Wednesday, 25 May 2011

OAKLEY HALL'S 15 WRITIN' RULES

Oakley Hall wrote and he taught others how to take the stories they created and turn them into novels.

His rules are a blueprint for a waste-free manuscript.

I have come a long way since I started learning how to write so some of the rules made me nod, some made me think and one made me duck under the desk to check my shoe laces ;)

OAKLEY HALL'S RULES FOR WRITING FICTION

1. Write every day

2. Observe and listen

3. Employ all the senses

4. Use strong verbs

5. Detail!

6. A specific always beats an abstraction

7. Describe people and places in terms of motion

8. Anglo-Saxon words are usually more effective than Romance-language-based words

9. Fiction is dramatisation:
point-of-view
sense impressions
detail
action
dialogue

10. In dialogue keep speeches short

11. Look for likenesses, parallels, contrasts, antitheses and reversals

12. Beware the use of the habitual case (would), the passive voice and the word ``there.''

13. Plotting is compulsion versus obstacles

14. In the second draft start deleting adverbs


Westerns have been noticeably absent from my TBR list:
I can only remember reading three:
All the Pretty Horses ~ Cormac McCarthy 
Shane ~ Jack Shaefer
Call of the Wild ~ Jack London

(No. Cold Mountain slipped into the lost and hasn't been found again -- I know it's around here somewhere ;) )

I'm going to start at the Oakley Hall's beginning: I'm looking for a copy of Warlock. And I have a hankering to read True Grit by Charles Portis ;)

Are you looking for a challenging new genre?

4 comments:

  1. I'm not much of a westerns fan, I tried Louis L'amour once but really couldn't get into it.

    Great points! Thanks for posting

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  2. Good advice!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  3. Ooh, I love number 13!

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  4. Hi Summer
    I had to work reading pure Westerns. McCarthy's free writing was liberating.

    Hi Angela :D

    Hi Ali
    The first five felt the foundations - the others added to the blueprint handy for novel building ;)

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