Rules of Writing

I asked my students to write down their three rules of writing. (My community students, not my prison students) Here are the results:rules of writing

  1.  Turn off Facebook
  2. Shut off the TV
  3. Don’t judge yourself – just write


  1.  Write ever day
  2. Don’t get “fancy” or “clever”  Be authentic
  3. Stick to what I know


  1. Use ‘said’ as a dialogue tag
  2. Short sentences in action scenes
  3. Don’t over describe

Dave B

  1.  Trust myself
  2. Write honestly
  3. Write for fun


  1. Research
  2. Write
  3. Revise and Rewrite


  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Write, write, write, get all of your thoughts down before you forget
  3. Read your writing out loud


  1. Write every day
  2. Never be afraid to inventcheck list
  3. Read out loud

David H.

  1. Be open to opportunities for inspiration
  2. Must ring true within
  3. Read out loud


  1. Write often, wherever, whenever, whatever
  2. Be true to my own voice and style
  3. Write from the heart out loud


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13 responses to “Rules of Writing

  1. Aren’t they good, Ed! Strangely enough, I’ve never subscribed to the Write Every Day theory. I suspect it might be good for very beginning writers, but for writers who’ve already connected with their writing source, I don’t think it’s necesary. Many fine writers didn’t write a new word for months – sometimes years. I also worry that by subscribing to it, young writers are setting themselves up to feel they’ve failed if they DON’T write for a week or so, and that won’t help their writing at all. Just my opinion. As a poet friend of mine used to say in Latin I won’t even try to spell, “It depends …”.

  2. Those are gr8 “rules”. Only addition, which i think is of utmost: show with words, inviting involvement in ‘construction’ of meaning of story by reader with hints and suggestion, creating interest and suspense, rather than immediate flash-bang bare bones “telling all”, giving it all away too soon. Narrative is more than a list. It is YOUR TAKE, not the events themselves. Purpose must be clear to writer, or reader can not care.

  3. Oh, this is just awesome–I can’t recall ever finding a collection of writer’s rules all in one place before. (And boy, do I need to keep many of them in mind). Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like the valuable info you supply for your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test once more right here regularly. I’m relatively certain I will be told lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

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