What Are the Three Rules for Writing a Novel?

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Do you just wish someone would tell you the rules, the secrets, the holy grail ways so that you could write your best novel?
Are you convinced someone, somewhere knows these rules and you just have to find them?
You are not alone. Writers and wannabe writers all over the world have been feeling the same way for years and years, probably since novels made their debut on the writing stage.
Someone very near and dear to me has created the puzzle below, with its well-known phrase for writers:

Maugham

Puzzle by Ron Cougler http://puzlr.webnode.com

Now, Ron gives us this caveat that he knows he has misquoted Maugham in order to fit the quote into the puzzle template. Who among my readers can tell which word is not correct in the quote above, and give the correct word?

Enough games. You are all waiting for the three rules, are you not?

The Three Rules for Writing a Novel

1.  Ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res.

2.  Ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res.

3.  Ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res ipsum lorem loquitur res.

(Fill in the blanks. Who am I to answer what Maugham did not?)

I hope you have enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek, foot-in-mouth spoof today. Consider leaving a comment about anything at all,  well, not anything–I do have some standards!–or about the title subject. At the very least tell us something about the writing process which just makes you laugh.

 Ron Photo March 7 2010

Ron Cougler is a Technical Writer for a major Canadian technology firm, in charge of all documentation.  Before his current career, he spent 30 years as a high school teacher and Business Studies department head.  While teaching all learning levels and grades, he wrote and had published two Accounting textbooks through John Wiley & Sons and Nelson Canada.  In his spare time Ron now operates a publishing company called CLASSROOM PUZZLERS and a sister company called PUZLR.

His puzzles have been published in Reader’s Digest’s Our Canada and More of Our Canada magazines.  They have also appeared in the magazine Renaissance, a publication of the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO) organization.

His new PUZLR website is now live and can be seen at http://puzlr.webnode.com

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15 thoughts on “What Are the Three Rules for Writing a Novel?

  1. Hahaha! Love it!

    The rules to writing is that there are no rules. The only rules, aside from proper grammar, sentence structure and spelling, are ones implied by people who want to feel smarter that everyone else. 😉

    Like

    • I’ll tell Ron he should have left the answers off. Then you’d have to do the puzzle. He says you’re a very bad person and you’re not to do that ever again! Ha Ha! You have got me thinking about novel ways to introduce my book when it comes out. Thanks for that, Jessica.

      Like

  2. Good one, Elaine. I think the main rule for writing, outside of the obvious that Dale already mentioned, is to not follow the rules. Every time I discover something I shouldn’t be doing, I try to correct it only to find the same thing in about every book I read. One of the latest is No Exclamation Marks! Well, I know they shouldn’t be used in excess or they fail to communicate anything, but there are some things that just cannot be conveyed adequately without one. Get rid of “ing” and “ly” words. OK. Sometimes that is not possible, either. And they, too, can be used excessively. But they are numerous in many books books published by the “big” publishers. I have found that if you follow too many rules your writing becomes stilted. And after all, who wants to read a stilted novel? 🙂

    Like

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