Writers on Writing V
Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing , The Guardian posted rules on writing offered by several prominent writers, a list spanning from Margaret Atwood to Neil Gaiman. (Previous entries in this series: 1 2 3 4) Here were some of my favorites:
3 Defend others. You can, of course, steal stories and attributes from family and friends, fill in filecards after lovemaking and so forth. It might be better to celebrate those you love – and love itself – by writing in such a way that everyone keeps their privacy and dignity intact.
6 Write. No amount of self-inflicted misery, altered states, black pullovers or being publicly obnoxious will ever add up to your being a writer. Writers write. On you go.
8 The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can.
1 Cut out the metaphors and similes. In my first book I promised myself I wouldn't use any and I slipped up during a sunset in chapter 11. I still blush when I come across it.
7 Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.