The top 8 rules for writing you can possibly ignore, and the one that you can’t

1) Write like a ninja.

You gotta be able to write anytime, anywhere. No prep, no routine. Just write.

2) Write constantly and always.

On your phone, on napkins, on your hand.

3) Stories are emotional moments.

Whether it lasts a few seconds, or a hundred years.

4) All writing has motion.

Emotion, action, plot, psychology, humor… something must always be evolving.

5) Justify the emotional truth of every scene.

Every scene.

6) Every character needs an emotional POV.

They all think they’re the hero. They all want something. They’re all going somewhere. They’re all thinking their equivalent of “I am Iron Man.”

7) Follow EVERY path in the first draft.

You have no idea what the novel is at the beginning; you only know at the end. So don’t shut down ANYTHING when writing the first draft. Often huge problems that come up later have solutions earlier in the text that you thought were throwaway moments. They weren’t throwaway. You were seeding your solutions.

8) Dream between the lines.

Dream… wander in your mind palace if that’s your bag… worry about the lines, but dream between them too.

…And finally, the big kahuna, the one you must obey above all others:

9) Story is the only rule.

The most important rule of all… the one rule to uh, rule them all: do what’s right for the story.

And do it well.

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