Monday, April 21, 2014
A to Z R is for Rules
Writing rules...I never knew there were so many until after I'd started writing. It's part of the process, though, and rules exist for a reason--to have our writing make sense, otherwise, why bother? But...
There are rules, and then there are rules.Grammar and punctuation are pretty objective. Beyond those, it's kind of a crap shoot. Here's why: I googled writing rules. I came up with Elmore Leonard's writing rules, Neil Gaiman's writing rules, Steinbecks, Amanda Patterson's, even Pixar's. There are articles about what rules to never break, and there are articles on which rules you should break and how to do it (which actually sort of just replaces one set of rules with another set, right??)
Grammar and punctuation aside, I think writing rules are really just opinions...
One of my favorite authors, C.J. Cherryh said something a while back that really resonated with me. "Follow no rule off a cliff."
Where do you stand on writing rules? Do you follow your own? Do you heed the rules of others?