December 11, 2014

Heinlein's Rules of Writing

Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein is known for many great books.  Another thing he's known for is his "Rules of Writing" that appeared in an obscure book on writing.  Those rules, paraphrased and modified with an update by the great Harlan Ellison are:

  1. You must write.
  2. Finish what you start.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
    (Harlan's corollary: IF you agree with the changes.)
  4. You must put your story on the market.
  5. You must keep it on the market until it has sold.
  6. Repeat the above.
I became acquainted with the rules through a video done by Dean Wesley Smith, another successful science fiction author.  Since then, I've heard a number of other authors recommend the rules as well.

Heinlein and others like Smith claim that if you follow those rules, getting back on the wagon if you fall off, you'll eventually have success.

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