lady_yashka (lady_yashka) wrote,

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Ten Rules For Writing Fiction Parts One And Two

I found these links on Neil Gaiman's journal. The articles were inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing.

There's some very good advice in these list. There's also some advice which I don't agree with. For example, always using 'said' for dialogue. My preference is to use 'said' most of the time. If you always use other words besides 'said' I think it can hinder the flow of the story.

Ten Rules For Writing Fiction Part One

Ten Rules For Writing Fiction Part Two

And in the spirit of these articles, I thought I'd add my own highly suggestive rules.

1.) Write every day. Somehow this rule only works for me during Nanowrimo, but I'm working on changing that.

2.) It is okay to suck. No, really, it's okay if your story sucks. Ernest Hemingway said, 'The first draft of anything is shit.' And he's right. So give yourself permission to suck.

3.) Don't reread what you wrote before you're finished. I know some of you can do this, but I can't. It makes the story start to become dull and boring.

4.) Finish what you write. It's a matter of principle. How do you know it sucks balls if you don't finish it?

5.) Reread and edit.

6.) Don't over edit. There comes a time when every author has to let a story go. We need to recognize when that is. Letting a story go is the only way you can move forward.

7.) Write what you love, not what you think sells. I write fantasy because I love fantasy. I love reading about epic battles with clashing swords and fiery dragons swooping across the sky. I love reading about vampires skulking in alleyways, and werewolves howling at the moon. I like zombies, damn it. So I'll write about these things. If you don't love what you write, then what's the point?

8.) Listen to well constructed advice, but don't take it as the word of God. Advice after all is just someone else's opinion.

9.) Trust your instincts. If something feels off about your story, there probably is something wrong with it. Just don't over to the tinkering.

10.) Have fun, damn it! This is very important. Even if you're currently slogging through the Great Swampy Middle*, you should still be having fun. If you sit down at your computer to work, and you're filled with nothing but dread, why are you writing? I've been frustrated, angry, felt lost and confused. I've wanted to scream and cry, but despite this, I still wanted to tell my story. This drive gets me through the middle, and by the time I reach the finish line, I'm happy to be done, but I miss the middle.

The Great Swampy Middle* is a term coined by Jim Butcher.

So, what are your rules?
Tags: writing
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