The Golden Rules
- Palgrave Macmillan
- Publication Type:
- Creative Writing Practice Reflections on Form and Process, 2021, pp. 29-50
- Issue Date:
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This chapter considers the role of writing rules in artistic practice and creative writing teaching. It compares narratology and literary theory with writers’ writing rules, comparing these to the author’s own “Golden Rules” for writing short fiction, and his own writing practice. It considers the perennial quest for rules amongst writers, the reasons we feel compelled to seek rules, and the theoretical and practical aspects of this creative process, including the potential generative or imitative effects, both narratively and stylistically, of applying other writers’ rules and practices to one’s own writing. While acknowledging the suspicion of many writers for literary theory, this discussion seeks to strike a balance between theory and practice, while encouraging students and aspiring writers to consider theoretical and literary precedents, and ultimately argues for the most effective means of producing good writing.
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