Is it necessary to have restrictions in order to write something? I.e., is it necessary to establish rules whereby some things are allowed in your story, and other things are verboten? Most fictions are, like Alex, fussy eaters: they demand that you begin at the beginning and move causally to the end. (That’s “plot.”) Human actions should mostly be explicable. (That’s “character.”) Things can only be in one place at one time; they ought to persist in space unless there is a reason why they shouldn’t do so. (That’s “setting.”) Then there are the rules writ in divers manuals of the writer’s craft: drop protagonist and antagonist into the same pot of water; let them struggle until one tears the claws off the other (that’s the “climax”), then heat the pot to the point where mirages of another world appear (“epiphany”); void the pot and serve, or else let it go on boiling (“closure,” or its lack). And do it efficiently, please, efficiently! Your guests are waiting.
— Luminous Airplanes by Paul LaFarge