Monday, April 18, 2011

O = Oh, I didn't know that, yes I did.

From the Guardian Article
Here's a fabulous link about the rules of writing. Please don't sigh and move onto the next blog. Come back! There won't be a quiz I promise.
Ten Rules of Writing

Some of them are annoying (taken from link): 

1. Never use an adjective : Oh come on. Of course you can. And you should, otherwise your writing will be drab (an adjective! shock, horror).  Sparingly - that's the key.
2. Avoid prologues.  We've talked about that before.
3. Never open a book with the weather. I guess this originates from "It was a dark, stormy night". But why not? If it works.
4. Don't write in public places. I'm not sure why.
5. I'm not sure why I have to Read Keats's poems or learn poems by heart so if you do, perhaps you'll enlighten me.
6. Don't write reviews. Any ideas why that's a 'no-no'?

But the ones I agree with are these: 

1. Keep your exclamation marks under control
2. Use regional dialects sparingly
3. Think of what you skip reading in a novel 
4. Always have something with you to write on
5. Keep a Thesaurus
6. Only calm down once you reach page 50
7. Restrict internet browsing (oh, I wonder who's guilty of that one?)
8. Do not keep searching Amazon for the book you haven't written (ditto, ahem)
9. Avoid clichés (and that also means be careful with your metaphors we talked about the other day).

And the ones I love best are: Do not place a photograph of your favorite author on your desk, especially if he committed suicide! And: Have Fun!


  1. This was a lot of fun and I almost never skip a blog that has writing advise, i'm trying to be one without a degree. LOL.

  2. I think the no reviews thing has to do with karma more than anything else.

  3. Ha!!!!!! Good list there. Except for the exclamation point thing!!!!!!! I don't know what people have against those!!!!!

  4. Wendy - the internet will be your university. You don't have to have a degree :)
    Alex - is that the reason? Hmmmmm...But I often give good reviews!
    L.G. I most totally agree!!!!!!!!

  5. blah blah blah, who made the rules? I love breaking them! Good post though.

  6. I like to review short fiction. It's an art, to be sure, but when done right you articulate what you know about writing in a way that seems to teach you something new. Most of the others, though, I agree with.

    Great post!

  7. I think the whole review thing has to do with not criticizing other authors and burning bridges. However, as long as a review is reasonable and doesn't attack what the author wrote, I don't see anything wrong with reviewing . . .

    Also, I read your comment on my blog and I changed the Mariana Trench link and changed the image that didn't show. I hope that helps. :) Sorry I made your browser crash! I use Google Chrome, too, and it worked for me.

  8. Rules! Okay, so we should learn them before we break them. Fine, but some should never have even made it on list.

    And I wonder why writers shouldn't write reviews. Is it bad for sales of their own books, maybe?

  9. I need to remember these rules. I annoy myself with my overuse of adjectives.

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  10. Nice bunch of rules. I'm not a writer, but I would think the review one would be because of, like someone above mentioned, not burning bridges or ruining a chance for networking (or, revenge ratings).

  11. Siv - rules were made to be broken, as long as you know how to do it!
    Nicole - yes, I find reviewing helps me when I'm writing. Even bad novels. I can really see what works and what doesn't and I enjoy analysing them.
    GE - I'm off to check on the Mariana Trench because I'm so curious to know what lives at the bottom there.
    Gail - that could be right about doing bad reviews, but there is a way to write bad reviews so they don't look so bad!
    Langley - Ah, go ahead and use your adjectives if you like them. But afterwards just check to see if you could've described them better using other words.
    April - as a reviewer yourself that does make sense. But AUTHORS SHOULDN'T BE REVENGEFUL LOL.

  12. Good tips, but I don't understand why I shouldn't write reviews. I think as long as I can be fair and respectful about what I've read then I can review to my heart's delight. Well, except if it's getting in the way of my writing.

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