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Lady of the Land
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Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
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You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein's Rules


This is a book I finished reading earlier this week. I find it quite helpful and inspiring.

Heinlein's Rules are deceptively simple. Here they are:

1) You must write.
2) You must finish what you write.
3) You must not rewrite, except to editor's orders.
4) You must put it on the market.
5) You must keep it on the market until it sells.

Simple, eh?

And so hard to do. I have dozens of unfinished tales. And I certainly don't write every day, even though I *know* how beneficial that is.

So anyway, in this book, Kevin McLaughlin goes into the rules and then into the reasons for resistance.

I am sorely tempted to reach out to him and suggest creating an online class where I add tapping exercises to his explanations. emoticon

Anyway, here it is:

]You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein's Rules, by Kevin McLaughlin

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- Firlefanz

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Flasheart2006 Profile
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Registered: 04-2004
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Re: You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein's Rules


I'll agree with 1 & 2; 3 & 4 I think are just silly; and 5 only applies if you decide 4 is right for you. I might decide a story in its original form isn't good enough (hence the whole editing process--and a rigid adherence to rule 3 is why we have so much trash on Amazon, which gives the self-publishing world an undeserved bad name); and I might write a story purely for the enjoyment of it, or as something private--a gift for a loved one, for example.

As soon as I see the word 'must' I instinctively think, "And who are you to tell me what I 'must' do?" emoticon

But yes: if you don't write, and you don't finish, you'll find yourself up against some difficulties emoticon

Last edited by Flasheart2006, 11/9/2018, 11:59 pm
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Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land
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Re: You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein's Rules


And now I could argue that you have resistance to Rules 3-5. emoticon emoticon (Which wouldn't be fair, at any rate.)

I certainly see merit in rule #3 - about rewriting. I've seen people get bogged down in rewriting. People who rewrote their one novel five or ten times. That's not healthy. It doesn't teach them anything about story-telling. It stops them from progressing as a writer, let along in building any kind of a career.

It doesn't mean do not edit. But you can edit as you go, which is what I do a lot. This is the cycling back that has been mentionend many times, and Heinlein did that, too. AND he says to have an editor. emoticon

Actually... the part that I left out is that basically the whole set of rules is about this:

If you want to be a successful author making money... then RULES.

And really, especially as Indie, you need to put your work into the market. Over and over again, and let the market give you feedback. emoticon

I know I will create a second edition of "Dorelle's Journey" eventually. That book has one big flaw: It's too short for marketing efforts. So I should add a couple of chapters, another little adventure, and then republish as 2nd edition. Preferably when I give the whole series new covers. (But that's basically editor's orders, even if I am my own editor in this case. There are valid reasons for changing this, and my publisher self is saying so, rather than my author self.)

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- Firlefanz

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