This “rule” is more like a state of being.
But it is unbreakable.
It’s caused countless story and novel drafts to be trashed, emails to tank, and a whole lot of blank screens, deleted files, pulled-out hair, and other problems.
The simplest way I heard the rule in my Long Ridge days was:
“It has to work.”
What does that mean?
Everything, and nothing.
Kinda light on specifics, if you ask me.
If your fiction or email clicks with your readers or subscribers, they get to the end before they realize how they got there. And maybe they’ll buy your book, story collection, course, or what-have-ya.
But if your story doesn’t click with editors or readers, or if your email doesn’t get a great response, something’s off.
But that fact alone won’t tell you anything, because “it has to work” doesn’t tell you why something went wrong.
(Which is also why I’ll be doing a Fiction File about submitting very soon).
There’s a zillion different things you can do to a fiction story to change things, and a gazillion more you can do to an email.
But before you do that, try to get specifics from your readers or email list about why things didn’t work for them. (This assumes that a LOT of people TOLD you something didn’t work, and that you have solid fundamental principles down).
Before I scram for the weekend, I hope I’ve made it clear how this unbreakable rule means everything–and really nothing–at the same time.
Have you had an email or story you thought was off, but didn’t know why? Drop me a comment about it, below.
Thanks for hanging out with me, and have a great weekend.
Until next time,