Best Practices are a list of guidelines, or rules if you will, that a group of like minded individuals in a given field (aka writing or software development) follow. This is not because they must, but because they all agree it is best all around.
For example, in software development it is a best practice to name your class, functions, and variables something meaningful so that others can understand what they do/are. There is nothing forcing us to do this - we are just being nice to ourselves and others who might read our code.
Writing Rules that are really Best Practices
- Use dialog tags (but not too many and not too few - to identify who is speaking.
- Do not dump data on your reader, work back story in slowly.
- Be careful of when you use pronouns, especially when there is more then one 'he' or 'she' in the scene.
- Enter your rules here.
Hmm.. I could only think of a few. Anyway - these rules have something in common: they all help the reader keep track of what is going on. We don't what the reader to be constantly confused, not knowing who is doing or saying what. If they do get confused they won't be able to enjoy the story - in fact they may not finish it.
What do you think? Can you thing of any writing "rules" that could be labeled as best practices?