speech or grammar is terrible, but it can also mean that the plot is horrible. How do you precise it's the latter? Is there a more precise way of saying "bad writing"?

For example, have a look at this sentence:

The fact that many characters appear in the story to never surface ever again is bad writing.

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You can say that the writing is hackneyed:

[Merriam-Webster]

: lacking in freshness or originality
// hackneyed slogans

A similar word (I don't like it as much, but it might be more common) is banal:

: lacking originality, freshness, or novelty : TRITE

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