The Rules

Rule 1

Write

Rule 2

Don’t worry about what you’re writing, write.

Rule 3

When you’re done writing, ask questions about what you wrote. The more questions you can ask about why you did things or what prompted actions, characters, and etc., the better off you’ll be by the end of the writing.

Rule 4

Nothing in writing exists in absentia. Everything is there for a reason, has a purpose, and supports the main theme or idea of the piece.

Rule 5

You have to read in order to write well. You do need to read.

Rule 6

It doesn’t matter what you read, just read.

Rule 7

Think before you speak or act or write. Especially before you write. But, don’t think too long.

Rule 8

Do something. Anything. Most of the time it doesn’t matter what you’re doing so long as you’re involved and active.

Rule 9

All parts of writing should be logically connected. Logically connected is not obviously connected. Therefore, when writing the obligation should be logical and not necessarily obvious so long as the logical connected is understood when revealed.

Rule 10

Short and concise is better than long and complicated. However, short and concise works only so long as it’s understandable.

Rule 11

All writing is a conversation. A very long, very intricate, and – at times – very boring conversation.

Rule 12

The temptation, in writing, is to give it all away at the beginning, especially the ending. Never give it all away and especially never give the ending away.

Rule 13

All writing requires structural integrity that includes consistent internal logic, internal structure, and internal mythology. All parts can be borrowed from other writing or real life.

Rule 14

All writing exists in relation to other writing and uses understood conventions in order to make understood meaning and context.

Rule 15

All writing that uses logical and not obvious should have sufficient information such that by the end of the piece the audience can understand and recognize the connections.

Rule 16

The author should find ways of explicating information that directly leads to a desired answer, though that information should not be explicitly stated and should require the reader to do some work in order to fully understand and comprehend the material.

Rule 17

You can make up anything you want, so long as it’s consistent.

Rule 18

All writing should be an honest example of the author’s level of understanding thereby exposing both what the author knows and how the author knows it. The product of writing should be a reflection that orients the readers mind to that of the author so the reader understands and knows in the same way as the author.

Rule 19

Whenever an important idea, theme, place, character, or other ‘thing’ is introduced, it must then be described with as much relevant detail so the audience understands what the author wants understood in the way the author wants it understood.

Rule 20

In order to understand what to write, understand what is has been written, what is currently being written about, and then guess about what will be written about in the future. Once satisfied with direction, write about the subject.

Rule 21

The beginning of the book, chapter, section, and so on influences the end. The two parts must be connected, must share the same goal, and must offer – in different degrees – the same information.

Rule 22

If something is important, it must be referred to, either directly or indirectly, many times. If something isn’t important, it will be mentioned once and never referred to again.

Rule 23

When in doubt, use simple deductive logic: If this … then that …. Ex. If the sun is shining then is must be warm outside. Simple deduction, while not always correct (or accurate), is more correct and more accurate than doing or assuming nothing.

Rule 24

Just because you don’t know is not an excuse. Your best guess is better than nothing.

Rule 25

The use of Direct Dialogue should be to advance the story or plot. If the dialogue, no matter how good, doesn’t advance story or plot then it is unnecessary.

Rule 26

When using Indirect Dialogue or Implied Dialogue (interchangeable terms) is there to allow the audience to understand what has happened by maintaining a narrative pace and to not slow down the story with unnecessary dialogue or repetitive information.

Rule 27

If something’s important, it needs to be anchored in such a way that it feels natural when again used.

Rule 28

Chekov’s Law dictates an important plot or story element introduced at the beginning has to be paid out by the end. Chekov’s Law follows the same basic guidelines as joke telling and humor.

Rule 29

The long setup is necessary, and follows Chekov’s Law, in order to establish continuity and understanding throughout a story or narrative.

Rule 30

Always attempt to, first, fit what you know into the answer and only then attempt to discover out something new that will make easier your understanding of the answer.

Rule 31

Narrative Flow should be used to expose and express an appropriate level of authorial understanding and awareness in an attempt to bring the audience to the same place.

Rule 32

Authors have the responsibility of determining appropriate Narrative Flow in writing.

Rule 33

A break in Narrative Flow is a break in the overriding Structural Integrity and will leave the audience confused or wanting more.

Rule 34

The only things that belong in a narrative must support the central theme. If it doesn’t support the theme, it doesn’t belong.

Rule 63

The Power of Maybe should be used whenever you’re uncertain and simply don’t have enough information.

Rule 78

In writing, you cannot have a Woman on a Pedestal setup and then make the woman normal, likeable, or relatable. She has to become the exact opposite, becoming A Devil in Hell.