Hallo fine peoples! And welcome to the first 2017 meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!
For this month's meeting the question is:
What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?
But I'm not going to answer the question. At least not exactly. Because I will tell you this. For a while, rules killed my voice. You see... I'm not really a rules girl.
Information dumps pull the reader out of the story.
Adverbs are often a lazy substitution for a better verb.
Active language is more engaging.
But for every rule, there are also appropriate times to break them. We can all think of great books that do just that.
So as it is the new year, and the world is trying to impose moderation... think of rules as moderation and remember that even moderation should be done in moderation.
You heard me. Moderation in moderation. Rules followed in moderation.
But to walk the line, you do indeed need to KNOW the rules. And have your valid reason ready when you break them, otherwise an editor is going to argue with you. (and nine times out of ten these arguments are not worth having—you will just end up changing it anyway. Though I have argued and convinced editors on one or two points on every book I've worked with an editor on—but one or two points out of dozens of edits is a small number). Still, be true to your own voice and your narrative voice and most voices do not hold vises on the rules (see what I did there?)
|I thought this was rather a beautiful way to put this|
AH! But there are a couple writing rules I hate. And those are the rules that try to shame us into a certain PROCESS. Everybody is different. Anybody who claims to know the rules for getting a story written is full of himself. Some outline. Some pants. Some write daily. Some in bursts. (though REGULARLY is more productive). Some edit as they go. Some wait to the end. On process it really is Rules Schmules.
Any rules you hate?
Now go see what other insecure folks have to say about it!