Monday, February 27, 2006

So many rules, so little time!

Sarah has kindly pointed out another blog about breaking the rules. This time it's from a reader's point of view. Bless the 'So Many Books' blogger - they didn't have any concept about rules (ha, I just mis-typed rules as riles - very appropriate).

My frustration about rules has a lot to do with being told by others to do this, don't do that when my work has been critiqued. And then going onto read stuff which is clearly breaking the rules I've been told to write by. Grrrr! It's better to read books that you like and work out why you like them, then keep that in mind. It tends to be one author for audacity, another for pace, and so on.

But then there are, of course, perfectly sane rules regarding point of view, etc ...


At 6:15 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

I agree with So Many Books, but you already know that. Maybe my suspicion of 'rules' comes from the fact that I read far more fiction than I write. I know that as a reader there are no technical 'rules of writing' that define whether a story will or won't work for me. I don't know whether you read Bernita Harris, but Ali said there a few weeks ago that the best way to deal with critiquers was to thank them, agree with them and then go away and work out whether you think they're right. Which struck me as pretty good advice.

At 8:43 pm GMT, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Sorry, the blog was more about 'airy' rules, rather than attitudes to critiquers. I don't write much fiction either (haven't set pen to paper since April last year) but I'm always reading a novel of some kind or another.

Having 'been there and done that,' on the critique front, I won't now put my work out too early a stage in writing the ms. I'd also be wary of putting it out in generalised groups. But if you want a Baptism of Fire and have boundless self confidence, go into a big group with people of all ranges and knowledge! Perhaps a critique partner or a small group at a later stage would be wise for the sensitive, easily confused, flowers like me :-)

At 9:20 pm GMT, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

I tried the big critique forum and, two self-righteous anal orifices aside, got a lot of help. I especially realised that if several crits point at something, it most likely is the writer's fault, while single crit points can have more to do with the reader's taste.

But at the present stage of my writing, I prefer some first readers whom I can really trust to find the problems without trying to change my NiPs. And none of them is a stickler to the rules. Because nor am I. :-)

Though I think it's better to know the rules before breaking them.

At 8:36 am GMT, Blogger wil said...

I couldn't agree more.

Rules for creative writing?

Rule #1: There are no rules.

It's creative writing for goodness sake! Dictating rules for such an endeavor is absurd.


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