February 22nd, 2010

10 rules for writing

The Guardian asked a bunch of writers their 10 rules for writing. Elmore Leonard, natch, answered with the 10 that he made a book out of a few years back.

Some of the answers I second:
-Don't wait for inspiration. Discipline is the key.
-Put it aside. Read it pretending you've never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
-Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK
-Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn't matter how "real" your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity.

Read some of the advice here.

Here are Ian Rankin’s [full disclosure: I have spoken to him! About a personal matter! He is nice!] rules from the second part of the article:

1 Read lots.
2 Write lots.
3 Learn to be self-critical.
4 Learn what criticism to accept.
5 Be persistent.
6 Have a story worth telling.
7 Don't give up.
8 Know the market.
9 Get lucky.
10 Stay lucky.

Read the rest of the writers' advice here.

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Will this really sell a book?

Okay, we all know that if you are marketing a book, you really need to think outside the box.

And that authors are expected to have a Web site, and use social media.

But what about this? An author who is rumored to be trying to break into the big leagues has taken both of those ideas and combined and enlarged upon them. It is my understand that the author hopes to impress publishers and sell the manuscript by creating pre-publication demand.

The novel is a thriller about a celebrity who is murdered while filming a  reality TV program. The author has set up a series of websites that  talk about the murder as if it really happened.

Will this idea work? I have no idea.

Meanwhile, check it out for yourself here and here.

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Former Prom King Lives Among Peasants

I love the Onion.

Especially when they set a parody near me. This one begins:

"GRESHAM, OR—Sean Fowler, the man once revered throughout the halls of Barlow High School as prom's one true king, has for the past several years lived a meager existence among the very peasants who used to tremble at the mere mention of his name, sources reported Monday."

Read the rest here.

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