Saturday, May 04, 2013

There are NO Rules of Writing!!

If I ever got to power I would make it a criminal offence to say to writers: "Rules can be broken"

First, there are no rules

Second, in my experience beginners hear the words, 
"Rules can be broken" and read that as "anything goes"

If we DO want to say something on these lines we ought to say.

Over many decades, the very best writers have realised 
that 99% of the time all good stories 

SEEM TO follow a set of rules.

These are (for example) minimising "tell", avoiding passive voice, not using obtrusive tags, using "said" and so on.

They are NOT rules nor were they ever rules.

When over-simplified and condensed and cheapened by being incorrectly  CALLED a rule, many beginners then feel the urge to look for exceptions because - quote - "rules are made to be broken."

NO, NO, a hundred times NO.

It is perfectly possible to write at the very, very, highest level, to win Pulitzer Prizes, The Booker, even The Nobel Prize writing "classically" and following the condensed advice of the great writers who have come before us.

PERHAPS, after 10, 15, 20 years we might find we learn "sleight of hand"

but for 99.99% of beginners, AND intermediates, and self-published writers, AND traditionally-published writers just 1-2-3 books into their careers they should always try to stay on the legal side of the road and only consider going outside good practice for truly exceptional reasons.

Don't turn "good practice condensed" into a "RULE" just so you can find exceptions (in the work of the very best, extremely experienced writers) and then say SEE? LOOK! Rules are made to be broken!

And then DON'T use your own sleight-of thought and read that as "I don't need to have rules."

No comments: