Some fellow authors have asked me what my cardinal writing rules are. What are the things that I do, every day, every project, every time I sit myself in my non-writer-friendly kitchen chair behind my slower-than-a-frozen-turtle laptop?
Here’s a secret. There’s not much to it. I have four rules that I never break. And they’re fun too! Maybe you should give them a try.
My Four Rules:
1.) When you stop writing for the day, and your numb backside is screaming for repositioning, stop your story in the middle of an action scene. It’s a thousand times easier to get started again the next morning when your heroes are just about to fling themselves from the edge of a cliff because an entire herd of ogres thunders through the trees toward them.
2.) When you find yourself yawning more than three times in a row, stand up and dance like no one’s watching. Chances are, nobody is watching, unless you have a goldfish named Bubble, in which case, he doesn’t judge. I personally use the Sprinkler move or the Shopping Cart, but even if you breakdance on the table, you have the added bonus of refilling your flagging lungs with brain-fueling oxygen.
3.) When you’re struggling for character names, use your grandmother’s middle name and pair it with your grandfather’s middle name. Fuse the two together with a hyphen. When I did this, my character was lovingly dubbed: “Pearl-Earl.”
4.) When you struggle for ideas, turn off your brain for a little and try, actually try, to type with every last foible your English teacher told you never to do. So wenevr yer brane swiches on agin, you got a hole lotta new sentenses filled up with all sorts of run-ons and run-offs and adverbs and mispellings, BUT, you’ve got a story, too. You did it! You got past the Wall-Of-No-Ideas!
That’s it! That’s all of it. Now you know the secrets that happen behind my laptop when I pretend to be slaving over an outline or studiously writing character histories.
Where else, this wide world over, would I ever find another such job?