Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rules for Writing Fiction

I love advice, particularly advice that pertains to writing. Here, inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, the Guardian compiled a list of fiction-writing rules from a bunch of different authors, including Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman.

My favorite advice is from Anne Enright, of whom I've never heard.
2 The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.

3 Only bad writers think that their work is really good.

4 Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.

5 Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn't matter how "real" your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity.

6 Try to be accurate about stuff.

Worst advice? I think Will Self's advice is pretty bad. He advises writers to stop reading fiction and to write about characters watching television. I want to do neither of those things. What's your favorite writing advice?

1 comment:

Quinten said...

I think that Richard Ford guy is even more full of baloney. All of my favorite writers have each broken at least half of his silly rules. Plus, his list is awfully negative with all the don't-do-this's and don't-do-thats.