Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rules Schmules

One of my critique partners, Kelly Irvin, has bucked and railed against most writing "rules" to which she's ever been guided.

With teenagers of her own, you would think she would behave better.

When I think about it though, I remember brave people from my life who have flaunted the rules and lived to tell about it. In junior high school, Becky batted her big blue eyes and smiled her enigmatic smile, and voila, everything tilted her way. Pretty much the same thing for Cherie (only I think now--as I pretty much knew even then--she hid some terrible secrets).

I was a "good girl" who harbored fantasies of rebellion to the 'nth degree. Yep, it's true.

There are rules and then there are rules. Some people know intuitively what they are, and that they don't apply to them. I've always thought of those individuals as courageous fools.

Some of us, more concerned with those rules, must first evaluate the crud out of them. I need to know what the rule is, why the rule exists and who has broken it before me and gotten away with it. Then, and only then, can I rise to the occasion and break it.

Unless I'm free-form writing, I'm what's known as a Writing Wuss. It doesn't matter how many life mistakes I make, I still want to be a "good girl."

It's a sickness.

I've been on this learning curve now for about as long as most college educations, albeit with a bit more leeway for life-necessity. I'm beginning to figure out when I can (safely) thumb my nose at a rule, and when I'd better stick to the straight and narrow.

By the way, Kelly "The Rebel" Irvin signed a contract for her first novel last year. You'll be hearing more about that later.

Sometimes it pays to forge your own path, wearing blinders to what the so-called experts have to say.

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
~Motto of the Special Olympics

Still reading the John Lutz. This is a very good book and I wonder why I haven't heard more about this author. Did he follow the rules or break one too many?

It's all better with friends.

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