Writing without Rules -a review

Writing without Rules 

Publisher Blurb:

Stop What You’re Doing and Write! Yes, You; Write!

Most writing guides imply–or outright state–that there’s a fixed, specific formula or list of rules you must follow to achieve writing and publishing success. And all of them are phonies. Well, not completely. There are real, applicable techniques and strategies in any writing reference to help you.

But the idea that there’s only one way of writing? Nuts!

without rules

I was sent this book in return for a review. It’s interesting that I’ve never heard of Jeffrey Somers (sorry) or read any of his books – but now I’m tempted to do so after reading this book. Somers was asked to write this book after some successful lectures and articles for Writers Digest 

As I have written (here) I have somewhat of a penchant for writing books and therefore it is no great chore for me to have to read one for review. I really enjoyed this one – it’s entertainingly written and is from a very similar place to how I approach writing. My first writing book was, like so many others, Stephen Kings’s On Writing and, well, I thought I’d been doing it wrong (I also did a couple of posts about doing it wrong – here & here and I may do more in the future) because he was a writing guru and what he was describing was ‘how you MUST write’ (it wasn’t but that’s how I read it).  I wish I’d read this book first – it would have saved a bunch of heartache…

“There is no ‘right’ way. You have to do things the way you want to, learn your lessons, and take your wins… The fact is, there will be plenty of times when you feel like a fraud or an amateur, convinced that every other writer knows more than you do and is playing the game better. They don’t, and they aren’t. It just seems that way from the outside.”

Somers also introduced me (or re-introduced, although I do wonder if it was his article on Writers Digest I originally read) to Plantsing – Plotting and Pantsing using whatever works from both strategies.

So this is a great first writing book to grab as a starting out writer and reminds you as an experienced writer that there are no rules (I still get hung up on that occasionally) and I’d thoroughly recommend it – not least for the entertaining way it’s written, and the many, many amusing footnotes.

Published by suttope

Pete W Sutton is a writer and editor. His two short story collections – A Tiding of Magpies and The Museum for Forgetting – were shortlisted for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards in 2017 & 2022 respectively. His novel – Seven Deadly Swords – was published by Grimbold Books. He has edited several short story anthologies and is the editor for the British Fantasy Society Horizons fiction magazine.

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