Of course, as soon as I composed this post, I started wondering whether there actually are any absolute rules for writing. I mean, a good enough writer, working on the right story (one that wants it), really can skip having a beginning, middle, and end; or following the rules of grammar; or having characters that are believable; though I don’t personally recommend doing any of these things lightly or without purpose. Is there anything that one absolutely has to do, no matter what the story; no matter how deft, inspired, and skilled one is really is; no matter what the demands of the particular story are?
The only one I came up with was:
– The work needs to connect with a number of readers beyond the original writer, and have meaning for them.
Anyone have others?