Blog Chain: Breaking the Rules

BLOG CHAINIt’s Blog Chain time again.  This chain was started by Kate who asked the question:

What writing rules/advice – whether it was a matter of cannot or will not – have you broken?

OOhhhh, breaking rules.  This really appeals to the rebel in me.  You see, growing up I was a good girl.  A very good girl.  I never broke the rules.  Not. A. Single. One.  At least, that is what most people thought.  Truthfully, I broke a few – but I always got caught.  So, rule breaking was not something I ever became good at.

As an adult, I am still a good girl.  And I seldom break – or stretch – the rules.  With one, very notable, exception.  The Arts.

I break a lot of artistic rules.  When I compose, when I choreograph, and yes, when I write.  I break rules regarding structure, grammar, character development, and the ending of my stories.  However, this is not the same kind of rebellious rule-breaking I attempted in my youth.  This rule breaking is deliberate – with the deliberate goal of bringing authenticity to the story. 

It was once said of Picasso that he was formally trained in the art of painting just so he could forge a unique form of the art.  I say, you have to learn to do it right, so you can do it wrong.

So what rules are my favorite ones to break?  I break rules involving structure all the time – using one word sentences, and one word paragraphs.

But there are other rules I enjoy breaking as well.  Like using dream sequences at the start of stories ( a current no-no for many agents and editors), or ending a story without tying up the loose ends into a nice little bow.  These are done with deliberate abandon…because the story dictates the form and content.  And as all of you already know about me…I am all about being authentic in my stories.

So, what about you guys?  Do you break the rules?  Even occasionally?  For more Blog Chain answers, check out Kat’s post before me and Sarah’s tomorrow.

15 thoughts on “Blog Chain: Breaking the Rules

  1. you rebel you ;-D Yep, I’m a fan of the one word sentences and paragraphs too😀 And I loved this “you have to learn to do it right, so you can do it wrong.” So very very true. Awesome post!

  2. Awesome! I love breaking structure rules. It’s funny how we can be law abiding in real life, but rebels as writers.😀 Pretty much, I break whatever rules it takes to get the story written as it should be. And like you said, it’s a deliberate thing, and so very freeing.😉

  3. Sarah Bromley

    I love one word sentences and one word paragraphs. I think they break up the monotony of subject + verb sentences. Nice job!

  4. I’m totally with ya on the structure. I’d have to give it some serious (and I hate being serious) thought to figure out what other rules I may or may not break.

    I definitely think some rule-breakage is a worthwhile endeavor.

    Great question!

  5. I break rules all the time when it comes to spelling. It’s not my fault Webster didn’t think of spelling the word quite the way I do. 😉

    Great post, Christine!

  6. I was never much of a rule breaker in my younger days either. Well, except when my crabby English teacher was involved.

    Great post Christine! Keep up the great work!

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