Rules for Novel Writing


There are three rules for writing the novel.

Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham

W. Somerset Maugham 1874-1965 (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

W. Somerset Maugham
1874-1965
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Writing workshops or conferences include at least one session on the three essentials of writing. Instructors offer a variety of suggestions from their experiences. If applied, those guidelines should prepare the attendees to write the next best seller.

A cough creeps up my dry throat as I scribble notes in a workshop . I sip water, chew mints, and sip more water to avoid coughing during the intense moments. Eyes forward, I strain to lip read as the presenter, head down, stares at the floor and whispers the secret to writing a best-selling novel. Stillborn words are buried in the carpet. Silence envelops me with disappointment like reading a book with the last pages missing.

I stuff notes in my tote bag. BME—my reminder from a previous conference—catches my attention. Move over, Mr. Maugham. I’ve found the three basics for writing a best-selling novel.

#1 – Beginning
#2 – Middle
#3 – End

Whether I succeed as a novelist or settle in my comfortable niche as a short-story author and memoirist, I echo William Somerset Maugham’s sentiments.

 Writing is the supreme solace.

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