Monday, April 27, 2015

REVIEW of ROBERT'S RULES OF WRITING by ROBERT MASELLO

ROBERT'S RULES OF WRITING: 101 UNCONVENTIONAL LESSONS EVERY WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW
Robert Masello
Writer's Digest Books
2005

SUMMARY (from author's website)

You already have a million writing books. You know the principles, the lectures, the “expert” techniques. And you’ve discovered that sometimes tried-and-true just equals tired.
In Robert’s Rules of Writing, successful author Robert Masello stomps out status quo writing advice and delivers 101 uninhibited techniques to improve your writing that include:
  • Burn your journal (See rule 1)
  • Strip down to your briefs (See rule 38)
  • Spend time gossiping (See rule 61)
  • Buy the smoking jacket (See rule 56)
  • Skip the Starbucks (See rule 7)
  • De-claim! De-claim! (See rule 63)
Whether you’re a fiction writer, freelancer, memoirist, or screenwriter, Robert’s Rules of Writing gives you the unorthodox advice to transform your writing life and get published!

REVIEW

I like that there are 102 rules in Masello's "101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know" because that's how I've found writing to be: bound by loose rules but better if you can add a rule or two of your own. Of course, the 102nd rule is to break rules, and that seems to suit the temperament of most writers I know. Yeah, we know we shouldn't procrastinate, that outlines can be helpful, and we should always carry a notebook around for jotting down momentary inspiration--except when none of this helps and we find ourselves pounding out last-minute drafts that somehow seem to work.
Masello's writing is warm and honest. You know that if you sat down with this author for lunch, the hour would fly by because he really gets you and understands exactly what you've been pulling your hair out over--as in this blog post he recently posted about job envy. He's a writer's writer, and he writes in one of the best conversational voices out there.
If you're in a writng rut, this is a great book to pull you out of that rut and stand you up on your feet. If you're humble as you read, you'll know exactly what you need to work on, and you'll feel motivated enough to actually work on it. This book isn't about the nuts-and-bolts detail of the craft. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want to go that deep. But as far as reminding you why you love to write and giving you a pat on the back and a gentle shove toward your laptop, it's all here, and you may just feel that you've found a new friend by the 102nd rule.

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