So today's post is Rule Two:
Forget Grammar for a While!
Grammar is very important for a finished manuscript, but while you are writing a rough draft, don't worry about it! If you spend all your time worrying about how the sentence you just wrote sounds, you'll never get any real writing done! Concentrate on the story line first, that is the first step to writing a story. When you get the story line the way you like it, you can go back and fix grammar and spelling all you want. Critiquing manuscripts, while most people think it's monotonous, I think is one of the best parts of writing! I think it is very exciting to be able to go back through my own stories and make them better. Nothing you do the first time is going to be perfect. As long as you remember this, you will be a very accomplished writer. And the more you go back through your stories and try to fix them yourself, the better you will get at it in the future and you will find after a while that you do not need to fix quite so many things in you writing.
If you have problems with grammar, I would like to suggest the Grammar for Dummies workbook. It has understandable explanations and quick easy exercises to help improve your grammar. Also any of the Writer's Digest books will help as well.
Mainly, the best thing to do to be able to write better is to read! Take one of your favorite books up again and concentrate on the author's sentence structure and how they word things. Many of my favorite authors are so because of the way they right. I have read many books on subject I have enjoyed, but was less enthused because of the writers style. And I have also read books I might not have read but for the fact that one of my favorite authors wrote them. I would also suggest reading the classic authors. Shakespeare really did know how to turn a plot! And you cannot deny that authors like Louisa May Alcott and Sir Walter Scott really knew how to write. Most recurring story lines are found in some of the first novels ever written.
So, hopefully, I'll be back before long with more "rules" and posts!