Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Rules

In an article from the New York Times, Colson Whitehead gives us a new version of one of our favorite topics— the rules for writers, with interesting twists and humorous common sense that's a little different.

Among my favorites in the eleven rules he provides: Show and Tell, because "when writers put their work out into the world, they're like kids bringing their broken unicorns and chewed-up teddy bears into class in the sad hope that someone else will love them as much as they do." He also makes great points about other rules, like the importance of silence in writing: what isn't said is more important than what is; and about how to kill your darlings: never use three words when one will do (including an example that will make you think). And the main rule: there are no rules. You can do anything, as long as you do it well.



  1. Replies
    1. I love that, too, Leigh. Listening to your heart to know if something's true. Fantastic advice.

  2. Those are lovely and worth remembering. And I'm a big fan of listening to your heart.

  3. These are excellent rules! I think everyone should read them. I liked number 8. But can't tell you what it is. :)

    1. Oh, darn, Karlene! I was hoping someone would tell me the secret!