Insecure Writer's Support Group Day and a Visit to Ironbridge and Much Wenlock

Insecure writer's support group day -- the first in the new year!

Today's question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

There are many supposed rules that I don't think are useful; "write what you know" is a particularly pointless piece of advice. If everyone followed it, there'd be no historical fiction, hardly any suspense, certainly no paranormal, and no science fiction!

I think all writing advice is best read with only half an eye. It's good to know that it's out there when you'd like some guidance on a specific point. It's nice to have a starting block when you're first beginning to explore the writing path. And it's good to have something to rail against when you are well-advanced on that path and looking to carve your own walkway.

Yet for the most part it's a waste of the time you could be spending on writing. On telling a story. On keeping your readers enthralled. On reading all the good fiction and autobiography and non-fiction and correspondence and essays that are out there.

Others have said this sort of thing before, much better than I can:
Diana Gabaldon: "Read. Write. Don't Stop!"
Diana Gabaldon: My Writing Process
Stephen King: On Writing (no link -- buy the book from your preferred seller!)
Louise Penny: Advice for new writers
Neil Gaiman: Advice to authors
Neil Gaiman: Some advice from the last four months:

Visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group page for lots of advice and helpful links!

One morning last November we visited (again) Ironbridge, the first arch bridge in the world (1781) to be made of cast iron. I also visited the town of Much Wenlock, Shropshire, for the first time. A few photos!:

The Brookes family, prominent in Much Wenlock's history

A new-to-me author: Mary Webb

Dr William Brookes founded the Wenlock Olympian Games in 1850, and campaigned for the revival of the ancient Greek Games. The first modern international Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896

This feels like a story...

A building from 1610!

What writing rule do you ignore? What rule, if any, do you follow?

Happy new year!


Hi Deniz - I'm not a great follower of rules ... I just write - give myself something to think about and I hope entertain anyone who reads.

Lovely photos of the various areas in Shropshire - the Iron Bridge and Much Wenlock - neither of which I've been through/ visited ... I wrote about Brookes and his ideas for helping the population improve itself - I'd love to visit one day - while Telford must be so interesting too - the start of the industrial revolution in earnest - the ability to travel over rivers.

Cheers and have a very happy 2017 - with lots more travels .. cheers Hilary
S.P. Bowers said…
Thanks for all the links and great writing advice!
Chrys Fey said…
Those are awesome links. Reading writing "rules" with half an eye is a good suggestion.
Those photos are really nice and that child too cute for words! Writing rules are so varied and different that looking at them as stepping stones and not 100% Gospel Truth is the best way to go. Love Neil Gaiman's writing advice. He knows how to lay it down without being boring or patronizing.
Beautiful photos. Your daughter is going to really benefit from her exposure to the world.
A good starting point. I like that.
Happy 2017!
Anonymous said…
Happy New Year, Deniz! I agree with your assessment on the 'write what you know' rule. I don't use it. :) What great photos! Enjoy the rest of IWSG day. Eva, IWSG co-host #60
Olivia Rose said…
Hi Deniz!

Rules are there to be understood and then broken. I loved all your photos. Thanks.
Crystal Collier said…
Love the photos! You know, a few people have said how much they don't like the "write what you know" rule, but it's actually, "Write what you're willing to know"--meaning, what you're willing to learn.
Nasreen said…
Thanks for the links and the advice.
Nicola said…
Happy New Year, Deniz!!! Ironbridge looks as grey and murky as I remember it :) Typical November weather for Shropshire. Love your approach to writing rules - very well said indeed. Thanks for the post!!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks everyone!
Yup, love the way you've rephrased it, Crystal -- write what you're willing to learn. I love research :-)

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