- Margaret Atwood says: Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
- Zadie Smith says: try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
- Hillary Mantel says: Be aware that anything that appears before "Chapter One" may be skipped. Don't put your vital clue there.
UPDATE: The New Yorker's Book Bench skims the list and comes up with some more great rules.
UPDATE 2: An attentive EBC reader who may or may not be sitting five feet from me asked me what MY rules for writing are. I'm still figuring them out, to be honest, which is a big and exciting and daunting part of the journey I'm on right now. But one of them may be "read other writers' rules for writing" ;)