Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ten rules for writing fiction

if you like this kind of stuff: the guardian asked a bunch of writers for their own top ten rules. a few i particularly liked:

Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. -elmore leonard

Keep your exclamation points ­under control. -elmore leonard

Good ideas are often murdered by better ones. -roddy doyle

Style is the art of getting yourself out of the way, not putting yourself in it. -david hare

Find an author you admire and copy their plots and characters in order to tell your own story, just as people learn to draw and paint by copying the masters. -michael moorcock

Carrot and stick – have protagonists pursued (by an obsession or a villain) and pursuing (idea, object, person, mystery). -michael moorcock

It is the gestation time which counts. -michael morpurgo

Think big and stay particular. -andrew motion

Don't try to anticipate an "ideal reader" – there may be one, but he/she is reading someone else. -joyce carol oates

Get lucky. Stay lucky. -ian rankin

The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying "Faire et se taire" (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as "Shut up and get on with it." -helen simpson

complete article: part one / part two



Anonymous said...

"Faire et se taire".

amen to that!

- lucy

dj said...

wise words...

"Keep your exclamation points ­under control." -elmore leonard

:) elmore leonard is the man!

macoy said...

@dj, yess!!!!

@lucy, ayan may bago ka nang slogan para sa opis. french pa!

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