CB's Top 100 Writing

Tips, Tricks, Techniques and Tools

from the Advice Toolbox


Break the rules, not the writing




Carter Blakelaw







CB's Top 100 Writing Tips, Tricks, Techniques and Tools from the Advice Toolbox: Break the rules, not the writing

First eBook edition. January 12, 2021.

© 2020, Carter Blakelaw. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published by The Logic of Dreams

Requests to publish work from this book should be sent to:


While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

Cover art and book design by Sanja Baletic & Jack Calverley

Photograph by Florian Klauer and Pawel Czerwinski from www.unsplash.com.


Appendix A: Bibliography

Appendix A is available as a PDF download from:



Catharine Abell: "Genre, Interpretation and Evaluation" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume CXV, Issue No. 1, (2015).

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979, Pan)

Ray Bradbury: Zen and the Art of Writing (1996, Joshua Odell Editions)

Renni Browne and Dave King: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Second Edition, 2004, William Morrow)

Walter S Campbell: Writing: Advice and Devices (1950, Doubleday and Company)

Orson Scott Card: Characters & Viewpoint (2010, Writer's Digest Books)

Dorrit Cohn: Transparent Minds (1978, Princeton University Press)

Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games (2008, Scholastic)

Lisa Cron: Wired for Story (2012, Ten Speed Press)

Maren Elwood: Characters Make Your Story (1989, The Writer Inc.)

David Farland: Million Dollar Outlines (2013, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Ian Fleming: Goldfinger (1959, Jonathan Cape)

Frank Herbert: Dune (1965,Chilton Books)

George V Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1972, Secker & Warburg)

Rust Hills: Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular (2000, Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin)

Robert Ludlum: The Bourne Identity (1980, Grafton Books)

Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men (2005Vintage Books)

Raymond Obstfeld: Novelists Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes (2000, Writer's Digest Books)

Steven Pinker: The Sense of Style, The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (2014, Allen Lane)

Dwight V Swain: Techniques of the $elling Writer (1981, University of Oklahoma Press)

Francis-Noël Thomas & Mark Turner: Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose (1994, Princeton University Press)

Hunter S Thomson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972, Paladin)

Albert Zuckerman : Writing the Blockbuster Novel (2016, Forge Books)


Appendix B: More Material Online

Appendix B is available as a PDF download with clickable links from: www.carterblakelaw.com/toolbox

(All links accessed and valid as of November 20, 2020)


Julius Caesar:

Veni, Vidi, Vici 47BC:


Anton Chekhov:

On Chekhov's Gun:


On the goal of the writer:


(Letters to Suvorin, May 30 and October 27 1888, Letters of Anton Chekhov)

Dunning–Kruger effect

Over-estimating one’s initial skill at a task:


Milton Jones:

The joke: "I hate sitting in traffic, because I always get run over."


Marx Brothers:

"If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff," from the scene: His Excellency Is Due! In Duck Soup:


George Orwell:

On six rules of writing, taken from "Politics and the English Language":


William Shakespeare:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Macbeth, Act 5, scene 5, lines 19-28


Mark Twain:

On lightning and the lightning bug:


On the rules of writing, taken from Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses:



Brandon Sanderson (YouTube):


The Creative Penn / Joanna Penn (YouTube):


Odyssey Writing Workshops podcasts (mp3 downloads):


Six Figure Authors Podcast (YouTube):


Web References

The Turkey City Lexicon, published by the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America):


Narrative Flow by Jeanne Cavelos published on the Fiction University blog:


The Hero’s Journey, overview in Wikipedia: