Every issue of Spout Magazine used to include a favorite quote by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” It turns out that maybe, rules aren’t always a bad thing. A lot of this blog has been devoted to poetry, but Spout publishes fiction as well. Here is a little shout out to the fiction writers out there: The Guardian recently solicited advice from established authors about do’s and don’ts in the form of top ten lists. Who doesn’t love a good top ten list, especially when the list includes writers like Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, and AL Kennedy. Here is the article. Be sure to check out part two as well.
If you prefer your writerly advice in the form of what not to do, your friends at San Jose State have your back. The Bulwer-lytton Fiction Contest is a gift that keeps giving. Enjoy.