Elmore Leonards „Zehn Schreibregeln“ sind ja bekannt.
Nun, hier gibt es sie. Oder auch hier. Die Jungs vom Guardian haben aber nicht nur Elmore Leonards Regeln wieder abgedruckt, sondern über ein Dutzend Autoren nach ihren zehn Schreibregeln gefragt. Die Antworten von Ian Rankin, P. D. James, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Roddy Doyle, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, David Hare, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx undsoweiter lesen sich höchst vergnüglich und lehrreich.
1 Do not place a photograph of your favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide. (…)
6 Do keep a thesaurus, but in the shed at the back of the garden or behind the fridge, somewhere that demands travel or effort. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, eg „horse“, „ran“, „said“. (…)
Hm, das sagt auch Elmore Leonard.
1 The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
2 Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money. (…)
4 Write in the third person unless a really distinctive first-person voice offers itself irresistibly. (…)
Gut, das gilt nicht für Privatdetektivromane.
3 Style is the art of getting yourself out of the way, not putting yourself in it. (…)
9 Never complain of being misunderstood. You can choose to be understood, or you can choose not to.
10 The two most depressing words in the English language are „literary fiction“.
1 Read lots.
2 Write lots.
3 Learn to be self-critical. (…)
10 Regard yourself as a small corporation of one. Take yourself off on team-building exercises (long walks). Hold a Christmas party every year at which you stand in the corner of your writing room, shouting very loudly to yourself while drinking a bottle of white wine. Then masturbate under the desk. The following day you will feel a deep and cohering sense of embarrassment.
This is a formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story. It has worked on adventure, detective, western and war-air. It tells exactly where to put everything. It shows definitely just what must happen in each successive thousand words.
No yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell.
The business of building stories seems not much different from the business of building anything else.