Feb 14 2012

Rules? What Rules?

Posted by Mathias in General Things, The Writing Process

The more I delve into the realm of being a writer, the more I realize that there are a lot of opinions held by a lot of people about things that should and shouldn’t be done within the context of putting a story down on paper. Call them, if you must, “rules”.

I hear a lot of don’t do thats and must do these other things. Whether it is the common admonition of “show, don’t tell”, to warnings of the use of fragment or passive sentences and even cries over the apparent horrendous concept of blatant foreshadowing without any pretense of hiding the future of a story, I have heard them all. And you know what I say to all these “rules”? PFFFFTTT!

Every story which I have read violates some of these rules. Many of them violate these rules repeatedly and frequently. We are talking about best selling novels and classics of publishing history. And these books and stories all managed to get published along the way. How is that possible if these rules were in fact, “rules”?

I think some people have gotten too formulaic in their approach to writing. Writing is art. Art is rarely about coloring within neatly drawn lines. I have never read a story which consisted of perfect prose by any standard of writing.

Maybe instead of fooling ourselves into believing that there is indeed a magic formula to writing we should just write. We might be surprised what we create.

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