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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Down with Rules

written by: Theresa Ragan

Wow, is it my day to blog already? Time flies when you're having fun. Not. I had a root canal done this week. Not fun. But I did write every day. Fun. Anyhow, I think I'll talk about rules today. Just because I don't like following them. Rules bug me. I don't like demands or commands or directions either. I like to do things my way. So, yes, my blog is going to be about rules.

I don't like rules. I never have. I loved that part in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie where Barbossa says, “And thirdly, the Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.” When anyone discusses rules as they pertain to writing and as if they're written in stone, I cringe because I believe basic storytelling is instinctive. If the story you’re writing makes you laugh and holds your attention, it’s probably going to do that for at least one reader out there somewhere, hopefully a lot of readers. But hey, reading is subjective. I know that for a fact because I LOVE everything Susan E. Phillips has ever written, but I actually sat next to a woman once who didn’t like her books at all. Gasp! :) Anyhow, back to rules. I agree with those who say you should know the rules and know when you’re breaking them. If I had to write down rules for writing they would be read a lot and write even more--write every single day. I love reading how-to-write books, but I usually just nod my head when something makes sense then set the book down and forget all about it. For me, writing is sort of like making chocolate chip cookies. I know the recipe by heart. Hopefully each new batch tastes better than the last. I don’t need to look at the back of the chocolate morsel package anymore. If I throw in an extra egg every once in a while or too much vanilla extract, the cookies always taste good—sometimes chewier and even better. Maybe someday someone will even like my cookies enough to buy them! :)


At 10:00 AM, Blogger Sandy Blair said...

Theresa, I agree. Authors need to view the so called "rules" of writing as guidelines...not commandments. Who wants or needs a cookie cutter novel?

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Great post. And thanks, now I want cookies. :)


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