No one Likes to be told what not to do, yet sometimes we need to know some boundaries. These rules are exchangeable and not concrete, put in place to guide. You are the only person who can enforce the rules in your writing.
- Don’t write. Tell me a story.
- Don’t use italics for more than one line.
- Don’t tell me what someone looks like if it won’t be relevant.
- Don’t write a coy opening to draw me in.You have five minutes to interest me, not with gimmicks but with craft.
- Don’t include scenes because they’re good scenes.
- Don’t show off, it doesn’t serve the story.
- Avoid dense narrative devices and vague POV transitions.
- Don’t give me a love interest just to make the character “likable/relatable”. People fall in love, if your characters don’t, then that’s it, love doesn’t find everyone.
- Don’t go 250 pages without something happening in the story.
- If you want to give me information, technical or otherwise, don’t turn it into a sleep aid. Make me want to read it.
- Don’t get so bogged down in a description that I don’t care about the story. Tell me what I need to know and get on with it. Don’t be technical. If you must, be concise and clear.
- Don’t ask for advice or criticism if what you want is a pat on the back. Don’t ever hate someone for the feedback they give you.
- Don’t hold the reader’s hand. It’s ok to make them think. Hold something important back. Spill it at the opportune moment. Make sure it’s worth waiting for. Don’t be too explicit either, the reader has a brain.
- Don’t try to write like your idols. Be yourself. Yeah, it sounds a tad bit cheesy, but it’s true.
- Stick to the basics: Good spelling, healthy mechanics, and sound grammar.
- Don’t ever write something in an attempt to please a market trend and make a quick buck.
Tell me what you think of these rules in the comments below!