Ten rules for writing fiction

A friend sent me this article from the Guardian: Ten rules for writing fiction. It’s a collection of different top tens from a variety of well known authors and makes for interesting reading. It also inspired me to write my own.

My top ten rules for writing fiction

1. Write a little every day. Think of your book writing in project management terms and ensure you have the little goals mapped out which lead, in turn, to the big ones. Small steps are easier to visualise and achieve.
2. Go for a walk. I don’t know why this works, but it does. Walking releases the brain and allows you to find solutions to problems with your manuscript.
3. Listen to music. Lots of it. This, too, seems to do something magical to the brain.
4. Play adverb bingo. I’m a fully paid up convert to the ‘no adverbs’ rule. Remove all adverbs and you are forced to find more exact nouns and verbs to describe your scenes.
5. Delve into the unknown and into your deepest fears and unanswered questions. This makes you bolder, braver and the writing will come from the heart. Readers will be able to sense this.
6. Remember that it’s all in the edit. To be a good writer you must also be a good editor. Raw material always needs skilled sculpture.
7. Read – lots.
8. Accept that writing requires a lot of determination and hard work. It helps, therefore, if you actually like doing it.
9. Read and write poetry. Its synthesis is writing perfection and the skill required to write good poetry will also help with novel writing.
10. Chill out and live your life. Without life you have nothing to say.