Last Word

Tossing the book: Three rules for novel writing?


“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

–W. Somerset Maugham

(Flickr: Latteda)

(Flickr: Latteda)


Ah, so this is why so many of us struggle in writing our novels.

Follow @EducatedWriter.

It turns out there are no set rules. We make them up as a trudge along.

Or we toss them altogether, letting the narrative guide our tentative steps.

Is this worrisome to you? Or is it freedom?

When in doubt, folks — just write! Let the rest figure itself out.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at



Kerri S. Mabee

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