Writers: Break the Rules
The entire reason we want to have writing “rules” is so that we can break them.
Between my annoyed ranting and my personal opinions, it slipped my mind that many people haven’t been told this, and it’s only been brought to my attention recently that my own posts (and many others) don’t emphasize this point nearly enough.
Please take every writing guideline with a grain of salt.
If someone says don’t do this it should never mean don’t ever do this but rather do this sparingly in order to get the effect you want out of it.
If you use stammers and ellipses to show pacing throughout your story, those things become the pacing itself. But if you use the sentence structure and action tags to show pacing, you can use stammers and ellipses to show anxiety, or create a unique speech pattern for a particular character, or a multitude of other cool things.
If you constantly use epithets to describe every character in your story, they become a long, often annoying alternate to a pronoun or name. But if you cut out most epithets, and just use a specific one to refer to a particular person or group of people, you can show something about your pov character’s view of the world, whether prejudice or admiration or adoration; the possibilities are endless.
The same idea can be applied to most things pertaining to writing. Remember that almost anything you use frequently throughout your writing will loose its point. That’s why said is such a good dialogue tag. Once you use it enough times, most readers don’t notice it anymore.
So when you read a writing guideline, one of your first thought should not be that’s a foolish rule or wow my writing must be terrible, but rather in what ways could this rule be broken in order to achieve a certain effect?
Once you know that, it’s much easier to tell if the rule itself (and the breaking of it) is something you think would benefit your writing, or if you’d be better off ignoring it entirely.
(If we could pass this around the writeblr community that would be wonderful!)
Disclaimer, sarcasm, and more info below the cut: