Writers on Writing

All writers know that the best writing happens when they take a detour – – when they break the ‘rules’ – – 

– – deviate from expected routes.

(c.) IrvingPhillips


But writers are contrary beasts.

Some of them have created really helpful ‘rules’,

presumably, so that new writers can break them …

…and create new ones ….

Here are a few of the best of them from around the internet:

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction’ – series in The Guardian, part one, 20 February 2010

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction‘ – series in The Guardian, part two, 20 February 2010 

Elmore Leonard’s ‘Ten Rules of Fiction‘ – from the NY Times, 16 July 2001

Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘8 Basics of Creative Writing‘ (reprinted on Gotham Writers Workshop site)

Author Janet Fitch’s ‘10 Rules for Writers‘ – from ‘Jacket Copy’ in the LA Times, 13 July 2010

  • What’s your favourite ‘writing rule’?
  • Which rule do you always break?

Have a good weekend.


Author: Janette Currie

Editor and literary consultant at JC Consultancy. Freelance writer.