Heinlein’s Rules, Learning and Writing
- #1 You must write. Totally Agree. You must write. If you do not write, you have nothing to sell.
- #2 You must finish what you write. Absolutely: If you do not finish what you write, you have lots of writing, and still nothing to sell.
- #3 You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order. Not so sure about this. Yes, I write one draft and I tend not to redraft, so I agree here. No major rewrites. However, since I’m my own editor, it’s me who gives the orders—as well as any beta readers I’ve found… I have to be careful, or the edit-rewrite thing could get very circular. So, no, I don’t rewrite the story, but I do go back as an editor and pick out inconsistencies, over-used words, and slow patches and I do rewrite those. I also do a little polishing as I go. Having said that, I don’t tend to do more than four of five editorial passes when I’ve finished, and then I put the story out, and I tend not to look back.
- #4 You must put it on the market. Absolutely. Yes. If you do not put it on the market, it will not sell. So, when you have done the best you can on the story, put it out on the market. On as many markets as possible, and then get on with the next one.
- #5 You must keep it on the market until sold. I think this refers to when a story was sent out again, and again, and again, until a magazine or publisher bought it. I’m not so sure what it means nowadays, but I think it means for an indie, that you put it out there and leave it there to sell.