10 writing rules

Following The Guardian’s “Ten rules for writing fiction” article, with the only clear rule that there are no rules, and since the New Yorker sees the rules as quirkily specific to each author, I thought I’d write my own rules, since they’re really only going to apply to me anyway, and I like to do things for my own amusement sometimes.

1. Only write on the days you eat.

2. When the going gets tough, take a nap.

3. Writing is lonely. Make friends with another writer so you can have bitch sessions.

4. Don’t work while the kids are running around.

5. Work even if the sink is full.

6. Be prepared to edit, rewrite, toss out, or even start from scratch.

7. Never stop your mother from telling you how great you are. You’ll need that positive reinforcement when the rejection letters start rolling in.

8. Let your characters do most of the describing. If you have more exposition than dialogue, you’re in big trouble.

9. When you think you’re done, put it away for 6 months. Then see.

10. Let someone else read your novel before you send it out and really listen to what they like and don’t like about it.

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