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5 Essential Rules for Writers

Rules and writers have a love/hate relationship. We adore them when they work for us and make writing easier. We hate them with a fiery passion reserved for the person who ate the last piece of chocolate when they impede our sense of artistic reason. There are many lists of so-called writing rules out there. Often couched in terms of “Never” and “Always,” they cause even the most mild-mannered of writers to break out the pitchforks and torches. This list is one I hope every writer can get behind.

1. Pants are optional when you write.

Pants, shirts, socks, and shoes are completely unnecessary accessories and have no place in writing fashion trends. It all depends on who is around when you’re writing and whether or not they will run screaming for the hills if you are writing in nothing but your skin. You could be unconventional and decided to only put on only one pant-leg. Who am I to judge?

2. Words are necessary.

Some people get really angsty about adverbs and downright snippy if you have pronouns and the like in your story. But words are words and to write you have to keep wording thus words are entirely necessary for writing. Whew. That was a long, wordy sentence. I’m going to have to take a break for a bit.

3. Lasers make every story more interesting.

Is your medieval knight stuck in a rut? Give him a laser. Pew-pew. Is your ogre army failing to take the castle? Give them lots of lasers. More, bigger lasers. Pew-pew-pew. Does your villain seem a little flat? By now, you should know the answer. GIVE THEM A LASER!

4. Cats (or dogs) are an essential writing tool.

Or gerbils, or goldfish, or a pet rock. It doesn’t matter. Writers need a furry/scaly writing buddy to bounce ideas off of. Someone who doesn’t shoot down your brilliant plotting. Someone who doesn’t give you the stink eye at inane dialogue you’re trying out. Well, maybe they occasionally give you the stink eye, but that’s mostly because you were so busy writing you forgot to give them food … or treats … or belly rubs.

5. Video games are a great way to get inspiration.

This one is actually half-way serious. Video games can provide a much-needed respite from writing to recharge the brain. They are also a giant time suck. But time suck + me punching dragons in Skyrim until I’ve worked my way out of a giant plot hole = inspiration. So game on my writerly friends.

Happy Writing!

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