M.C. Beaton’s Top Ten Writing Rules


  1. Do not overwork your manuscript, striving for perfection.
  2. Avoid literary snobbery. Don’t try to appear more erudite than you are.
  3. Believe passionately that what you have written is good because you may be in for a bumpy ride. It is important that you learn to take rejection and still believe in your work. Some of the best authors were rejected at first.
  4. Do not show your work to your best friend because she will, of course, tell you it is great. Do not show it to your husband or wife, because they might just tell you that you have spelled cat wrongly on page three, when you are desperately longing for reassurance.
  5. Try to write what you enjoy reading. The brain is like a computer. You can only put out what you put in.
  6. Never write down. For example, never try to write a romance because you think that type of thing trivial and so it should be easy to write. Don’t write poetry because it is the least amount of words you can think of to get your name published. The same applies to children’s books. J.K. Rowling is unique.
  7. The basics. A clean manuscript, double spacing, no typos, and submitted with a short autobiography and an envelope and postage for return.
  8. To avoid writer’s block, remember there is always something to write about: the weather, the scenery, and what people look like. And one page is more than you had the day before. To break off is fatal.
  9. If all else fails and you still believe you have produced good work, try self-publishing on Amazon.
  10. Always remember that there is a lot of luck involved. Persevere! And lots of luck to all of you.