weekly reading: writing tips from the pros

Inspired by Twitter’s “Follow Friday,” I’m going to make an effort every Friday to post a recommended read. I’ll try to make it something that has run that week, but since things sometimes take longer to make the rounds on the Internets, that will be a pretty loose requirement.

My first Weekly Reading rec comes courtesy of my friend and fellow freelancer, M.B. Roberts, who circulated this among a group of writer friends. It’s a round-up the U.K.’s Guardian did on fiction-writing rules from famous novelists. We (mostly) non-fiction writers agreed they applied pretty generally. “Kill your darlings” is one of my daily mantras—if you’re inordinately pleased with a turn of phrase, it’s probably too labored—but I also appreciated this, from A.L. Kennedy:

Write. No amount of self-inflicted misery, altered states, black pullovers or being publicly obnoxious will ever add up to your being a writer. Writers write. On you go.

Sound advice, especially when it’s an unusually warm Friday in March and you’re tempted to blow it all off and go shopping. Feel free to post your favorites — or add your own rules — in the comments.

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