Monday, May 17, 2010


 We are happy to welcome Lynn Romaine to our blog on Monday and Tuesday. Comment today and tomorrow and your name will be entered in a drawing for her book LONG RUN HOME.

On Writing                                  
by Lynn Romaine

As a serious, serious writer searching for my inner Ernestine Hemingway, I’m a nut for finding great advice from other authors—especially their rules of the game. Not that I’m a ‘follow-the-rules’ sort of woman, but getting into another author’s head is the best, most useful tool.

Along those lines, I’ve listed here some advice by famous writers—some serious, some humorous and some insane.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Jack Kerouac's "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose"

1.Keep secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy.

2 Be submissive to everything, open, listening.

3. Try never  to get drunk outside your own house.

4. Be in love with your life.

5. Something that you feel will find its own form.

6. Be crazy, dumb, a saint of the mind.

7. Blow as deep as you want to blow.

8. Write what you want--bottomless from the bottom of the mind.

9. See the unspeakable visions of the individual.

10. No time for poetry?   Know exactly what is poetry.

11.  Feel visionary tics shivering in the chest.

12. In  a tranced fixation, dream upon the object before you.

13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition.

14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time.

15. Tell the true story of the world in interior monolog.

16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye.

17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.

18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in a language sea.

19. Accept loss forever.

20. Believe in the holy contour of life.

21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in the mind.

22. Don't think of words when you stop. but see the picture better.

23. Keep track of every day, the date emblazoned in your morning.

24.  Have no fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language and knowledge.

25. Write for the world to read and see your exact pictures of it.

26. Book movie is the movie in words, the visual American form.

27. Praise the character and the bleak  and human loneliness.

28. Compose wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under,the crazier the better.

29. You're a Genius all the time.

30. A writer is the director of earthly movies sponsored and angeled in Heaven.

Lynn Romaine writes romantic suspense within a background of environment concerns. She has three books in print, her latest LONG RUN HOME, and a fourth due out in 2010. She has a degree in information management and lives in Bloomington, Indiana, Her interest in writing fiction with an environmental theme came from her daughter who has a degree in environmental management and lives in Washington state. Lynn recently won a Midwest Writers Workshop Fellow for 2010. When not writing, Lynn is at work on a project entitled Red Pants for the World--young women facing difficult circumstances discovering their own voices and making a difference around the world.


Jeff Turner said...

"Be in love with your life". Indeed. Since I write about life that is a perfect point. There are many good statements above, I'll have to make note of several of them.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Enjoyed reading the advice from other authors. I think I really like this one. lol

"You're a Genius all the time."

Take care,

Verna LaBounty said...

I like

Write to please just one person.

I look forward to the Hemingway post.

linda_rettstatt said...

I love Vonnegut's rules--even if I don't follow them ;) I have two rules for myself that I do follow: 1) write every day, no matter what I write; 2) write first to please myself--if I'm not happy with my writing, it will show.


Lynn Romaine said...

Thanks for those great comments - Lindas, love the write to please myself first. That's the best one and sometimes it gets lost for me

Mary Ricksen said...

I must try harder. Gosh your post makes me feel so guilty, I need to strive for more. Or at least write more!
Some if the rules make sense others...

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