March 2, 2010

Things I read on the internet

The Guardian asked writers for their ten rules for writing (part one and part two available here). I like lots of bit and pieces of advice and might take one rule from each author. But overall I liked this advice the best:

Ian Rankin

1 Read lots.
2 Write lots.
3 Learn to be self-critical.
4 Learn what criticism to accept.
5 Be persistent.
6 Have a story worth telling.
7 Don’t give up.
8 Know the market.
9 Get lucky.
10 Stay lucky.

Other things I read on the internet suggest a couple of addendums:

Additional rule a) If a reviewer critiques your book don’t take it personally. Especially don’t declare internet war on the reviewer, abuse them by email and in comments to forums and create sock puppets to praise your book and star rate it. That makes you look crazy – and desperate.

Additional rule b) Even if your dad is a rock star that doesn’t mean you can trace the art from other people’s manga and publish it under your own name without the entire fannish interwebs calling you out on it. And then CNN will notice. That makes you look stupid – and a plagiarist.


  1. I prefer Book Maven Mary’s helpful hints, myself, although I suppose Rankin’s rules are tolerable. But I am by nature a rebel who hates rules, so the Guardian lot were never going to be something I lay down in awe before. I do agree wholeheartedly with you about the sock puppets, though. That is a Step Too Far.

    Lucy Coats @

    Comment by Lucy Coats — March 2, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  2. Not up to date with the sock puppet saga but if it’s anything like the Paperchase furore, I can sympathise.

    I agree about Rankin coming out well but he doesn’t suggest HOW one might “get lucky” or “stay lucky”

    Comment by Mary Hoffman — March 2, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  3. I saw those as a joke. I think you took a lot of them mroe seriously than I did.

    The one about googling for the title of your book – I do that. I think part of me hopes I will have written and published it without noticing. ;)

    Comment by Rhiannon Lassiter — March 3, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  4. It might have been better to call them advice rather than rules. The only one I really disliked though was Pullman’s!

    Comment by Rhiannon Lassiter — March 3, 2010 @ 9:03 am

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