10 rules for writing fiction

So, I have these days when I know I have to up my wordcount, but then ‘accidently’ click on some bookmark so I can ‘learn’ more about writing. Ironically enough these writing tips mostly shout to “just start writing!” which also translates into “don’t write a blog post about it, but just finish that first draft”. Well, since I finished the first draft on The Amazon and the Beast I think it is time to share some writing rules with my fellow (aspiring) writers.

The Ten rules for writing fiction was posted in The Guardian, (and inspired by Elmore Leonard). I will just give a highlight of the 10 writing tips.

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” … he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points ­under control.
  6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose”.
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things, unless you’re ­Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

So, which rules do you tend to ignore?

ps: I like prologues.. 😮


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