7.12.03

Robert Heinlein's 5 rules for writers ... or Why I'm Not A Writer Yet

Off Wil Wheaton dot Net, and in turn off the blog Writing Fiction, here are Heinlein's 5 rules:

1. Writers write. They don't wait until they "have enough time" or "inspiration strikes."

2. Writers finish what they write. No matter how much they hate the current project, they slog through to the last page.

3. Writers never rewrite except to editorial order. Writing a novel is like building a deck or renovating a bathroom--you don't want to rip everything up and do it all over again. So you plan carefully, do it right the first time, and don't keep fussing with the story.

3a. (Kilian's Exemption) When you're starting out, you need your novel in progress to teach you a lot, so it's OK to go back and revise your ms. on the basis of what you're learning.

4. Writers put their work on the market. They don't just inflict it on friends and family.

5. Writers keep their work on the market until it sells. So the first 15 or 20 rejections don't matter; you send it out again.

Note to self: Write more. Blog less.

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