Rules of Writing

I saw something interesting on BBC News this morning. It was an article about Sophie Kinsella’s Top 10 Tips for Being a Best Selling Author. I agree with a most of them but some I found myself questioning one or two. I think it’s best I tackled those that I don’t necessarily agree with and let me stress now, this is my PERSONAL opinion. I feel it shouldn’t have too much of a bearing on others write.

“4. Don’t talk about what you’re writing”

I can’t agree with this one in its entirety. Of course there are writers who would rather they kept their work to themselves but I also think all writers should talk to others they trust with their story ideas so they can discuss any problems they are having. I also feel that most writers need at least one beta reader who they can give their completed work to, to read through and tell them honestly what they think, what they like, what they don’t like, etc. This is necessary as writers don’t always see their mistakes, even after leaving the work after so long, plus the beta reader will be reading it as a reader will read it. They will gain their favourite characters, their favourite parts and that can only show to a writer what is good and bad about their work.

“5. Forget about genre to find your voice”

I agree for the most part in regards to this point but would add that, once you do find your voice, be aware of the tone, codes, conventions and reader expectations of a genre. A writers voice and reading habits will heavily influence one another and in turn will probably decide what genre they write but if the writer wishes to move into another genre, then an awareness and reading books in that genre would definitely be advisable I feel.

“8. Plan your books”

Some people plan, some partly plan (like me, know the vital points, etc.) and some people just go by the seats of their pants. Whatever works for that person but Kinsella does suggest a good way to plan in the article so I do recommend still reading this point carefully.

Despite not agreeing with all of it and, I have said this before about something else, but this article is perfectly timed with NaNoWriMo due in November and is one to have saved somewhere for your own information.

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