Emma Darwin's Twelve Tools [not rules] of Writing
1) Never follow a rule until you understand why someone's made it, and then treat it as advice, not law.
2) Don't write what you know: write what you like, and make us believe you know it.
3) Train your writer's ear: learn to count syllables and think rhythms; read poetry aloud; take some speech-and-drama lessons; write poetry; read your own work aloud.
4) Train your listener's ear, your nose, your tongue, your finger-tips, your body, your eyes... to sense and then recall sounds, smells, textures, balance/weight/movement, color and form, the angles of light and the patterns of shade.
5) Do enough free-writing to discover that switch in your mind which can turn off the censor at will, and know when to switch it. Remember that nothing you write is ever wasted, even if it all gets cut in revision.
6) Whenever you do some work on your story, know what you're doing and why, do it, and then stop. Don't fiddle, hop about or get diverted.
7) Understand showing and telling, and use them both for good.
8) Never use second-hand language except deliberately, making the most of its second-hand-ness.
9) Get to grips with psychic distance, narrators and point of view, and practice all the possibilities till they're part of your toolkit.
10) Understand adverbs and adjectives and why you're so often told to cut them... and then use their power for good.
11) Learn to punctuate, to spell and to use grammar and syntax first properly and then skillfully, because only then will you be able bend them to your creative will and still keep readers reading.
12) Never write anything purely to achieve an external goal: if it won't have any value for you as writing, then don't write it. Consider ideas that come from the market place in the same receptive but critical spirit as you do any other ideas: use them if they're right for the book. Never write anything that you'll regret having spent the time on.#writingtips #academichelp #writingadvice