Collection of Rules for Writing Fiction

The Guardian asked a few of their favorite authors what they kept as their rules for writing fiction.  What they came up with is a wonderful read.  Some are purposefully thoughtful while others are just as purposefully opaque. A few of the tidbits.

From Elmore Leonard’s ten rules:

Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, what do the “Ameri­can and the girl with him” look like? “She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” That’s the only reference to a physical description in the story.

From Jonathan Franzen’s ten rules:

It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.

From PD James’ five rules:

Don’t just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

And that’s just in the first half of the article.  (Well, it’s more of a list of lists, but you know what I mean.)

Go, now, and read the rest of them.

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