Writing Advice

A lot of bloggers are commenting on the collections of Rules for Writing the Guardian UK posted.

My favorites are the first one by AL Kennedy:

1 Have humility. Older/more ­experienced/more convincing writers may offer rules and varieties of advice. ­Consider what they say. However, don’t automatically give them charge of your brain, or anything else – they might be bitter, twisted, burned-out, manipulative, or just not very like you.

and the tenth by Michael Moorcock:

10 Ignore all proferred rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say.

I think that’s what it comes down to, especially with all the many “don’t” rules which pepper the lists. Don’t use adverbs, ever. Don’t use any speaking verb but “said” and even that one sucks. Using similes or metaphors, ever, is so bad you should be embarassed. Don’t this, that or the other thing, ever-ever! Obviously some successful writers subscribe to these rules, and find them useful, but if everyone followed them, everyone’s work would look and sound exactly alike.

Kudos to the writers who acknowledged that there are exceptions, and that different writers are different, and that that’s okay.

My first rule: Anyone who says they have an unbreakable writing rule, or a method or approach which Every Real Writer must follow for success, is full of shit.


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Angela Benedetti lives in Seattle with her husband and a few thousand books. She loves romance for the happy endings, for the affirmation that everyone who's willing to fight for love deserves to get it and be happy with someone. She's best known for her Sentinel series of novels, the most recent of which is Captive Magic.