Conundrums and Contradictions

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

I have been known to question writing “rules.” (See how those quote marks sneaked in?) Sometimes I wonder why… Am I a knee-jerk rebel, one who thinks any piece of written schlock is good as long as it was written sincerely? Do I really think writers who follow rules and comb through their works-in-progress for transgressions are “sheeple,” churning out lifeless overworked prose?

I hope not, but…

One thing I’ve realized: I react negatively to words and phrases I see trotted out repeatedly and without question. Phrases like “Show, don’t tell,” “Kill your darlings,” and “Never use [insert word(s) here].”

Such writing rules are triggers for me.

Now I’ve admitted all that, here are some thoughts that won’t go away…

Why is it OK for established writers to flout the rules? And don’t say it’s because they do it well. If prologues and backstory are bad, they’re bad, no matter…

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4 thoughts on “Conundrums and Contradictions

  1. I like to think of ‘rules’ as things that help a reader absorb the story without too much of a struggle, and never and UNNECESSARY struggle.

    So I use the conventional ones – because they don’t confuse the reader, and, where I have something non-standard to do – or even merely less expected – I put up signposts and votive lamps and show examples and lead them to my version gently.

    MY readers haven’t complained.

    Liked by 2 people

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