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Old 09-04-2013, 04:26 PM   #16
Katsunami
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1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

"My most important rule is one that sums up the 10," he wrote. "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/e...IIK3DobYRqh.99
I'll summarize them for you.

1. Never do anything interesting.

Rules. Meh. When I want a character to scream in fear, I'm not going to write:

"I can't hold on for much longer. My hand is slipping," Ronald said.

What the author means with most of his rules, I think, is to not overdo anything.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
I'll summarize them for you.

1. Never do anything interesting.

Rules. Meh. When I want a character to scream in fear, I'm not going to write:

"I can't hold on for much longer. My hand is slipping," Ronald said.

What the author means with most of his rules, I think, is to not overdo anything.
Except when you need to.

In other words: I agree with you.
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
I'll summarize them for you.

1. Never do anything interesting.

Rules. Meh. When I want a character to scream in fear, I'm not going to write:

"I can't hold on for much longer. My hand is slipping," Ronald said.

What the author means with most of his rules, I think, is to not overdo anything.
But your example is not dialog it seems to me. I have heard most of these rules (including the said rule) from authors. Using synonyms to said in dialog is usually described as a beginners mistake.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #19
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1. Never open a book with weather. [/url]
Quote:
The white July heat, the hottest it had been in two hundred years, engulfed the city. The air shimmered over red-hot rooftops. All the windows in the city were flung open, and in the thin shade of wilting trees, old women sweated and melted on benches near courtyard gates.

The sun charged past the meridian and sank its claws into the long-suffering book bindings and the glass and polished wood of the bookcases; hot angry patches of reflected light quivered on the wallpaper. It was almost time for the afternoon siege, for the furious sun to hang dead still in the sky above the twelve-story house across the street and fire endless rounds of heat into the apartment.

Strugatsky, Definitely Maybe
So that's the first 'rule' pressed to the floor and shot in the back of the head. Maybe I'll exterminate the others, at my leisure.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #20
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Funny you should say that Rizla, I just started re-reading Hyperion, Dan Simmons' Hugo award winning novel. He doesn't mention the thunderstorm until the second sentence of the first paragraph, but that paragraph could almost be summarised as: "The night was dark and stormy ..." Also, this first paragraph was (drum roll please), in the prologue. Rules 3, 4, 6 and 8 are definitely are broken within a few pages. Arguably rules 7, 9 and 10 are broken too, but these are subjective items. It's a paper book so I haven't bothered searching for exclamation marks.

I think a quote from Barbossa (Pirates of the Caribbean) is in order (regarding the Pirates' Code):
Quote:
the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:11 PM   #21
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Hm.

The work I'm trying to write has a foreword, introduction, prelude, prologue, and of course it also has intermezzo's between chapters, interludes between parts, and an epilogue, afterthought, closure and afterword at the end.

Should I cut that down a bit?

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Old 09-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #22
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Funny you should say that Rizla, I just started re-reading Hyperion, Dan Simmons' Hugo award winning novel. He doesn't mention the thunderstorm until the second sentence of the first paragraph, but that paragraph could almost be summarised as: "The night was dark and stormy ..." Also, this first paragraph was (drum roll please), in the prologue. Rules 3, 4, 6 and 8 are definitely are broken within a few pages. Arguably rules 7, 9 and 10 are broken too, but these are subjective items. It's a paper book so I haven't bothered searching for exclamation marks.

I think a quote from Barbossa (Pirates of the Caribbean) is in order (regarding the Pirates' Code):
Quote:
the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.

Last edited by kennyc; 09-28-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #23
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Hm.

The work I'm trying to write has a foreword, introduction, prelude, prologue, and of course it also has intermezzo's between chapters, interludes between parts, and an epilogue, afterthought, closure and afterword at the end.

Should I cut that down a bit?

No, No, go for it....that's what I'm doing with my Growing Up Stories.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:30 AM   #24
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The rules aren't bad. Great writers can and do and should break every one of them. Most of the writers who will read that list of rules are not great writers. The list may help them avoid being truly bad writers.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:49 PM   #25
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The rules aren't bad. Great writers can and do and should break every one of them. Most of the writers who will read that list of rules are not great writers. The list may help them avoid being truly bad writers.
I think most writers are great. Some are just greater than others Big points in my book for even trying.

Helen
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:05 AM   #26
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I think most writers are great. Some are just greater than others Big points in my book for even trying.

Helen
Oooooh, I think we're going to have to disagree on that one.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:33 AM   #27
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I think most writers are great. Some are just greater than others Big points in my book for even trying.

Helen
Speaking as I writer - I of course can fully support this.
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