Writing Guide: My Personal Top 10 Author Tips and Rules

Aaron Mullins. Author, Writer, Tips. Guides.

Every writer develops their own voice. They each have their own unique mannerisms, quirks and ways of working. And we all learn what works best for us, as authors.

For me personally, I like having a set of rules that I write by, and a few quick ways to self-edit my work. These may not work for everyone. They may be generically applicable to all authors, or they may fly in the face of convention. But they keep me focused, structured and able to maintain both my author voice and the quality of my work.

In no particular order of importance, here’s my own personal Top 10 Author Tips and Rules:

  1. Only write the main story in real time – what is happening now (flashbacks/memories/visions are still fine)
  2. Show, don’t tell – basic rule 101 right there! Have your character do something to display their emotion, rather than simply stating it
  3. Don’t switch points of view within a chapter – you can relay two or more character’s emotions through observation from one
  4. Near the start of  new chapter, tell the reader where they are – describe the location – literally setting the scene
  5. Write for all the senses, not just the eyes
  6. Don’t use boring nouns, or use crazy adjectives to make boring nouns try to sound interesting!
  7. Don’t describe the same thing twice, in a slightly different way – if you didn’t get your point across first try, rewrite it
  8. Don’t use clichés – describe things in new and interesting ways – fresh descriptions and comparisons
  9. Use short amounts of speech – no more than 3 sentences – with no small talk
  10. Use he/she said for almost all speech – rarely use anything else – often use nothing at all!

These Top 10 Author Tips and Rules aren’t necessarily me saying that you should use these rules. Instead, they are merely an insight in to how I work.

Now get out of my head :)



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