Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Ten Commandments for Writers

Have you lost sight of your plot? Are your characters being oppositional? Is the blank page mocking you?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it's time to regroup and rejuvenate those writerly cells of yours. I know writerly isn't a word, but it's cute.

Thanks, Charlton. I'll take it from here.
photo credit sanfranciscosentinel.com
1. Thou shall not use the passive voice. Think action. Don't give the object all the attention, this story is about your characters, damn it!

2. Thou shall not complain about agents/editors on social media like T
witter or Facebook. Seriously, save the spitting for the coffee shop with your friends. All your public whining makes you sound—well whiny.

3. Thou shall not bore the reader to death with unnecessary description. Why spend three paragraphs describing how your character got from the bedroom to the kitchen? Just write, 
She went to the kitchen.  

4. Thou shall not make characters stare in a mirror and narrate what they look like. The use of dialogue and mannerisms conveys more about the character than their eye color.

5. Thou shall not use stereotypes to create one dimensional characters. "The bad guy" could be any of us on a certain day. Like in real life, everyone sees themselves as the star of their own story. Be aware of this motivation for all of your chacaters.

6. Thou shall not make a love triangle purely to move the plot forward. It's more interesting when the reader has no idea who the author wants to hook up.

7. Thou shall not have everything work out for your MC. Stop being so nice. I know you love them, but it's super boring to read about a character who always has a best friend to help her out. Make her suffer! Kick her while she's down, and then make her clean up the mess.

8. Thou shall not be afraid to use the "C" word. Yup, that's right. CONFLICT. See above.

9. Thou shall not GIVE UP. Overnight success is the result of years of hard work. Writing as a serious business, you have to grow a thick skin and learn to be patient, otherwise you'll be disappointed.

10. Go back and read number nine again, it's worth repeating.

 Any other wise sayings to add?

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