Rules, Rules, Nothing but Rules

July 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Writing, Reading | 4 Comments
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Writers have heard all the rules … don’t use clichés, don’t use adverbs, don’t write run-on sentences, don’t use fragments, don’t use very, contractions are a no-no, watch your use of dialogue, watch your grammar, your spelling, your character development, your plot, your point of view, your audience, your time, your WPM. WPM?

Never do this, always do that.

No wonder writers give up.

No wonder writers question their every move.

No wonder writers wonder.

Writers live in the land of wonder. Never knowing whether what they are writing is right and often never knowing that whatever they write is right. Writers look to the great and the wise for guidance; to see what works and for inspiration. Nothing wrong with that. But know that writing doesn’t come from only that. Most often, it comes from being yourself, and if that means breaking all, or some, of the rules, go for it.

Rules are made to be broken. (That’s the cliché rule broken, too.)  It’s no great revelation that there is no harmony if we all sing the same tune.  Some of the greatest writers were the ones who did something different; gave us a style we’d never seen before, opened up a topic never discussed before, or showed us a reality (or a fantasy) never realized before. They didn’t just step outside the proverbial box. They made a new box and painted it in colors never seen before. Many of them before boxes had been invented.

Be that writer. Take those rules and shove them. Shove them past the comfort zones. Shove them past the neatly stacked boxes. Rearrange them for yourself. Then, watch as we all shove each other out of the way to read what you’ve written.



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  1. No rules for me!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Julie!
      Sounds like you know exactly who you are. Well done 🙂

  2. Thank you for this. We read so much about what we shouldn’t do that it becomes a bit frightening to color outside of the lines every now and then. So while I believe good writing is important, and rules are there for a reason, experimentation can have its merits.

    Thanks for the follow on my blog. I appreciate it. I look forward to reading more of your entries.

    • You are welcome, Carrie. I look forward to your blog, too.
      Be yourself! Happy Writing!

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