- Never open a book with weather.
- Avoid prologues.
- Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
- Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
- Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
- Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
- Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
- Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
- Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
I found the entire book to be a bit on the pretentious side, please visit my personal blog to read my full review. Concerning these rules, I question whether or not calling them 'rules' makes us less likely to follow them, or if something like this might be more palatable if presented as suggestions. What are your thoughts on these rules? Do you follow them? Do you break them? Do you think that you have to follow them in order to get any literary credibility? There are a few that I do agree with and many that I intend to completely disregard. Are there any here that you would personally follow? Are there any that you disagree with completely?
Amanda LaFantasie (Skoora) © 2012