Thursday, February 6, 2014

Baby Evil Writers 101: The Rules
Julie Butcher

When I first started writing, I went to every single blog post and website to see if I was doing it wrong. The problem with this was that everyone said something different.

You can find rules all over the internet. Never use then, never use comma and then! Never use an adverb, or an adjective, or a noun. Oh my goodness go and cut every single word ending in –ly, or –ing! 

Oh my darling baby minions of evil, You must follow the rules.

Or maybe not.

I tried to follow all of the laws or rules or whatever you might call them. I went through an entire manuscript to take out *that* and *then*. And guess what? It totally made the writing stupid. The music and voice had leaked out with the giant holes.

Guess what else my darling evilettes? If your writing is compelling and your characters enthralling, you can break any rule you want.

The biggest and only rule you need for writing is to make each sentence count. Every single word should be necessary to carry your plot forward. Each sentence should be complete in itself. If you take a sentence out of context, it should still sound lovely and make sense.

To do this, try reading your story out loud. The stupid sentences will jump out at you. You'll sit and wonder what came out of your mouth. I swear it will help.

So quit googling the rules and spend the time making sure the words on the page mean what you want them to mean. Tell your story without bogging up your brain with too many laws of writing.

Because really, there aren't any.

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