10 Rules for Fiction Writing

8/01/2016 03:23:00 PM Lexie Dunne 0 Comments

Writing for the market is like chasing the bus from Speed. It's going too fast for you to keep up with on foot and if you do catch it, there's a high chance it'll blow up in your face. Also, it's controlled by sadists. This is why I recommend having a network of equally sadistic people on your side, who will help you understand those other sadists.

Every single idea you have, you'll discover somebody's already written it. That somebody's not you, however, and you should listen to your ego and go forward anyway.

Once you release your writing to the world, it is no longer yours. That doesn't mean you should let other people put their names on it, but it does mean that others have just as much right to interpret your text as you do. Even if they're completely wrong.

Read stuff. Especially the instructions for things with blades. That's not really a writing rule, but it can be applied in this situation, so I'll include it in my list. Read in your genre, outside your genre, signs on the highway, train station signs, terms and conditions for sketchy-looking sites asking for your money, and my books.

On the use of cliffhangers and twist-endings: be advised that though doing this might make you feel clever and powerful, there are sacrifices to be made for a properly shocking twist ending or cliffhanger. Notably, these include the idea that there is anything else in your story besides the ending, as you'll find that's what most people talk about. If you have something you feel is more important inside the story, it may be wiser to play it safe.

Ha, who am I kidding? Safety lights are for dudes, and playing it safe is for people who probably have happy, healthy hobbies and careers that don't give them a statistically higher chance of developing anxiety and depression.

You're not a real writer until you've made a 10 Ten Rules for Writing Fiction List.

Know your audience. Study them deeply. Know what they want and decide if you're going to give it to them. Move in with them. Live in their house. Eat all of their food. Be ready to run when the police arrive.

When visiting museums of writers you admire, be sure to warn your friends about how strange writers can be. For example, and this is ENTIRELY HYPOTHETICAL, if you were to say, drag three friends to the Kafka Museum in Prague, it might be wise to point out to them the meaning of Kafkaesque before they enter the museum and experience it firsthand. In the same vein, you are not a writer until you have developed a weird shtick for yourself, so get on that. Ferrets are a small and cute shortcut that probably won't bite you more than a couple times a day.

If you wanna be a writer, you should probably write. Just a thought.

Look, ma, I'm a real writer now! Stay sexy!


Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.