Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rules for Writing:

The Guardian gives us a series of lists, all of "rules" for writers elicited from famous authors, each of whom has listed 8 or 10 cardinal principles they write by, both mundane and profound, serious and amusing. Among the gems:

  • 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" ;)

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