From the notes of Jackie King:
Steve Berry writes dynamite thrillers. He’s also well-known for teaching others the writing secrets that have made him a New York Times bestselling author.
I had the good fortune to sit in on one of his workshops at the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.’s annual conference in 2011. Earlier this week, while sorting through a myriad of papers cluttering my office, I ran across my notes. One of the star-marked tips for that memorable afternoon was his definition of the greatest conflict on which to base your plot: When the human heart is in conflict with itself. (At least that’s how I transcribed my scribbled notes.)
He also posed this question: “What would make a character do something he doesn’t want to do?”
His words gave me much to ponder. Then he added his 10 rules of writing:
1. There are no rules in writing.
2. Don’t bore the reader.
3. Don’t confuse the reader.
4. Don’t get caught “writing.”
5. Shorter is always better.
6. Don’t annoy the reader.
7. Writing is rewriting.
8. Don’t lie to the reader!
9. Tell a good story and the reader will forgive you for any bad writing.
10. Writing is rhythm.
Today I’m making a typed list of these rules and taping it to the wall next to my computer.
Steve Berry first published his historical thrillers The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy in 2003 and 2004. Originally a lawyer, Steve Berry has been writing since 1990. It took him 12 years and 85 rejections to sell his first novel. This fact encourages a huge number of still-unpublished writers.
Today Steve Berry has more than 14 million books in print. He and his wife founded History Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding the preservation of heritage.
Thanks, Steve Berry for your help to me and to hundreds of other writers.