Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Robert Heinlein’s five rules of writing

with 4 comments

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
4. You must put it on the market.
5. You must keep it on the market until it is sold.

Robert A. Heinlein, in Of Worlds Beyond: The Science of Science Fiction Writing

Written by nevalalee

December 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Heh. #2 seems the most challenging to me…


    December 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

  2. I can agree with all of these things.


    December 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

  3. I agree with all but the third. Hemingway summed it up neatly when he said, ‘the first draft of anything is shit.’ Sometimes, the rewriting process is a real drain, but I couldn’t work without it. Good luck


    December 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

  4. @adamdickson: I don’t think Heinlein was saying that you shouldn’t rewrite at all—only that once a finished story has been rewritten to your satisfaction, you shouldn’t keep tinkering with it once it’s gone out to editors, except in response to specific comments.


    December 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

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