Following are some rules for writing fiction as proposed by Elmore Leonard. After getting repeatedly rejected she succeeded in winning Man Booker Prize and that too twice.
So, here is the list. Do make the best out of this advice:
- If you believe in your skill, if you believe you have what it takes to be a writer than take the action now. Don’t wait for that day when you will be successful. Get an “accountant” now.
- ‘Becoming a Writer’ by Dorothea Brande is a must have book. Do not scoff it off for its publication year. Just get the book and follow it religiously. Some of the tasks might sound daunting but follow them still. It will surely help to create a discipline for a writer in you.
- Write a book keeping in mind yourself as an audience. After all if you cannot read what you write, how can you write for an audience or market? You should be your best critic.
- Do not stick to any one particular genre. If you have an idea then see if it suits prose or poem or screenplay. Try out different genres.
- Open a new book. How much time do you spend on the pages before chapter 1? Almost none. Yes. People normally skip through first few pages. So do not put the vital information/cues before your chapter 1.
- Make your first paragraphs stand out. This is the point that guarantees if your reader is going to stick to your book till the end or not.
- Description of surroundings and settings create a magical effect to the fiction. But do not waste you narrative skills on describing the everyday details. Use it “on the point of change”. For example, if your character is in a new city or environment or situation. Do not waste pages in describing a simple act of taking tea in her kitchen, unless of course those details are important for furthering the plot.
Have a happy life being a writer. Share with the world your inner artist.