- Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. That method is guaranteed to leave you with a half-finished manuscript full of brilliant but unconnected one-liners.
- Don’t self-edit too much during the writing process. That way lies madness, tears, and alcoholism.
- Don’t go overboard with details. Your readers aren’t stupid; they can (and will) fill in the blanks on their own.
- Introduce your back story gradually, not all at once. Reading ten dialog-less pages about the political structure of The Great And Awesome Nation Of Fairy Ninjas is about as interesting as reading a Political Science textbook (unless you’re Frank Herbert, which you’re not, so stop it).
- Sometimes you will write crap. This is not a surefire indication that you are a talentless hack doomed to a lifetime of ridicule and artistic suffering. All it means is that you’ve written crap. Get over it, and yourself.
- Make language your bitch. Bend it, twist it, and recreate it. Break rules. Write in incomplete sentences. Make up new words. Do things that would make your fourth grade teacher cry red ink. It won’t always work, but you’ll be surprised at how awesome the results can be.
- You will consistently break at least one of these rules. If you’re me, you will consistently break all of these rules. And that’s okay. I promise.
(Reposted from my Tumblr blog because I need to remind myself of these things once in awhile.)