Some Storytelling Rules of the Road

If these Rules of the Road help your story, they help. Use these at your own discretion. Remember a loaded gun is only dangerous when it goes off.

1.The Circe Principle. A writer does magic, enchanting the reader with Story. Her magic: words connected into sentences connected into paragraphs. Pretty soon the writer has a whole page. And before she knows it, a novel.

2. The Character Principle. Always begin a story with a character doing something in an interesting setting. What makes the setting interesting. Your description or your lack of description.

3.The Boring Principle. A character alone is boring. Another character is always needed. That second character doesn’t have to be another person. It could be the setting or the weather or an animal, or even an amoeba.

4. The “More is less” Principle. We live in a visual age, so a little description goes a long way. Use no more than three details to describe a setting or a character.

5.The Higgs Boson Principle. There is an unknown particle that all good writing must have. You can’t see it, but it is there. Without it, a work will be dull, and most likely a flop. How do you get it? Practice, practice some more, and more practice.

6. The Anti-bazinga Principle. Don’t fall prey to your own brilliance. Kill those little darlings. If they scream when you delete, it means you are doing your job.

7. The Boggart Principle. What does your protagonist fear the most? Figure that out and use it.

8. The Yadda-Yadda Principle. It doesn’t matter what the character says. Just make sure she says it in context. And convincingly.

9. The Kramer Principle. Ever watch “Seinfeld”. As soon as the conversation between two of the characters started to die, a third character, usually Kramer, would burst through the door and take the characters off in a completely new direction.

Have fun.

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