Lilly Maytree is in Alaska today...

Lilly Maytree is in Alaska, today...looking for adventure and divine appointments. Want to follow along? Enter her ARMCHAIR TRAVELERS PORTAL


10 commandments of writing...

(just for Lilly Maytree)

Many thanks to Delia Latham for coming up with this wonderful idea of sharing our own "10 commandments of writing" today. I'm looking forward to blog-hopping around to the rest of the participants, so I can learn a few tips from my colleagues! 

NOTE: I added examples to mine, so for readers in a hurry (aren't we all?) just stick with the bold print.

    1. Have something of value to share
   "The secret ingredient had been passed down through her family for generations…"
    2. It must be entertaining
   "Stella made his favorite breakfast that morning, because she knew he would hit the roof when he heard heard what she had to say…"
    3. It must be complete in itself (with a beginning, middle, and end), even if part of a series
   "Are we happy, dear?"
    "Oh, yes. Extremely happy," she replied, unable to take her eyes off the neatly stacked gold coins that made up her very own half of the treasure. "At least, for now."
    4. It must be realistic, and not cross readers' "willing suspension of disbelief"   
   Mildred had a close call that morning on the way to work, and thanked heaven she could still make herself invisible whenever she heard sirens. (Um… no. Not for me)
    5. It must have engaging characters
   Most of the passengers moving slowly up the ramp, gasped when they saw the little girl fall, and stood frozen. As if some giant director-voice had suddenly yelled, "Cut!" But not Stella. She jumped into the icy water, fully-clothed, in spite of her sixty-one years, and the Gucci purse that had cost a quarter of her monthly allotment. 
    6. It must have believable conflict
   She wanted to be a movie director. And--to be truly happy--she would have to win an Academy Award… even though she was only sixteen. (Um… not unless her grandfather was Frank Capra)
  7. It must have a universal message "threaded in" throughout the fabric of the story, that brings the reader to that conclusion, without having to actually state it in the narrative.
   Martin wrestled with demons, last night (oh--did he ever!), and wouldn't be surprised if a few weren't still clinging to his clothes on the way to the store. He would put back every one of the items he hid behind shelves for that ridiculous "escape" they had been planning. Start dealing with the crisis like normal people. 
   "Choices, Marty," he reminded himself as he pushed through the double doors without even stopping to talk to Sam. "From now on, there will be no such thing as a new normal. Not for me!"
    8. It must have rising action (or tension) from beginning to end
   (I am in favor of the "one darn thing after another" method… yes, indeed!)
  9. Must have a clear conclusion, preferably with a believable twist.
   "If I thought I could get away with it," said the Professor, "I'd run off."
     "I'd go with you," said Harriet.
     Which was why the entire dismal little group rose up from the bench, with one accord, and followed the familiar figure, like robots, when--to their amazement-- he suddenly passed by. So. He hadn't gone on alone, after all!
     "Did they confiscate your ark, Gordie? Is that why you're still here?"
     "Not on your life, Harriet. Implemented a slight modification on Noah's method, and that made all the difference."
     "What sort of modification could you make on an outlawed vehicle that wouldn't be considered against the law?" asked the Professor.
     "Well, since I never felt called to preach, I decided not to build it under everyone's noses. To the wilderness, dear friends--our carriage awaits!"
    10. I must love the idea enough to spend the time it takes to succeed in all the above points 
   (which happens to be a LOT of love, let me tell you)

Click cover to download
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! In honor of the subject, I dragged out one of my notebook studies on the writing craft (from the days when I had enough time to do such things!). Feel free to download the PDF, here.

Meanwhile, I'm heading over to enjoy all these other wonderful blogs, and learn something new today...

Paula Mowery on Creative Christian Writers Crank Up 

Delia Latham on Write Right!

Clare Revell on The World Can Wait  

Jayna Morrow on Jayna 

Brooksie on Groovie Brooksie

Julia M. Toto on

Linda Yezak at 777 Peppermint Place (posting on Thursday)

Therese Travis at Paperfaces


  1. Lilly...I love the way you think! Great commandments - and such fun and interesting examples. I've downloaded Unspoken Rules and can't wait to read it!

    1. Thank you, Delia… we do think along the same lines, I felt the same way when I was reading yours. Hope you get a bit of something out of UNSPOKEN RULES… it definitely was good for me to "turn my attention" to the masters during my personal research.

  2. Thanks for participating. Please check out other exercises I have in store for my writer-friends on The Writer 10 Commandments was just one of the 7 exercises and encouragements I've already posted. Stay tuned for more.

    1. Heavens, Paula… I definitely feel like I have been missing out. I will be stopping by whenever I can!

  3. Replies
    1. It's sort of like children, isn't it, Linda? You have to love them--without measure-- to go the distance!

  4. Hi, Lilly! I love you crafted your work into these commandments.Very creative, and great list.

    1. Bit of confession time here, Julia, as none of these "examples" were part of any of my actual work. Just things that popped into my mind along the way. But I have to admit (as so often happens when writers write ANYTHING down) that I have been toying with those ideas ever since!

  5. Thank you, Karla… it's a great topic!