Friday, August 21, 2009


When my niece was twelve or thirteen she told me that she couldn't wait to grow up, be independent because she wouldn't have to follow any rules. She'd be able to do just want she wanted. I laughed, patted her hand affectionately and informed her that there will always be rules in life. As you grow older the reasons for the rules change, but rules continue no matter how old you get. The biggest difference is when you become an adult the rules relate to larger choices and situations.

Which introduces my blog topic perfectly - rules and guidelines for writers. As I told my niece, there will always be rules. For writers there are guidelines for most genre. Each line has specific requirements that writers must follow in order to get their books purchased and eventually published.

Like my niece, we all want to do our own thing. Enjoy life the way we see fit, but that's not always in the cards. As authors we want to tell our stories the way we choose, describe the events in the way we see them. Unfortunately, that's not always possible because most publishers have specific ways they want a manuscript written.

For example, romance novel must have a happy end. Mysteries need the murder resolved and the killer unmasked, and suspense and thriller must tie all the loose ends together with a nice ribbon.

If your goal is to get published, then learn the rules for the publishing house you're considering and request a copy of their guidelines. I suggest you treat them like a bible for getting published and adhere to the rules. There's no guarantee that your book will get published, but you will be closer to your goal.

If you have comments or suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me. I'm always interested in what you think. I can be reached at

Please don't be a stranger.


No comments: