With all the top ten lists floating around and their cheery “how to succeed” mantras, I thought it might be interesting to take a contrary view. Using John Dufresne‘s “Ten Commandments of Writing” as a launchpad, here’s a twist:
- Don’t back up your work. After all, you’ve never lost anything before.
- Use passive voice and exposition. Exclusively.
- Choose laundry and errands over your writing time.
- Make characters arbitrary.
- Be obscure (do you know what I mean?).
- Spell everything out for your reader, in detail, with stage direction.
- Never read anything else. Ever.
- Submit early and often. Especially your first drafts. Include as many tpyos as possible.
- Only cheerful stories with happy endings are worth sharing.
- Kill off your characters at random.
It’s true confession time. How do you either follow John Dufresne’s Ten Commandments or sabotage your success? Your secret is safe with us.
Online Editor’s Note: John Dufresne’s list, and so much more, can be found in his book, The Lie That Tells A Truth.