Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Video Lists Top Ten Rules of Writing

Study this writing tips video to learn what not to do on a video!
Video Lists Top Ten Rules of Writing
This week’s WriteMyMemoirs blog post started out as a post to discuss the writing rules noted in a YouTube video called Top Ten Writing Rules From Famous Writers, which was posted last year by Lyra Communications. Instead, I’m on a rant! These are the ten rules listed:
10. Stephen King: Write a draft; then let it rest.
9. Stephen King: Read a lot.
8. George Orwell: Never use a long word when a short one will do.
7. George Orwell: Never use the passive voice when you can use the active voice.
6. Pierre Berton: Know your audience.
5. Pierre Berton: Recycle and read the good stuff before you write.
4. Andrew Morton: Honor the miraculousness of the ordinary.
3. Stephen King: Good copy = Draft minus 10%.
2. Bob Cooper: Look at every word in a sentence, decide if all are really needed and, if not, kill them; be ruthless.
1. Al Kennedy: Writing doesn’t love you; it doesn’t care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on.
I suppose those ideas are worthy of discussion—although I’m not sure they’d be my top ten—but I’m finding that I’d rather critique the video itself than the rules. I have a lot of problems with this video. First, there seems to be a “famous writer” shortage. Wouldn’t you be more interested in ten rules from ten different writers? Here, only six writers supply all ten rules. I also question how well these writers meet the title’s definition of “famous.” King and Orwell are the only famous writers, and that Cooper guy was the narrator’s professor; I don’t think that credential qualifies him. Also, speaking of Cooper, I had to reword his writing tip to make it grammatically correct! For the #1 writing tip, which is really not a tip but a plea, the narrator refers to the author as a “he” when really the person actually is a woman. The communications lesson from this video is not what the company intended but, rather, to make sure your information is accurate and compelling before you post on YouTube.

This week’s WriteMyMemoirs blog post started out as a discussion of the writing rules noted in a YouTube video called Top Ten Writing Rules From Famous Writers, which was posted last year by Lyra Communications. Instead, I’m on a rant! These are the ten rules listed:

10. Stephen King: Write a draft; then let it rest.

9. Stephen King: Read a lot.

8. George Orwell: Never use a long word when a short one will do.

7. George Orwell: Never use the passive voice when you can use the active voice.

6. Pierre Berton: Know your audience.

5. Pierre Berton: Recycle and read the good stuff before you write.

4. Andrew Morton: Honor the miraculousness of the ordinary.

3. Stephen King: Good copy = Draft minus 10%.

2. Bob Cooper: Look at every word in a sentence, decide if all are really needed and, if not, kill them;  be ruthless.

1. Al Kennedy: Writing doesn’t love you; it doesn’t care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on.

I suppose those ideas are worthy of discussion—although I’m not sure they’d be my top ten—but I’m finding that I’d rather critique the video itself than the rules. I have a lot of problems with this video. First, there seems to be a “famous writer” shortage. Wouldn’t you be more interested in ten rules from ten different authors? Here, only six writers supply all ten rules. I also question how well these writers meet the title’s definition of “famous.” King and Orwell are the only famous writers, and that Cooper guy was the narrator’s professor; I don’t think that credential qualifies him. Also, speaking of Cooper, I had to reword his writing tip to make it grammatically correct! For the #1 writing tip, which is really not a tip but a plea, the narrator refers to the author as a “he” when the person actually is a woman. The communications lesson from this video is not what the company intended but, rather, to make sure your information is accurate and compelling before you post on YouTube.

Like this article?

Login

Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!