Writing Rules & Breaking Them
Debbie Aruta

I like your piece because it reflects my non-style of writing.

I walk in the hills, dictate into my iPhone, then send it off to my transcriptionist. (No, I don’t use transcribing software: that throws me immediately into editing.)

When I start, I don’t know where the story is going. I write pieces that grab me, then fill in the gaps. Characters speak to me, and demand to be added to the story. Only later do I write an outline.

I write several stories at the same time.

When creativity happens, I capture it, wherever and whenever.

But one writer’s rule I honor: write regularly. Have a regimen. Write even when you don’t feel creative — when the blank page or screen stares back at you.

I have ruses for those stuck times. I talk with my wife. “Here’s where I’m stuck.” Or with one of my other writing cronies. We do this for each other. I interview myself. “What’s a possible answer to this question?” This just gets me going every time.

Okay, time to get going.

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