Because writer's are such a varied group of people, it's no surprise that the rules of writing are practically nonexistent. Some think that fragmented sentences are abominations, while others see them as gift from above. We have Team Oxford Comma and Team Non-Oxford comma (also known as Team Heathen. If you are visiting my blog and are Team Heathen, then leave now and never come back). And let's not forget about the disagreements over "showing versus telling," prologue versus no prologue, and escapist fiction versus interpretive fiction.
Basically, there are practically no rules that at least one writer has not broken. I get it. I'm all for the "guidelines rather than actual rules" mindset.
But I think it'd be nice to have a group of cohesive rules at the middle of the lives of all writers. I like that, the symmetry, the geometry of good writing laws.
Thankful, such a thing does actually exist. It's called the 10 Commandments of Writing. I found them atop Mount Procrastination, engraved upon tablets of creativity and written with the tools of irony. I'd like to share them all with you in the hopes of building a better, brighter future:
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any false writing rules. Do not fear the false writing rules of thy fellows. Boldly travel where no man has before traversed.
3. Thou shalt not take punctuation and spelling in vain. Study correct spelling with all of your heart, mind, and soul. Do not squander punctuation.
4. Remember your writing time and keep it holy.
5. Honor thy editors and thy readers. They have raised thee up and lead thee along the paths of publication. Give them thy respect and consideration.
6. Thou shalt not kill thy characters needlessly.
7. Thou shalt not be unfaithful to thy writing. Hungering after tale hares (*cough* plot bunnies *cough* *cough*) whilst thy current novel lies before thee is harmful to thy productivity.
8. Thou shalt not steal from other writers. Gathering inspiration from thy fellow writer is pleasing, but plagiarism is an abomination.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy writing. Behold thy writing talents and do not lessen them with insecurities or false criticism.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's writing style. Thy skills are enough.
These are all commandments I strive to follow in my writing life. I've found them very helpful, particularly 2, 9, and 10. What would you add (or take away) from these 10 Commandments? Tell me about your favorites! I'd love to hear from you.
And yes, you do get major points for leaving comments in Early Modern English. You may find it helpful to write as if you are a certain mighty Asgardian.
10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Writer (Until It's Too Late)
7 Absolutely Essential Tips for Writing Sarcastically
The 5-Star Rating System: What Book Reviewers Mean VS How Indie Authors Take It
Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!