WOW, there are a lot of rules about writing out there! Seems like everyone has some sort of input on this topic. There is so much chatter about it, that, well, it can be quite overwhelming sometimes. Who do you listen to, which rule to you follow at what time?
Well, one set of rules my crit partner sent me made the most common sense. To me anyways, lol!
Robert A. Heinlein’s 5 rules for writing are simple and straightforward.
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from re-writing, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
The first two rules feel on target to me. If you wanna write, you gotta write and you gotta finish what you start.
Now, I’ve seen a lot of dialog between fellow bloggers with regards to rule 3. In my opinion, I see that rule as saying, don’t overwork the story, if you hack and slash too much, you’ll lose the heart of the piece. Instead, edit it in preparation for an audience.
The last two rules, again, makes sense to me. You must put your work out there, let others read what you’ve created. And you must not give up.
The only other rule my humbleself would add is:
> Read what you want to write. <
For me, my focus has been on short fiction, so the books I’ve sought out to study from have been short story anthologies. I’ve let published authors become my teachers, their writings became my textbooks.
I found that if Iread the story for pleasure, I’d have to read it again and examine exactly how that author led me through the tale. What made me keep turning the page, what descriptions leapt off the page and made me go “whoa,” what details did the author focus on, and what details did they leave up to my imagination, how did they plant the clues throughout the story to reveal the twist at the end?
So, those are the rules I like, the ones that work best for me, helping me in my quest to become a better writer. What are some of your own rules for writing? What’s worked for you (or hasn’t worked)? Lemme know, I’m always willing to try something new