Any rule can be broken while writing, period.
But it often helps to have a reason to break a rule, one that is purposeful and adds to the story you’re telling. Writers do this all the time, if you know where to look:
- PUNCTUATION - Cormac McCarthy doesn’t use quotation marks in his novel The Road, even when characters are talking- but it contributes significantly to the lonely, desolate, ash-laden setting.
- POV / LINEAR - In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien writes in third and first person narration, out of chronological order, with deliberately conflicting accounts of certain scenes- and this helps convey a “story truth” rather than a “happening truth“ (his own words), as well as the confusing reality of war for soldiers.
- PASSIVE VOICE - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle frequently uses the passive voice in his Sherlock Holmes stories, adding a sense of mystery and more natural conversation between characters.
These are only a handful of the many examples that are out there- novels, short stories, poetry, all forms of writing have instances of this.
It’s never strictly necessary to have a reason, of course- as writers, we rarely deal in absolutes when it comes to rules. But if you can bend and break the rules in a way that enhances your story, you can add another layer of depth to it.