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Rules for writers?

edited February 2012 in Writing
Rules for writing? Well, something to think about at least:


  • edited February 2012
    I swear not to break the second half of Henry Miller's second commandment.
  • I dunno, these rules seem to be doing the rounds on the net. I've seen 'em somewhere else recently. Still, they are interesting.
  • These same rules are rehashed everywhere and to be honest, they're just common sense. But speaking as someone who has been there and done it I would say that the key rules of writing for me are:

    If you can't take criticism, don't do it (you will get it no matter how good your work).
    Don't write with the express intention of trying to make money (if it's good enough, it will sell and the money will come).
    Know your audience (and give it what it wants).
    Don't be afraid to stop working and start again if you think something isn't working (which is how you avoid the mythical writers block).
    Write what you know (if nothing else it saves on research but your experience will shine through in your writing).
    Entertain yourself whilst you're writing and above all, enjoy it. After all, if you're not entertained, how do you expect your readers to be?

    Simple as that. Now get on and do it!
  • There's too many rules and too many guides out there - at some point you have to write, not just read about it.
  • I like rules that provide a little discipline, if you know what I mean. It's too easy to become distracted in this game.
  • The 'work on one thing at a time' doesn't apply to everyone, I'm sure. I wrote the novella I'm getting published whilst writing my crime novel that's still a work in progress. I find that when you get stuck on one piece or body of work that working on another makes sure you at least get some work done.
  • Same here. If I stuck to one thing I'd never have got anything published.
  • Rules for writers (by Steven Chapman)
    Rule 1: Write
    Rule 2 : Read
    Rule 3: Write
    Rule 4 : Read
    Rule 5: Write
    Rule 6 : Read
    Rule 7: Write!
  • And write and read some more...:)
  • Sounds good advice to me, and saves a fortune on 'how to do it' books. I've read a number of these, nodded wisely in agreement, and then carried on doing exactly what I've been doing before. I'm not saying that this is necessarily a good thing, but one has to keep the Luddite tradition alive.
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