Seven Serious Rules of Writing

It’s the end of NaNoWriMo season. Rather than participating, I spent my evenings studying for several reasons

1) I needed to study.

2) I have yet to reach the required word-count on any of my finished stories.

Truly, I am a well-educated and efficient author, above the need to actually write anything, but I thought, “What of those pitiful writers who have not yet reached the 50,000 word mark due to their inefficient study habits? What of those writers who could not overcome their fear of failure  to attempt NaNoWriMo?” Unfortunately for those pitiful people, I only write novellas and short stories, but perhaps my insights will help them in their quest.

1) An essay is only as good as its thesis. Likewise, a story is only as good as its dilemma. Knowledge of a life-changing dilemma is not necessary at the beginning, but a dilemma brings the story to its end. –Source: American Literature professor, Introduction to Theatre professor

2) Every story begins with false journey that leads to the real journey. The introduction to the characters and development of the real crisis takes place here. The journey to Rivendell, the discovery of Narnia and flight to the stone table, and all the events leading up to Jim Hawkins sailing away are false journeys.–Source: Bearmageddon 

3) A writer should cram a lot of information into paragraphs with short sentences. One should never trust someone who says ‘should,’ or uses bulky passive sentences frequently. Avoid backstory or start the story there. A writer would be wise to assume the reader is smart, but not smart enough to read big words.–Source: Immediate Fiction, Organic Chemistry I lab instructor

4) Include enough information that the reader can figure out what is happening. Elaborate why because otherwise the reader is confused and doesn’t actually care. Confused readers abandon stories half-way. Never generalize.–Source: American Literature professor

5) Write in passive voice.–Source: Organic Chemistry I lab instructor

6) Write in active voice.–Source: American Literature professor

7) Break the rules. Good writers are good at that. But never cite Wikipedia.–Source: Kurt Vonnegut (not the Wikipedia bit, but we know he was thinking it.)

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