because of an earlier incident

A Quick PSA About “Writing Rules”

Are you freaking out because your story doesn’t exactly fit into a particular story structure? Are you worried because your inciting incident is a little earlier or later than what is usual? Are you stressing out over action beats, adverbs, scene transitions, chapter length, acts or parts–or neither, planning or pantsing, how much world building to do, what your character’s favorite ice cream flavor is, tropes, cliches, said, showing versus telling, and so on…

1) Take a DEEP breath.

2) Take a step back.

3) Know this…

“Writing rules” are simply guidelines. They are not absolute. They are not meant to be used as a template for the creation of your story.

Here’s a good way of thinking about it…

If you want to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but you’ve never made one before and have no idea how to do it, you’re going to need to start with some basic instructions. Step One: get two pieces of bread. Step Two: put peanut butter on one slice of bread. Step Three: put jelly on the other slice of bread. Step Four: sandwich them together and eat. In writing, these basic steps would be things like basic story structure, what a protagonist is, what an antagonist is, etc. The basics. 

But, then you have this whole other level of peanut butter and jelly sandwich making instructions: what type of bread to use, what texture of peanut butter, what flavor of jelly, the proper ratio of peanut butter to jelly, etc. In writing, these would be things like where the inciting incident should fall, what cliches to avoid, whether or not to divide your story into parts or acts or neither. And the thing is, these instructions are completely negotiable, whether you’re making a PB&J sandwich or writing a story, yet these are also the rules that are often flung at you in no uncertain terms…

Ten Reasons You MUST Avoid Love Triangles!
Why Your Inciting Incident MUST Fall on Page Ten!
Five Reasons to Include a Major Cliffhanger!

But, the thing of it is, you can NEVER SAY NEVER when it comes to writing fiction. Some people hate love triangles, but a lot of people don’t, so if your story demands a love triangle, do it! Is it best to find a way to begin a chapter other than with dialogue? Sure! But does that mean you can absolutely never do it? No way!

If you went into your kitchen right now to make a PB&J, you wouldn’t need any instructions because A) you know the basic steps, B) you understand the “rules” so you know what works and what doesn’t. For example, if you don’t use one part jelly to two parts peanut butter, that’s fine. You might not even want jelly, or you might use honey instead. Fine! Because you understand how to use jelly on a PB&J, you understand how not to use jelly or how to use it differently. You also know that most people wouldn’t like hot sauce on their PB&J, but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out how to incorporate it and still make an insanely good sandwich.

So, stop stressing about fitting your story into a particular story structure. Stop worrying about filling out character development worksheets for every character. Stop worrying about the fact that your story contains a few cliches or a dream sequence. Know the basics, learn the “rules,” but don’t sweat it if you have to break them. :)

Go, write, have FUN!

Have a writing question? I’d love to hear from you, but please be sure to read my ask rules and master listfirst or your question may go unanswered. :)  

anonymous asked:

Could I ask scenario/drabble about team Teikou spying/pranking or anything on Nijimura’s date with his girlfriend as a payback perhaps because of that embarrassing stories incident the other day! Inspired by your earlier post ;) Thanks, Sam!

“I really don’t think this is a good idea.” Kuroko sighed from behind a bush as the rest of them watched carefully.

“I agree with Kuroko.” Akashi nodded. “Senpai is someone we respect and we all know him very well. This type of spying would not go off well with him.”

“Shhhh,” Aomine growled. “This is payback for embarrassing me in front of my babe last week. Anyway, we’re not going to do anything bad. We’re just going to spy on him.” He paused. “And maybe prank him a little bit.”

“True, true.” Kise nodded, grumbling under his breath. “Now my girlfriend won’t let me live down the fact that I pissed my pants once—“

“You pissed your pants?” Aomine reigned in his laughter but couldn’t suppress the huge smile that spread across his face. “You pissed your pants?”

“Shut up, Aominechi.” Kise groaned. “Old news, let it go.”

“You two are being noisy. We’ll get caught at this point.” Midorima chided, pushing up his glasses. “And Murasakibara, stop your incessant eating. Your chips are making too much noise.”

Murasakibara, who was barely covered by the bush, was crouched on the ground, munching on a bag of chips. He shrugged and tossed another handful into his mouth. “It’s not like I want to be here. Aominechin dragged me out.”

“Shhhh,” Aomine whispered. He peeked over the bush again to see Nijimura facing his girlfriend, chatting animatedly about God knows what. His senpai was going to get it this time. He cued Kise to come forward and plopped down what looked like a small red cushion.

“Is that—“ Kuroko didn’t even finish his question when Kise plopped down on top of it, covering his mouth to prevent his snickers from escaping. He actually groaned inaudibly into his palm, wondering how his teammates could be this immature. Aomine and Kise nearly shit their pants when Nijimura started looking around when his girlfriend gave him a funny look.

“It wasn’t me, I swear.” Nijimura held up his hands in a defensive motion. “Probably someone that passed by.” His girlfriend gave him a doubtful look but then smiled and listened in on his stories again.

Aomine cursed under his breath. “Kise, do it again.”

“Why me?” Kise whined

“Just do it.”

He did it.

“Shu, you’ve got to stop farting. Especially that loud.” She sighed and shook her head.

“It wasn’t me.”

“Alright, okay.” She rolled her eyes. “Do you need any meds? Cause I’ve got something for indigestion.”

“No, no, it wasn’t me. I’m good.”

Aomine laughed quietly and high-fived Kise.

On the other hand, Kuroko had already settled on the side with Akashi, talking about basketball between the two schools. Midorima was looking up astrology facts beside them and Murasakibara was busy with his favorite snacks. Only those two aces were busy with their wicked plan.

Nijimura caught on after a while. Or maybe after he saw the flash of dark blue hair that could only belong to none other than Aomine Daiki. Pissed off, he gave a smile to his girlfriend. “This water tastes kind of weird.”

“You can change it.”

“I can water the plants with it. They look a bit dry.” He tossed the water out of the cup, far enough to reach the plants, and definitely far enough to shower the two supposed pranksters. He looked down to see the two of them, wide-eyed, staring at him in fear. “That should do it. Maybe I got rid of a few pests with that too.”

“Good for you, Shu.”


Jimin, persistent as ever, tried to be helpful towards Suga. Timing be damned though. He only got to cleaning up his station when Suga was already half way upstairs. Or if Suga needed something, he insisted it was tossed to him. Why was he avoiding Jimin? Is it because of the incident with Taehyung earlier? Jimin determined that must be it, so when he saw Suga heading into his office, he remembered to retrieve the long forgotten muffin from his bag.
“Suga-nim…”Jimin’s voice was soft, like bells tinkling. “I’m sorry about my friend earlier. I didn’t know Jungkook would react like that.”
Jimin held out the muffin as a poor peace offering. Suga remained quiet and he was starting to feel pathetic. Maybe he shouldn’t have come in. His eyes shifted down to Suga’s desk where he saw a piece he was working on. Suga’s style was a mix of watercolor and trash polka.

This particular piece showed the thin outline of butterflies, spiraling up, getting smaller and smaller. Beside it was a color palette where Suga had been testing shades of blue and purple.
“It’s beautiful.”Jimin murmured. He looked up, Suga only a few inches away, smelling his hair.