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engmajor2005
12-23-2006, 01:57 AM
You know those Miller Lite "Man Law" commericals?

Well, I propose we start "Book Laws." They can apply to writerly behavior or content of works. Feel free to contribute, debate, discuss, or dispute.

Book Law No. 1

Every fantasy or sci-fi novel should have at least one badass warrior character.

J.S Greer
12-23-2006, 02:02 AM
Book Law No. 2

Every fantasy story must have an act(s) of self sacrifice on the heroes part. Saving the damsel, or risking his life for a friend, even giving his own life for the good of mankind.

tenpenynail
12-23-2006, 03:42 AM
Good grammar. I don't CARE if Robert Parker mixes up POV, dangles participles, and uses 'said' 11 times in one paragraph.

PeeDee
12-23-2006, 05:25 AM
Book Law #1) The book must entertain the reader.

Book Law #2) The book must not cheat the reader.

Book Law #3) The book must be written for the reader.

:)

The Lady
12-23-2006, 05:41 AM
The book must be written for love of the book.

astonwest
12-23-2006, 08:19 AM
The book must be written for love of the book.
I'm sure publishers would prefer that to be the case...but those who'd like to make a living off of their writing may raise an eyebrow or two.

Book Law #13:
No published book from a famous author is allowed to have any of the issues that wannabes are chided for in their own manuscripts.

engmajor2005
12-23-2006, 09:47 AM
Book Law #13:
No published book from a famous author is allowed to have any of the issues that wannabes are chided for in their own manuscripts.

*raising glass and saying in a gruff voice reminiscient of the ads that inspired this thread*

BOOK LAW!

The Lady
12-24-2006, 01:20 AM
[quote=astonwest]
Originally Posted by The Lady
The book must be written for love of the book.

I'm sure publishers would prefer that to be the case...but those who'd like to make a living off of their writing may raise an eyebrow or two.

quote]

I'm making a happy living in a different profession where I have to comply with a lot of bulls**t regulations that don't improve life for anyone.

The reason I'm writing is because I've read books I've loved during the course of my life and they've mattered a lot to me.

Now I'm happy to learn the rules and the craft of writing and I'm happy to put in the practise time and work on becoming a better writer, but ultimately if I'm not passionate about what I'm doing then why would I write. There's easier livings to be made (I know, I'm making one).

Jamesaritchie
12-24-2006, 01:38 AM
[quote=astonwest]
Originally Posted by The Lady
The book must be written for love of the book.

I'm sure publishers would prefer that to be the case...but those who'd like to make a living off of their writing may raise an eyebrow or two.

quote]

I'm making a happy living in a different profession where I have to comply with a lot of bulls**t regulations that don't improve life for anyone.

The reason I'm writing is because I've read books I've loved during the course of my life and they've mattered a lot to me.

Now I'm happy to learn the rules and the craft of writing and I'm happy to put in the practise time and work on becoming a better writer, but ultimately if I'm not passionate about what I'm doing then why would I write. There's easier livings to be made (I know, I'm making one).

Well, there are easier livings to be made by some. For others, there is no easier living possible than writing. Writing often falls into one of two camps. 1. Impossible to earn a living at. 2. Incredibly easy to earn a living at.

Love of the book is fine, but you can have love for writing without loving the particular book you're working on.

And there are more than a few who claim to actively hate writing, and everything about it, but who still manage to sit down and write publishable novel after publishable novel.

MattW
12-24-2006, 01:39 AM
Book Law #141 - Characters who are killed to create a dramatic high-point should stay dead. Especially in a series.

Jamesaritchie
12-24-2006, 01:39 AM
Book Law #13:
No published book from a famous author is allowed to have any of the issues that wannabes are chided for in their own manuscripts.

Unless said famous writer does everything else so well it makes up for the things he does wrong.

scarletpeaches
12-24-2006, 01:41 AM
Nothing would make up for committing sins for which he (or others) chides wannabes. What's sauce for the wannabe goose is sauce for the famous, published gander.

MattW
12-24-2006, 01:41 AM
Book Law 0 - All laws are null and void if you have a good reason for breaking them and can still turn out something marketable.

Jamesaritchie
12-24-2006, 01:42 AM
Good grammar. I don't CARE if Robert Parker mixes up POV, dangles participles, and uses 'said' 11 times in one paragraph.

I keep hearing this about Robert B. Parker, but I've yet to actually find a case where he mixes up POV in any of his novels. Maybe this is because I only read his first person novels. It's pretty darned difficult to mix up POV in a first person novel.

As for dangling participles, like ending a sentence with a preposition, ALL good writers dangle their participles now and then.

The Lady
12-24-2006, 02:26 AM
[quote=The Lady]

Well, there are easier livings to be made by some. For others, there is no easier living possible than writing. Writing often falls into one of two camps. 1. Impossible to earn a living at. 2. Incredibly easy to earn a living at.

Love of the book is fine, but you can have love for writing without loving the particular book you're working on.

And there are more than a few who claim to actively hate writing, and everything about it, but who still manage to sit down and write publishable novel after publishable novel.

Part of my job consists of monkey brained paperwork. It's only about one tenth of my work but it's by far the most tiring and soul destroying part of it.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to wriite for a living if they hate what they're writing. And that poor man who keeps writing publishable books although he hates writing, why doesn't he get himself a good life coach and work out what he really wants to do with his life?

I mean it's not just about the books you write, it's about the life you lead.

And if you don't love the book you're working on, how can you judge the quality of it. You know the bit where you're advised, if you're boring yourself you're boring the reader.

I know some people write for money just like some people shag for money, and both kinds of people strangly enough are never short of customers and yeah sure, doing it for love, you may well end up with a broken heart and all that, but I'm glad I don't have to write to order and have a job with sufficient holidays and pay to allow me time to write what I want. I won't be changing that to get published. To me that would be like doing monkey brained paperwork for ever.

The Lady
12-24-2006, 02:39 AM
Um, apologies for kinda going on about me in your thread. Back to book laws.

engmajor2005
12-28-2006, 02:36 AM
Book Law #17 (I think)

Forty lashes for college students that complain having to read a classic in their mandatory composition class. I don't care about silly little things like the fact that you don't understand the value of literature, and if you're not an English major you should be an English minor.

(Baaaad memories about a classmate that had the audacity to ask an ENGLISH PROFESSOR "Why do people read anyway?")

Azure Skye
12-28-2006, 03:36 AM
I keep hearing this about Robert B. Parker, but I've yet to actually find a case where he mixes up POV in any of his novels. Maybe this is because I only read his first person novels. It's pretty darned difficult to mix up POV in a first person novel.

As for dangling participles, like ending a sentence with a preposition, ALL good writers dangle their participles now and then.

Just as long as they don't do it in public.:e2brows:

Jamesaritchie
12-28-2006, 08:33 AM
[quote=Jamesaritchie]

Part of my job consists of monkey brained paperwork. It's only about one tenth of my work but it's by far the most tiring and soul destroying part of it.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to wriite for a living if they hate what they're writing. And that poor man who keeps writing publishable books although he hates writing, why doesn't he get himself a good life coach and work out what he really wants to do with his life?

I mean it's not just about the books you write, it's about the life you lead.

Even if you hate writing, the life you lead as a successful writer is a darned good one. You're still your own boss, you still set your own hours, yoou can do you work anywhere, which means if you get tired of writing at home you can always rent a hotel room or lease a condo on some nice beach and work from there.

Many hundreds of thousands work at jobs they dislike precisely because of the lifestyle it provides when they aren't working.


And if you don't love the book you're working on, how can you judge the quality of it. You know the bit where you're advised, if you're boring yourself you're boring the reader.

I know some people write for money just like some people shag for money, and both kinds of people strangly enough are never short of customers and yeah sure, doing it for love, you may well end up with a broken heart and all that, but I'm glad I don't have to write to order and have a job with sufficient holidays and pay to allow me time to write what I want. I won't be changing that to get published. To me that would be like doing monkey brained paperwork for ever.

Some misconceptions here, I think. The part about boredom is not something that comes from those who may be, and often are, bored to tears, even when writing exciting scenes. Boring yourself does not mean boring the reader. If it did, many of the best writers I know would be boring readers to death. There are times when every full-time writer gets bored, but this doesn't stop them from writing scenes others find exciting. I know how a scene should read, and how it should read has nothing at all to do with my own emotional state at the moment.

I don;t have to be excited when I write an exciting scene, anymore than I have to sit at the word processor and laugh when I write a funny scene, or cry when I write a sad scene. Good writing has nothing to do with how I feel, it has to do with how the characters feel, how the characters react to a given scene.

And whether you love or hate writing has nothing to do with writing to order. Neither does writing for money. This is a misconception always made by those who don't earn a full-time living from writing.

The simple truth is, writing for money means nothing more and nothing less than writing stories a LOT of people want to read, and being good enough to do it. Such stories aren't written to order one bit more than any other type of writing. I write for money, but I always write the kind of story I want to write, and more important, the kind of story I want to read. I assume my my readers will want the same.

Successful writers, money writers, are the ones who get to write what they want, and usually the way they want, because they're the ones who are making money for publishers. When you make money for publishers, they pretty much let you make the writing decisions.

Having said this, I do enjoy the process of writing. I enjoy it quite a bit, else I wouldn;y do it. BUt I don't get emotionally involved with the scenes. Doing so usually results in bad writing, from my experience.

The Lady
12-29-2006, 05:28 AM
Well I'm glad you enjoy writing anyway and I don't want to keep beating away at this because you answered all my points very well bbbuuuttt,

Wouldn't you say a life spent doing something you hate even if you're brilliant at it is a sell out?
Take for example, a successful businessman who has no particular interest in his business as long as it keeps him in the lifestyle he wants to enjoy and also, probably more importantly, maintains the respect of his friends.

Then to a degree, his life is being controlled by other people because he doesnt have the balls to do what he really whats to do with his life, which might well be to write badly for a pittance.

Just because you are good at something doesn't mean it's what you should be doing with your life.

I for example consider myself very good at my job and it provides me with a very comfortable lifestyle and I don't even hate it (except for the paperwork).
For some reason then, I feel I have to master writing. And don't think I'm all romantic and googy eyed about it either. I know it's a discipline and a craft and some days it tough rugged going and there'll be a few slaps in the face along the way.

I'm just saying it's a pity to spend your life doing something you hate for the sake of money, even if you are very good at it.

I don't think that works out well for people in the end.

But I'm glad you like writing.

Maryn
12-29-2006, 08:11 AM
Book Law Number X, because I have lost count:

No character in a thriller, mystery, or suspense novel may produce a gun in a place where everyone is screened for metal before entry, unless the author offers an explanation of how this was done.

Maryn, who has thrown more than one novel a short distance because of this

CBeasy
01-01-2007, 06:12 AM
No author of a thriller or horror book may never introduce a character at the end of the book as the antagonist if they've only been mentioned once or twice in the book previously and we've no reason to connect them with any of the negative events.

Maryn
01-01-2007, 08:51 PM
No author of books in any genre other than fantasy shall write a female character who is both fit enough to win fights against any opponent and totally shapely, all because she jogs 3 miles a couple of times a week.

Maryn, who got fed up with female PIs for this and other faults

astonwest
01-01-2007, 09:55 PM
I don't know about that...Kinsey Millhone is kind of hot... ;)
(if only I had a time machine...)