Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Rules

Writers often hear about the rules of writing. You shouldn't have too many -ly words, or use "was," or head hop point of view. We wonder when we read books that break all of these rules how they got published. I have often thought that it is good to know the rules so you can choose when to break them. The problem is we hear too many rules about too many avenues of writing. Sometimes it can stifle our creativity.

I recently picked up the book, If You Want to Write, by Brenda Ueland. While perusing the pages I came across a piece of advice:

"As you write, never let a lot of "oughts" block you: I ought to be more humorous, more Leftist, more like Ernest Hemingway, more bitingly satirical. Then it shows. That spoils it. It will not be alive, but dead."

My advice is to write freely and discover your voice. Your voice brings life to your writing. Worry about the -ly words when you edit, and ONLY if you think it takes away from your finished product.

Until next week,
Tina LaVon

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