Breakin' All the Rules
I am a chameleon. I can imitate the best of 'em. I'm not talking about comedic impressions or anything...but little things in life. Singing is a great example. I'm not the best singer, but I can certainly imitate the notes I hear and give you a decent representation of a song. I'm also learning I do that with writing.
So when I came across a website years ago with writing tips I'd never heard of or thought about, I figured I'd start applying them. I am most grateful for those tips because they sure did make my writing stronger. I look back at the first novel I wrote and wow...I knew nothing (except the basic of grammar, really)! I bounced around everyone's head, shifting POV like crazy. But I had just been imitating some of the great works I'd read throughout my life using omniscient POV. I had no idea that was no longer acceptable...unless you were one of those great authors.
As I went deeper and deeper into learning the craft, I discovered more and more rules. Yes, some of them are great! When applied correctly, your writing can take on a whole new level. But...lately...I've been snagging samples of new, bestselling books for my Kindle...and I've discovered a startling fact...
A lot of rules aren't followed!
I saw a brand new novel on the front shelves at Barnes & Noble yesterday that caught my attention. Yeah, I know...judge a book by its cover and all that rot. Anyway, I made a note and immediately went home to get the sample. This morning, I pulled it up. The very first line, so-and-so "felt like he was going to be sick."
Breaks the show-vs. tell rule in the first line! The line that supposed to be the most powerful! The one that's supposed to draw you in. I slammed my Kindle closed, fuming. (More show-vs. tell for you there.) And this isn't the only example...just the most recent.
Let me just say, this isn't a rant to lament how unfair it is that certain authors get published when they don't follow the rules we unpublished ones are striving to follow. Not at all. This is a declaration of freedom from trying so hard to adhere to the rules that I miss out on the enjoyment of writing. Instead of comparing, contrasting, and trying to mimic the trending authors of today, I'm going to rediscover my voice and relish the process. I'll still hold onto what I've learned. I'm just not going to fret about following each little rule. At least until I hit the revision stage.
Then I shall apply my chameleon skills to studying marketing. Because it's more than just selling to your readers (awesome, wonderful people, by the way!)...it's selling to those in the industry who can give you that hand up the ladder.
Of course, it takes an amazing book to start with...
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Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3