A math guy's random thoughts.
|No, I've not been to the mountaintop and seen the promised land. I've just read a bunch of stuff about craft, followed by reading a bunch of stories here on WDC. These "commandments" are just a summary of the advice I mostly wind giving when I write reviews. They're not divinely inspired. They may not even be 100% right in all circumstances. I've just found them useful, and I hope you find them helpful, too.
Any list of ten commandments for authors will be incomplete. Other people will have different priorities, and so produce different lists. I've looked at lots of "rules for writing," and mostly gleaned my ten from other, more skilled, authors. Commandment X, for example, comes from Edgar Allen Poe, the first and, in some ways still the most perceptive, critic of short fiction. Some of my inspirations are below.
I like Elmore Leonard's list , for example, for its specificity.
Dashiel Hamment has a rather specific list for authors of detective stories. Raymond Chandler has a more general set of ten rules for authors of detective stories. Both are useful, in their own way.
It's hard to argue with Kurt Vonnegut's list of eight rules for writing a short story.
Anyway, I hope this little compendium is useful to someone...