Writing Rules

Different kinds of writing have their specific writing rules – Poetry, Short Story, Flashfiction, Play, Prose, Non- fiction, letters, Business proposals, Essays, Reports, all have writing rules.

There are many writing rules out there. Apart from the basic rules, there are different rules each writer comes up with as what works. Some of these rules are thereby adopted by other writers as what works.

In this post, we will be looking at the general rules that work for any kind of writing. They are the rules you should try as much as possible to work with when possible.

1. Master The Writing Rules

There are lots of writing rules to learn. These rules worked for writers before you. Learn them master them. The rules are important. Working with them not only makes your writing more professional, it also makes your writing more appealing.

2. Do Not Criticize Your Initial Draft

Your draft is just your thoughts and idea poured on paper. Do not treat it as though it’s the rewritten piece of work. Some of us threw some precious thoughts away because we thought they’re not up to anything. Do not condemn yours yet until you have rewritten.

3. Work With An External Edit.

There is always need for someone else other than you to have a look at your work before submission or publishing. Sometimes, you think that everything is alright but really, in most cases, there is something wrong somewhere which you as a writer, no matter how keen you are and how many times you proofread, will never see. Get someone who you trust to edit your work.

4. Be A Tightwad When It Comes To Using Adjective and Adverb.

Adjective is descriptive and impatient readers get bored by them. It can actually make a reader drop a book when its overly used in writing.



Boring; Sarah lay her long, new, red sleeping robe on the bed.

In as much the adjective makes the reader understand in detail what is being talked about, it can cast interest out of the reader.

Better; Sarah lay her sleeping robe on the bed.

Another kind of adjective to avoid is the one that ends with – ly

Continually, wonderfully, fantastically…


Boring; It’s really wonderful, really.

Better; It’s wonderful.

Boring This is quite/very awesome!

Better; This is awesome!

The writer’s power words is the verb. So, use the action words more and the descriptive words less.

5. Keep It As Simple As Possible

The reason why you write is to get your message across to your audience. If the message you plan to pass across gets laid to rest in your obscure language, no one will get it and the writing becomes useless some audience. So make it easy at least for an average reader to read what you have written. Check for ways you can simplify your writing.

6. Keep To Whatever Works For You

This definitely sounds like breaking the rules and you know what? It’s okay.

If the rules don’t work for you and your writing, you may decide to do away with them and use what works more for you. If you’re a novelist, you must have found out how hard it is to write freely tied to these rules.

It’s hard to write a novel with these rules to hold you back. I advice that you do whatever works for you and suits your need as long as the grammar and spellings are up and doing. The most important thing is to write and rewrite – edit.


This is what Neil Gaiman had to say,

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