Michael Moorcock’s 10 simple rules

The veryfine blog Educating Alice pointed me to the Guardian’s collection of Rules from Big Deal Authors.

Plenty of good stuff, but the one who made me actually follow the link was Michael Moorcock. I’ve read dozens of Moorcock novels, many of which were absolutely fantastic, one or two of which weren’t and a few of which I couldn’t even understand.
(I’ll have a GuysLitWire post up later this week about one of my favorite Moorcock series: Dancers at the End of Time.)

What was stunning about his 10 rules was how simple they were: ex., #3 Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel.

I think it’s interesting that an author who has written so much stuff that is seriously far out there, still digs the basics. It amazing to think that he had his feet firmly on the ground while writing the Peake-ish Gloriana or the cra-zee The Final Programme.

But in other ways, it does make sense. Perhaps it was his understanding of how a simple story works that allowed him to attempt and succeed with a mind-blowing idea like The Dancers at the End of Time.

Another rule of interest was:
For a good melodrama study the famous “Lester Dent master plot formula” which you can find online. It was written to show how to write a short story for the pulps, but can be adapted successfully for most stories of any length or genre.
Here it is:
Lester Dent Pulp plot outline


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