Being a former accountant and banking supervisor, I understand the importance of rules. There are boatloads of rules in writing. Not just the ones imparted by others – like grammar or architecture (e.g., ensuring each book and chapter has a well-defined arc), but also ones a writer imposes on his or her writing. For example, Crimes of the Sasquatch includes real places and some that exist only in my imagination. I’ve decided that bad things will only happen in made-up places. Sounds simple, but just like in real life, circumstances fall into grey areas. Should I allow a character to behave rudely in a real place? How bad does something need to be for the place to be fictional?
I’ve looked at some writing sites to search out rules that I’d not yet considered. Here’s one from
Ten Rules of Writing by Amitava Kumar: “Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong.” Interestingly, a further web-search led me to conclude that the average English word is 4.7 letters (i.e., there were a few different views, but 4.5 to 4.7 seemed predominant). I checked out the word length for Crimes of the Sasquatch and discovered the average word length is 4.72. Happily, it seems I’m fully compliant with that one.