Friday, May 24, 2013
Sawyer’s Rules for Writing
I've been away from this blog, finding something productive I might do. My Pazuzu Trilogy hasn't made it to bookstores or evolved into movies and it's been four years and twelve revisions since I self-published the epic. I've stopped promoting the books, and apparently my other books, too. I scold myself and live with the consequences of my cessation to hollering into deaf winds. As expected, nothing in my life has changed besides being even more poor. I've got an ex-fiance who would say that's evidence of lacking manhood - eff her, she hasn't helped me in any respect. I have a vision I hope captures the imaginations of millions before I die.
Regardless the languid state of my past stories - Debbie's Hellmouth being the last I self-published back in December 2012 - I've stayed busy. I'm writing a new story. It's working title is The Abhorred. And it's a modern retelling of the movie Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. Readers will love it - at least that's the mark I shoot for.
I'm also concentrating on style. I've got one. A blog post I made back in September 2012 presented its guiding principles. The post is titled "You're Writing Wrong." The Abhorred adheres to rules generated by this so-called manifesto. Because of this imposed stricture, the book shines and it's almost done. My Rules for Writing helps the story stand-out, positively glow as an adventure about monsters.
Below is a broad showcase of my writing rules. This overview will help other writers follow my ink trail, if they would be so brave and choose. Writers such as Kurt Vonnegut and James Joyce (AKA Cormac McCarthy) influenced these practical crib notes. For your scrutiny...
Short chapters - ten-twelve pages.
Each chapter is a touchstone for the rest of the story.
Each chapter minimally imparts one story or character point.
Strict Active Voice - avoid the past tense -ed. (said and asked are past tense)
Short Simple sentences.
Three to four sentences for each paragraph.
Action words deliver speeches.
Use Alliteration and Onomatopoeia - think Edgar Allan Poe.
Don't be ashamed of adjectives and adverbs.
Don't mislead readers for the sake of confusing characters.
A period always follows the word "said."
A period always follows the word "asked."
Abundant commas (pauses for readers).
Special Punctuation Points -
Avoid exclamation marks.
Colons are used for lists - use sparingly if unavoidable.
Semicolons connect two complimentary sentences or incomplete sentences - use sparingly if unavoidable.
The words mom, mother, dad, father are Proper Nouns when related characters are addressed.
First letter following a quotation mark is capitalized.
Seasons capitalized for effect.
Spoken words bracketed by double quotation marks.
Thoughts bracketed by single quotes.
Informal speech patterns are made acceptable.
There you are, the technical skeleton for my body of work. Check out my ebooks on Smashwords. Paperbacks are available from my store front on LULU. I'd appreciate the support of you readers. If we ever meet, I promise I'll sign every physical copy you purchase.