Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rules to Remember

We're reusing older posts here at SIS this month, and this week I'd like to re-share a few simple tips to remember when writing.

When writing fiction:

  • Every scene needs to move the plot forward, needs to accomplish something
  • Every
    page needs tension
  • Don't be passive! Make things happen to your main character, not through a third party
  • Ask yourself if this could be dramatized
  • "Substitute the word 'damn' every time you are inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and your writing will be as it should." - Mark Twain
  • "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." - Stephen King
  • When writing an action scene, don't slow it down with descriptions
These are just a few things I keep in mind when writing, most of them have been drilled into my head by my lovely Sisters. I'm sure there's more, but these are probably my most important. I try to keep them in mind with every line I write.

Do you have any little rules you try to write by?When writing fiction:
And don't forget to enter our December giveaway for 3 autographed YA books! 


  1. i like to repeat everything twice.

    i like to repeat everything twice.

    : )

    : )

    -- Tom

    -- Tom

  2. Lol! Thank you, Tom! That's what I get for not proof reading! Another rule to remember. Read and read again!

  3. Awesome rules! I live by the no adverb rule for sure. And stories are easier to write if you focus on action scenes and moving story forward.

  4. I don't write fiction, but if I could take 12 months off I might try. It's Strunk and White's little book for me.

  5. Great rules. I'm still trying to find my way around the "no adverb" rule though, surely just a few would be lurvely!!! ;)

    Had a good laugh at Tom's comment :)


  6. Good list.

    >>Don't be passive! Make things happen to your main character, not through a third party.<<

    I'd add that things shouldn't just "happen" to your main character...The main character should cause things to happen in her story by acting. Or, as best-selling middle-grade author Sarah Prineas says, your protagonist should "protag."

  7. Thanks, Kelly. That's exactly what I meant. Don't have your protag hear about an important event, let her live it when possible.
    Love the quote!

  8. Thank you, they are pretty great tips. I shall drill them into my head as well. :D


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