Quotes of Note: Rules for Writing?

“There are three rules for writing a novel.
Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

― W. Somerset Maugham

I adore this!  As I sift through blogs, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook feeds full of different writing advice, from a variety of sources, some which I think is good, some of which I don’t particularly care for.  And, of course, I’ve handed out my own advice as well, things I have found, pitfalls I have fallen into, what I’ve learned along the way…. but I like to think of that as more of sharing my experiences, suggestions for others to take into consideration, and perhaps helping to limit that sense of being the only one that has to deal with these things (because, really, you rarely are the only one).   I wouldn’t want everyone to follow a few rules of advice, to all write in the same way — that would get rather dull rather quickly.

But, if I were to propose three rules for writing a novel, this is what they would be:

  1. Write lots of words, that form together in some coherent fashion.
  2. Give your characters depth, make them real — this goes for supporting cast and villains as well as the Main Character(s).
  3. Be true to your vision, but be open to input.   Don’t compromise the story you want/need to tell, but be open to possibly telling it in a different way than originally planned.

At least, those are the rules that I am trying to follow; they probably don’t work for everyone.   What are some of your rules for writing?


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