Of course, he clarified that these eight “rules” were routinely broken and therefore to be considered “suggestions”, but I was certainly going to listen to what the high king of legal thrillers was wanting to tell me. (John Friggin Grisham ya’ll!)
I dove in to the list ready to receive the Do’s and Don’ts like Moses holding stone tablets waiting for God to speak.
Some of the Grisham rules were common sense and I had heard them before:
5. DO — USE QUOTATION MARKS WITH DIALOGUE (Like duh!)
7. DO — READ EACH SENTENCE AT LEAST THREE TIMES IN SEARCH OF WORDS TO CUT (Kill your darlings, right?)
However, some rules I found a bit of a stretch:
1. DO — WRITE A PAGE EVERY DAY (I have a 2-year-old – I write when I can and sometimes that doesn’t happen each day. This rule may be unrealistic for many writers.)
2. DON’T — WRITE THE FIRST SCENE UNTIL YOU KNOW THE LAST (Some of us don’t like outlines and plotting every detail in advance – this cannot work for every writer as we all have our own styles!)