Sunday, January 23, 2011

Writing Rules For Fiction

I'm in a mood to write.  Usually all the time.  Only sometimes my mood doesn't generate anything worth writing.  My thoughts scatter, and my worldly worries start to invade the 'writers den' I have created for myself.  I also find that sometimes I really have a great idea or a desire to write at moments when it is impossible.  Like at work, or out with friends.  And if that isn't the problem, then it's the reverse.  The time is right but the desire or creativity is just not happening.  Those times are even more frustrating than the former.  I've gotten use to having a pad of paper beside or using the notes function in my phone to jot down things that I know I must remember.  But when the ideas won't come. . . those are the hard parts.  And all the 'stumbling around' on the Internet won't give me any real ideas about my work, but will sure waste a lot of valuable writing time.

So while I'm still a big on the basics:
1.  write every day, even if it's just a few minutes.
2.  write alone without any distractions.  or if you have a writing partner keep the chit chat to the writing or if blocked discuss the characters only, save the friendship for not writing time.
3.  And do not use any favorite distractions like movies, books, music or the Internet to get you unblocked they will only steal your writing time.

Those rules can only take us so far.  As you know, if you are a writer, then you already do all of this and still sometimes can't write.  So if you are in your cozy den, all alone or with your partner, and no distractions and still can't focus, here are some writing rules to think about for your characters:
1.  Let your characters talk to you in your head and LISTEN to them, even if it takes the story in a direction you didn't expect it to go
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Hope this helps me and all of you.  Now get busy and write.  

No comments:

Post a Comment