Pablo Said So

Pablo Picasso said it well. “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

We have had a number of posts, and an almost equal number of opinions, on the rules of writing and whether we need to follow them. I am of the firm opinion that is essential, initially, to know what the rules are. Then we can break them with awareness and can explain why, at least to ourselves. Occasionally we may wish to explain to others as well, but that could be fodder for another whole post. Continue reading “Pablo Said So”

Breaking the “Rules” Part 5 by Lin Robinson

Author Lin Robinson

[This article is part of a series by author Lin Robinson on the subject of so-called “rules” of writing. You can find the other articles here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.]

In this series I have mostly dealt with negative “rules” — adjurations to avoid the use of various parts of English speech that are perfectly useful.

In this final article I’d like to switch to debunking several “positive” kinds of “rules”: concepts which are urged, even pressed onto writers as necessary, but which I’d suggest you drop not just from you tool kit, but from your vocabulary.

The Myth Of “The Protagonist” — One of the most repeated and most utterly useless concepts for writers is “protagonist”. It’s a word that does absolutely nothing for you, and can mess you up. Perhaps you’ve seen newbies wailing, “Can I have more than one protagonist?” (And in screenplay circles, sometimes get answers like “OK, if it’s a ‘buddy movie'”, or “OK if it’s an ‘ensemble’ movie”, otherwise no. How about love stories. Do you really have to make one of the pair the main show and the other one subsidiary? How about a story of two rivals? But they’ll tell you that you have to because that’s the way it is and who are you to argue with Aristotle? Continue reading “Breaking the “Rules” Part 5 by Lin Robinson

There is no one write true way….

Author Valerie Douglas
Author Valerie Douglas

Yes, I spelled that correctly, just to make a point. Lately I’ve seen a few posts on LinkedIn and Facebook where one writer purports to tell other writers just how to write. Even worse, at least two of them  stated that Stephen King (yeah, THAT Stephen King, the one that sells bajillions of books.) was doing it wrong.

Outside of the obvious hubris and ridiculousness of that remark (see I can  be nice, I used ridiculous instead of the word I wanted to use) given his output and success, was the relative unsuccess of two of the writers. Even for me, the Queen of snark, it was a little absurd. Continue reading “There is no one write true way….”