Richard Ford’s 10 rules for fiction writers

Writing a novel is easy. Writing a good novel is way harder.

Famous authors talk about their methods and techniques. There are lots of “do this & don’t do that” flying around. These rules are usually about adverbs, grammar, characters and so…

Richard Ford’s list of rules for writers is full of “Don’t”s, yet, he has a completely different approach:

  • Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea.
  • Don’t have children.
  • Don’t read your reviews.
  • Don’t write reviews. (Your judgment’s always tainted.)
  • Don’t have arguments with your wife in the morning, or late at night.
  • Don’t drink and write at the same time.
  • Don’t write letters to the editor. (No one cares.)
  • Don’t wish ill on your colleagues.
  • Try to think of others’ good luck as encouragement to yourself.
  • Don’t take any shit if you can ­possibly help it.

Writing a novel is easy. Writing a good novel is way harder. That’s just life… and it’s about not only having a good story to tell and the way you’re using to tell it, but also it’s about your lifestyle too.

Be careful though! Some of these rules can make you become lonely.

Then, again;


“If loneliness is the disease, the story is the cure.”  ― Richard Ford

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