I suppose most aspiring or accomplished writers have their own guidelines, rules, and influences which inform the process. I try to keep an open mind, all the while exercising what Hemingway called the essential quality of any writer (or person, for that matter) ~ a built-in crap detector.
With that in mind, here are novelist Colson Whitehead's Rules on writing. I especially like #11.
- Show and tell. (Or, illustrate rather than narrate)
- Don't go searching for a subject, let your subject come to you.
- Write what you know.
- Never use three words when one will do.
- Keep a dream diary. (Profoundly excellent suggestion)
- What isn't said is as important as what is said.
- Writer's block is a tool. Use it.
- Is secret.
- Have adventures.
- Revise, revise, revise.
- There are no rules.
What would you add to the list? What would you remove?