Things I Can, Writing

3. Things I Can Catch and Release: The Censor Speaks

The Rules:

  1. Avoid “I”
  2. Stick with a person
  3. Rephrase any instance of “no” or “not”
  4. When it doubt, verb
  5. Who inverts the passive
  6. Actions float; feelings sink
  7. Dice
  8. Describe in detail
  9. Enough description — get on with it
  10. Develop a character
  11. Develop a plot
  12. Make a point
  13. Points are red herrings
  14. Get over yourself
  15. Cliches are dead weight
  16. Is that sentimentality? Seriously?
  17. Carry a theme
  18. Release your grip
  19. Use all the senses
  20. Get back to the action
  21. Look up
  22. Exploit conflict
  23. Contrived conflict fails
  24. Contrived anything fails
  25. Just make it up
  26. But make meaning
  27. And make it seem accidental
  28. Smile. This is fun.
  29. Keep your hand moving
  30. Generate volume
  31. Polish gems
  32. Murder your darlings
  33. Perfection is death (also, the reverse)
  34. Express what moves you
  35. You don’t matter
  36. Learn something
  37. Teach something
  38. Get a grip
  39. Walk away
  40. Stay
  41. Wrap it up in a pretty ribbon
  42. Everyone can see coming

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