There are about as many lists for the Three Most-Important Writing Rules as there are writers. Since I call myself a writer (I do write occasionally), I have my own list.
Some of the lists that I have read from other writers include Be Clear, Be Brief, and Be Simple, or Be sure to Include Conflict, Action, and Suspense, or even Collect Ideas, Organize Ideas, and then Order Ideas into a Linear Story Format.
And then there’s W. Somerset Maugham, who said: There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Of course, since none of these ideas are mine, they are all wrong. I don’t doubt they are useful, but they are not truly the three most important writing rules, which are, in order of importance:
1. Read a lot.
2. Write a lot.
3. Network with other people who do #1 and #2.
It is my opinion that if you do all three of these for a long enough period of time, you will become a great writer. For some, that period of time may be measured in months. For others, it might be decades. If you read enough of a variety of materials and write enough of a variety of materials and talk to enough people who are doing the same things you are doing, you will learn all of the other important rules and skills that the best writers in history have used.
Yet even so, there are some people who can’t write and never will be able to write. Let them play football, become somebody’s boss, or write income tax instructions. But if you are one of those people who begin with any hint of a writing talent, these three rules can’t help but improve your writing. After that, your level of success is only a matter of time and the amount of dedication that you give to your craft.
Try it. I’m about to start into the third decade myself. I think my writing is just beginning to become tolerable. If you are one of those people who already became bored with my writing and quit before now, you’re a dork and you don’t even know I just called you that. Oh, and have a nice day. Be sure to spend some of it reading and writing.