I was going to bless you all with my 10 writing commandments, but as we
are exiting November, aka National Novel Writing Month, here are the Holy Commandments for all writers who are editing this December:
- I am the Creator who brought these words into a single being. I shall believe in myself and have no other soul whose beliefs I put before my own.
- I shall not make for myself a carved image, or any likeness of a sweet indulgence, or a false image to fool myself out of editing my creation. I shall not bow down to these distractions nor serve them. I shall honour thy Commandments and keep pushing myself through troubled times.
- I can take my creation’s name in vain — it probably deserves it — but I shall seek the opinion of my critique buddies when in doubt.
- I shall remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy. Six days, I shall labour and do all my work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath for my non-writer-self. In it I shall do no work that is writing-related. It took me countless weeks, months, maybe years, to create the work so I shall be lazy and not slave over editing on this day.
- I shall honour the needs of my work for the second draft. I shall not fix up “it’s” for “its”, nor “happy” for “content”, and shall only attend to the needs of the structural edit in this draft. (Point 5. details the differences here.)
- I shall not murder thy creation when times are tough. I shall not tell myself my work is worthless.
- I shall not commit adultery. I shall not start ten other creations to fill the void of the hardships of my first piece.
- I shall steal. I shall read as many fiction-writing guides as possible. I shall steal all the best advice my mind reads (you can do this on my Best books page).
- I shall not bear false witness against my creation. I shall practice writing short stories to improve my knowledge of editing storylines. I shall practice writing descriptions to show scenes, objects and people realistically. I shall listen to real conversations to write true dialogue.
- I shall covet to write the story I want to write. I shall covet to write every detail and idea that I want to. I shall not “write what I know” but, rather, “write what I love”.
I’m sorry if some of my readers had to go through this religious lesson and aren’t Catholic, but this
shall will be your new mantra. Print it out, Tweet it, Facebook it, share it so that every writer editing knows what values they shall should be true to.
Please leave your own “11th commandment” below. Thank you for reading!