Interim Post

Hi Folks,

Well, I just posted a complete how-to book—in chapters and appendices—free on this site over the past several weeks. If you haven’t read it and you would like to, you can click Writing the Character-Driven Story to find the links to every chapter.

I’ll be taking it down soon, so if you haven’t read it and you’d like to, please do so soon. If you would rather buy your own copy, you can find it at Smashwords, Amazon and all other major ebook retailers. The cost is $9.99. Sorry. It isn’t available yet in print.

Finally, you can always also order your own copy (Kindle, Nook/Apple or PDF) directly from me for only $8.50 by emailing me at

One person posted on Facebook that she “love’s Bradbury’s rules for writers but Stanbrough’s rules are just common sense.” (grin) I was kind of flattered.

Forgetting for a moment that what’s common to some obviously is a luxury to others, NOWHERE in Writing the Character-Driven Story did I post anything remotely resembling Stanbrough’s Rules. To my knowledge, they don’t exist.

I can only imagine she meant the rules that I annotated (Heinlein’s Rules). You can get a free copy by visiting the Free Downloads page on my website. Then scroll down and click Heinlein’s Rules.

Anyway, if that’s what she meant, yes, she’s absolutely right. They are common sense, or should be for writers. Unfortunately, most aspiring writers never learn or follow them.

In fact, Heinlein first posted his “business habits” almost as an afterthought to an obscure essay. He himself said they were extremely simple; yet they are also “amazingly hard to follow—which is why there are so few professional writers and so many aspirants, and which is why I am not afraid to give away the racket.”

If you would like to read his essay first hand, you can find it in Of Worlds Beyond, ed. Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, 1947. The title of the essay is misleading: “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.” Anyone with the aforementioned common sense can read his business habits and tell that they would apply to all writing, speculative or otherwise.

But I digress.

This interim post and probably the next two or three are to give me time to develop the next nonfiction book I’m going to post here.

As before, I’ll post it a chapter at a time. As before, you will be able to read it free of charge and even download it and save it to a file on your own computer. You may even print it if you wish. Please just remember it is copyrighted material and respect my copyright.

Until I begin posting the next nonfiction book, this blog will go back to appearing every ten days, albeit on the sixes instead of the ones. This one will post on 6 April. The next two will post on the 16th and the 26th. I might keep to that schedule in the future.

If you’d like to really see what it’s like to follow Heinlein’s Rules, I recommend you sign up for my other blog, my secret blog, the one to which I post daily, over at The Daily Journal ( I think you won’t be sorry.

The next post on this blog (on the 16th) actually is derived from a recent post on the other one.

Whatever you choose to do, happy writing.


I am a professional writer. This is my living. If you enjoy or learn from my work, click the Subscribe to My Work tab above. (It isn’t the same as subscribing to this blog.) As an alternative, consider dropping a tip into my Tip Jar on your way out. If you’ve already contributed, thanks so much.

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