Rules for Writing

The Daily Post

Via this blog, I was turned on to some rules of writing that author Jonathan Franzen submitted to The Guardian. I’m no fan of Jonathan Franzen. In fact, I find him insufferable, and I’m maybe the only person in the world who doesn’t even think he’s that great a writer (I thought Freedom was really weak). Still, lots of people admire the guy, and he’s got a couple of acclaimed literary fiction books under his belt, so maybe he knows what he’s talking about. Here are his rules, with my comments.

The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.

This comes up a lot in experimental writing, or at least writing that toys with the conventions most of us are used to, and I think it’s good advice. Generally I think it’s good advice to write in a way that helps your reader get what…

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