Rules for Writers (#2)

I blogged a couple weeks ago about “Rules for Writers.” This was a list I came up with on my lunch break, and it got to be 30+ points, and I felt like I could go further! Last time I only got up to number 2 (rather, 2c…), so I’m going to start with number three. Like last time, I’ll give my current thoughts on the rule, whether I still agree with it or not. This first one is kinda crazy…

3. Read at least 10,000 words for every 1,000 words you write.

[This one may seem a bit extreme, but it isn’t, really. Most regular readers can read 10,000 in an hour (or even less), and if you are a writer, reading is probably one of your main forms of entertainment anyway. 10,000 seemed a good number, because it is ten times one thousand, the recommended quota by many writers. The point is to be a writer, you have to a reader first…and a voracious one at that.]

3a. Rarely trust an adverb – they have betrayed many-a-writer, to their doom.

[Never mind that this rule starts with an adverb. Let’s just pretend that was intentional. But I still agree with this one. Adverbs have a way of sneaking in. I struggle with them all the time. I always think they will do a good job of explaining what I want to convey. But they betray me, 99 percent of the time. Stephen King said something on the order of the road to hell being paved with adverbs. I couldn’t agree more. This is still a point of improvement for me. Someday…

4. Never waste a word.

[As a writer, every word counts. Nothing is frivolous. Maybe one unneeded word here and there won’t make much a difference…but too many and the plot bogs down. It’s like a runner taking on extra ounces.When ounces become pounds, the runner moves more slowly. With too many extra words, the plot slows to a halt, and the reader will put down your book.]

5. Close your door, turn off your phone, disconnect the Internet, and keep your work space clutter free. There should be nothing in your vicinity to distract you.

[Writing is an exercise of focus. Without focus, everything falls apart. It is impossible for me to write well when I surf the Internet every two minutes, or answer a text, or whatever. We write our best when we have a block of time where writing is all we do.]

Well, those are the next few rules. I will go through the rest of the list some time later!

Oh, somewhat of an update: about 13 bloggers have responded to queries about Night of the Necromancer, which is VERY cool. The first spotlight/interview appeared yesterday here. In addition, there are a couple of interviews/giveaway scheduled, which is also very cool.

Comment Section

  • Thank you for your permission to read while I write! I have been dying to read a list of books but keep telling myself I need to write first! Also cleaned out my writing space last week (Do I get an A?). And adverbs? It’s hard not to use, but it is HORRIBLE to read. Ack!

    • I always need to be reading. If I don’t the words dry up. Also yes you get an A, and to be honest I only have a B at the moment…:/

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