Saturday, January 3, 2009

Heinlein's Rules for Writing

A fellow writer forwarded this link to me. These rules were published in 1947 and still hold true today. I believe rule #3 doesn't refer to polishing a rough draft, but rather refers to finishing a work to the point that you're submitting it and then continuing to tinker with it (without a revision letter from agent or editor) instead of beginning the next manuscript.

What do you think of these?


  1. I think the rewriting thing is simply cautionary. Even huge bestselling authors say they cringe when they read their previous work and want to revise it. That urge to always improve is native to writers, but there's a point where you have to let it go. The danger is getting so caught up in trying to achieve perfection (impossible), you're unable to ever move on to the next project.

  2. I usually follow Elizabeth Bear's advice for #3 - It's broken.


  3. Kerry - I agree.

    Katy - Thanks for the link. Great post!!


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