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Monday 30 January 2012

Aren't Rules Meant to be Broken?

There are days when, despite a lifelong ambition, I'm ready to admit I might never make it as a professional writer. Today is one of those days. I normally avoid websites that offer advice to writers because I find that when I try too hard to follow 'rules' I write mechanically, without expression or fire. Recently though there has been much talk in a group I follow of various 'rules' being taught on a course a lot of the members are doing. I think I break them all. What's more, I don't want to change the way I write. I reviewed one of my recent stories with the 'rules' in mind and decided that if I changed it to fit, it would lose all its character.
I'm not convinced the rules should really be more than guidelines, things to consider but not slavishly follow, but the more I research, the more I find myself at odds with current thinking. Maybe I'm writing outside my time. Should I leave it to those who understand the rules and write accordingly?
But I love telling stories, making up worlds, creating characters. If you have an interesting plot, great characters, and a gripping and believable situation, surely that's what keeps a reader reading?

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