Monday, March 5, 2012

Rule #1

Don't use prologues.

Don't use flashbacks.

Don't do this.

Don't do that.

Blah blah blah blahibbitty blah.

If you're like me (and something tells me you are) in the search to better your craft you come across a lot of articles and books about what to do. Whether it be from the internet or a magazine there are a ton of voices telling you how to improve your writing and what publishers are looking for. I can spend hours pouring over them and engraining the rules into my already frayed noggin. But something I realized lately is that I'm fed up with it.

Sure you need know grammar and how to properly compose your manuscript. You don't want to spit in the face of the industry you want to be apart of. However with all the rules you can become a slave to them, thus lose yourself in the process.

To me anyway, the no prologue rule is new. Now for me if i were to take out prologues from each story I've written I'd have no stories. Zilch. Nada. Bupkiss. Every story since the age of ten has had one. It's a part of me and how I write.

Another one is don't start in the middle of a story. Uh, hello! Didn't the epic Star Wars start in the middle of the story before creating a subpar beginning? Can you disagree with George Lucas? Well...yeah you can. Did you see the The Phantom Menace? Yeah, putting it in 3D does not make it better. Grrr.

Or how about no dream sequences? Again, I run into the same problem. What happens when the rules infringe on what your story says? How it speaks to you?

The main rule of writing should be to write the story YOU were meant to write. To hell with the rules! When you look over the books you love do the authors seem trapped by the rules? Doubtful. They wrote the stories they wanted to. Now it’s your turn.

Write the tale your heart tells you to.

Okay that was short and sweet. So get to writing….well….GO!!  J


  1. Thanks for the inspirational pep talk! I believe you are right :)

  2. Don't forget to include the inciting incident in your first chapter. Heaven forbid we get to know the characters first.

    Rules! Had enough of them.

  3. All "rules" of writing have been successfully broken before. I think it is best to write your story, however it comes out, and revise as necessary afterward. Sometimes the words were meant to come out that way and "rules" can hurt an author's work.

  4. That dream sequence rule always killed me. I have several stories where I use that. There isn't another way! It would come out all jumbled and wouldn't make sense otherwise. So I agree. Rules are good but not when they keep you from writing your story the way it was meant to be told.



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