After much research, I’ve come to a conclusion: In terms of writing, there are no absolute rules. I’ll say it again:
THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTE RULES
If you write your story well enough, then rules shouldn’t matter. It’s the story that matters. The majority of your readers won’t know the rules, but they’ll be able to recognise a good story.
Sometimes in the quest to ‘get it right’ we lose the power of the story. Grammar and punctuation can become a straight jacket. This is why you might hear the advice to write the first draft as fast as possible. And even that ‘rule’ can be broken. You have to find what works for you. To do this you’ll need an open mind, the freedom to experiment, and the bravery to be different.
I’m not saying don’t bother learning the rules. The more equipped we are, the more able we’ll be to make a good story great. What I am saying, however, is not to fret too much.
Are you a stickler for the rules or a rebel? Do you think there is such a thing as worrying too much about breaking the rules? How do you justify a broken rule?
I’m heading to a Children's and Young Adult Literature Festival on Saturday. It is run by the NSW Writers’ Centre. It should be fantastic.
Pic: When I took this photo I overheard a passerby scoff at me for taking a photo of shadows when I had the grand view of Sydney Harbour laid out before me. I guess I broke a ‘rule’ for the sake of creativity.