Ten rules for novelists:
1. Put on lipstick and a cute bralette before you start.
2. Write in whatever mode fits the story. If it stops fitting, rewrite.
3. Every book is a different animal. So are you, every time.
4. You write better when you read widely.
5. Research is your friend and your reader’s friend. Learn how to write for the world you actually live in, not one that you mourn or wish for.
6. The internet is an invaluable tool that you need to get off of sometimes to do good work and stay sane.
7. Le mot juste is a real thing. Fuck anyone who knocks you for interesting or clever choices; they are a purist ass.
8. The reader is imaginary until you have books in their hand. Act accordingly and write for you.
9. You know when you’re being boring. Kick the beehive.
10. Never accept advice from a male novelist who writes women as though they were bone-white and hairless mannequins with a slippery enigma machine where the cunt should be.
4 thoughts on “Ten Rules for Novelists”
Hi Meg. These rules made my lipsticked mouth smile. I enjoyed your essay in Catapult.
Thank you so much for both! <3
Love this, and have name-checked you with a link on my latest “Rules for Novelists Writing Rules for Novelists” – http://www.charles-harris.co.uk/2018/11/rules-for-novelists-writing-rules-for-novelists/
I hope you like it.
Must now go and get myself that bralette…