Confined by the Rules of Writing

Does anyone ever feel confined by these ‘Rules of Writing’?

If you’re like me your constantly looking up writing tips and tricks; I always look at Pinterest. There are some fantastic pins there. I like to pin stuff like ‘words to use instead of says’, and ‘show don’t tell examples’.

There are so many rules that I’ve read…it’s kind of intimidating isn’t it?

Don’t do X, Y, and Z.

I’ve learned to take these rules with a grain of salt.

I hate character sheets- I never fill one out completely because some of the things I just don’t find important for certain types of stories. But I truly believe knowing your character is important.

You may not need to know some tiny, little detail about their past that doesn’t really have any importance to the story like their favorite toy as a child. For my husband’s story…it has no bearing.

But what IS important is how your character would react in a situation. You may WANT them to do something but staying true to their personality they might not do that.

For example, my husbands book is about some witches. His main character encounters three real witches and these ladies are pretty evil, out for themselves. My husband had included in his introduction the leader of these three witches explaining witch ‘rules’. I think he wanted to give some more insights to the story.

But they wouldn’t do this.

They don’t care about him. Their only goal right here is to use him to get what they want.

This was important to me because the leader giving him some knowledge was completely out of character. The only way she would tell him anything was if it benefited her. And it doesn’t. I completely removed this part and it worked.

There are some rules you can’t really break, like the rules of 3rd person or 1st person. But there are some rules that might not be set in stone.

If you want to do something that’s a little unorthodox and just doesn’t fit with the rules; find people that like to read and ask them their opinion!

Ask, ‘How would you feel if you were reading a book and it did this?’ or write up the scene in your head and have them read it. ‘Does this work?’

Write what you need to write. That’s the most important thing.


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