Ian Rankin’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

Ian Rankin’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction


Ian Rankin is a Scottish author. Born on 28 April 1960, he is one of the UK’s most popular crime writers and his best-selling Rebus books, which started with Knots and Crosses, have been translated into 22 languages.

He has won four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards, and an Edgar Award, among many others. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, and Edinburgh.

Edinburgh will never be the same for anyone who reads the Rebus series. There is now a Rebus Walking Tour in the city and a fan club for the famous detective.

The Guardian asked him for his writing advice. Here it is.

Ian Rankin’s 10 Rules for Writing Fiction

  1. Read lots.
  2. Write lots.
  3. Learn to be self-critical.
  4. Learn what criticism to accept.
  5. Be persistent.
  6. Have a story worth telling.
  7. Don’t give up.
  8. Know the market.
  9. Get lucky.
  10. Stay lucky.

Read our 2004 interview with Ian Rankin

 by Amanda Patterson

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TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

This article has 1 comment

  1. Wynona Isgrigg

    cool blog. Cheers for posting.

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