Lisa Goldman

The No Rules Handbook for Writers (know the rules so you can break them)

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The No Rules Handbook for Writers is a timely, creative and refreshing antidote to prescriptive guides for writers. It will inspire playwrights, screenwriters and novelists; offer fresh insights to teachers, editors, dramaturgs, directors and producers.
«Lisa Goldman’s book is like the best of British new writing: it is personal, well-written, clearly thought out and resonant. Its advice is passionately felt but perfectly controlled. And its ideas sing and inspire.» — Aleks Sierz (author of In-Yer-Face Theatre)
Lisa Goldman takes 40 established conventions of creative writing. She explores why these rules persist, how to master them, bend or break them and why the most important rules to overturn are your own. The book weaves together industry experiences, psychological observations and inspirational tips. It also contains practical advice from 40 rule-breaking writers including:
Hassan Abdulrazzak, Oladipo Agboluaje, Ronan Bennett, Sita Bramachari, Trevor Byrne, Anthony Cartwright, Matthew Greenhalgh, Tanika Gupta, Neil Hunter, M.J. Hyland, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Dennis Kelly, Bryony Lavery, Chris Paling, Stacy Makishi, Neel Mukherjee, Hattie Naylor, Anthony Neilson, Kim Noble, Tom Palmer, Lucy Prebble, Philip Ridley, Paul Sirett, Edmund White, Roy Williams.
The No Rules Handbook for Writers will be a valuable addition to the bookshelves of anyone curious about the craft, context and process of writing.
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266 printed pages
Original publication


    Jazzmine Andersonshared an impression5 years ago
    👍Worth reading

    I like this books because it leave helpful tips


    Сергейhas quoted5 years ago
    CONTENTS: 40 Rules to be Broken
    Introduction: Rules or No Rules?
    The Practice of Preparation
    Rule 1 Write what you know
    Rule 2 Find your authentic voice
    Rule 3 Start with a strong premise and a compelling pitch
    Rule 4 Read what you want to write
    Rule 5 You can’t do too much research
    Rule 6 Write an outline before you write
    Rule 7 Write what the market wants
    Principles or Prescriptions? Structure, Character, Dialogue
    Rule 8 ‘Story is about principles not rules’ Robert McKee
    Rule 9 ‘If you would have your play deserve success, Give it five acts complete; nor more, nor less;’ Horace (c.18 BCE)
    Rule 10 Structure is what holds it all together
    Rule 11 Hit the ground running
    Rule 12 Know as much detail as possible about your characters
    Rule 13 Make your main character likeable
    Rule 14 The antagonist must be big and bad
    Rule 15 Keep your main character active
    Rule 16 Your characters must be distinct from one another
    Rule 17 Put off writing dialogue for as long as possible
    Rule 18 Create believable dialogue
    Rule 19 ‘Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly’ Elmore Leonard
    Rule 20 Keep ’em guessing
    Rule 21 The ending must resolve
    Conventions of Style, Economy and Consistency
    Rule 22 Tone and style must be consistent
    Rule 23 Keep your language fresh, original and vivid
    Rule 24 The writer is the invisible hand
    Rule 25 Less is more
    Rule 26 Show don’t tell
    Principles of Freedom: Written and Unwritten Laws of Taste and Taboos
    Rule 27 Obey the arbiters of taste
    Rule 28 Be balanced
    Rule 29 Do not offend
    Rule 30 Stay within the law
    Rule 31 ‘The purpose of art is not to change but to delight’ David Mamet
    The Rules of Rewriting
    Rule 32 Writing is rewriting
    Rule 33 Have your family or friends read, before submitting professionally
    Rule 34 Murder your darlings
    Rule 35 Never argue with feedback
    Rule 36 The rejection of your work isn’t personal

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    Polina Malahova
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    mrn ptrv
    writing practice
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    Jan No
    • 24
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