Rules for Writer [sic]. by editors

1) Have your computer's wireless radio turned off while working: good writing is never researched in any way.

2) Don't use a long word where a short word will do: in fact, don't even use a long word where the only alternative would be an incoherent string of transliterated monosyllabic grunts.

3) Don't feel constrained by prescriptive grammar: for example, if you intentionally use adjectives in place of adverbs, people will think you're really talented because writers like Henry Green, Dylan Thomas and Ernest Hemingway relied heavily on the convention.

4) Avoid writing sex scenes: your sexuality is, in all likelihood, very weird, hence would your literary depictions of sex frighten and confuse normal people.

5) If it's at all possible, steer clear of 'cliche.' As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, you'd be better off not getting bogged down by figures of speech on the whole, if you want my two cents.

6) Don't feel the need to pander to some imagined 'audience': it's really only the tastes and opinions of booksellers that matter.

7) Everything's already been done: so don't do anything.

8) Write what you know: since to do otherwise would constitute a paradox.

9) Don't make references to authors whose work you haven't read: read the work of two or three authors, then reference them.

10) Don't read Jack Kerouac's list: Jonathan Franzen's is even more unintentionally funny.

11) Under no circumstances should the passive be used. (Nor should the joke from the the fifth rule be repeated.)

12) [See fourteen.]

13) [See seventeen.]

14) [See sixteen.]

15) [See twelve.]

16) [See thirteen.]

17) [See fifteen.]