I came across some lists of writing rules in the last few weeks – some from very famous writers. They all had good ideas but were written by those who were at a very different point in their writing expertise than I currently am. Nevertheless, it got me to thinking about what my current writing rules are, and so I created a list that suits my taste.
- Read, read, and read: not only books in your favorite genre, but books written about writing, and even books that explore genres you are not so interested in (Book clubs are very helpful in expanding your tastes in books). I feel that only by reading can you get the feel of what it takes to put together a great story.
- Write, write, and write. You have to do it, or you won’t be a writer. Sure some of it will be crap, but only by practicing will you be able to improve.
- Use good grammar. Now, this is a rule that I can break, but only when I write dialog or when I am writing in a voice of a character with poor grammar.
- Use Spellcheck – Two reasons, I have trouble spelling, and I am a bad typist. Hey, I know that these two things are my faults, so Spellcheck is my friend.
- Edit what you write. Going over and over your writing before you put it out there is super important. Mistakes are easy to miss, so practice editing. If you do want to publish something have an editor go over it before you do.
- Join a writing group. Having a group of people that read and listen to your work as well as comment on what you write is so helpful in improving your growth as a writer. I find it spurs on my thirst to get words down on the paper. Putting your words out there for others to comment on also helps you to understand that sharing your work brings you joy.
- Try out different ways of writing: Poems, short stories, letter stories, news articles, children’s stories, mysteries, etc. By experimenting you will be able to find the voice and way of writing you enjoy the most.
- Enjoy what you are doing.
What do you think? Do you have a list of rules that you feel are important? Share them with us in the comments below.