Friday, March 05, 2010

"Rules" for Writing

I am not a big fan of following rules - I tend to stretch and bend them a bit.  I wouldn't call myself a "rule breaker" per se - I just think that there are something things (like writing) that cannot be contained by rules!!

But I really enjoyed reading the list of rules that The Guardian (UK) compiled from authors about writing fiction.  Check out the lists to find your own gems. Some of my favorites include:

  • Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out – they can be got right only by ear). Diana Athill
  • Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct. This is the most important rule of all and, naturally, I don't follow it. Geoff Dyer
  • Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more ­effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it. PD James
Borrow from this list - create your own or even better - have your students create their lists!

1 comment:

John said...

Spoken like a true attorney!