Sunday, July 05, 2009

Taking a Vacay from Writing Rules

It’s peak vacay season, and in the spirit of all things sunscreeny and coconutty, I thought it’d be fun to compile a list of all those pesky writing rules we writers would like to break away from every once in awhile (grammatical structure of previous sentence included in said vacation – ahem!).  So, here are some rules to think about breaking on a “writing rule vacay:”

-Mixing Metaphors.  As welcome as a soft chair at the end of a touchdown.

-Clichés.  Why think outside the box when cookie-cutter solutions are staring you in the face?

-Subject/Verb Disagreement.  Because sometimes the expressions that we pour our heart into just needs freedom. 

-Exclamation Points!  In excess!!!  Because you CAN!!!!!!


-Sentence Fragments.  Yeah.  Went there.  Did that. 

-Adverbs.  Who among us doesn’t truly, wholly, and thoroughly miss them? 

-Overwrought Phrases.  Just the thought of them makes my pulse quicken, my heart race, and tears of joy leap into my once-dead but now – maybe, now? – glistening, glimmering eyes.

-Passive Verbs.  Because those sentences were constructed by us to be that way, that’s why. 

-POV Hopping.  You shouldn’t have to stay in one person’s head the entire time.  I rather enjoy knowing what other people think.

-Plotlessness.  Because following a story that never goes anywhere can be

-Two-Dimensional Characters.  For real – don’t we all know someone we suspect is really 2D in the privacy of his/her own home? 

And finally:

-Rhetorical Questions.  Why not?

Do you have a few you’d like to add?  Please, comment away!  J  


Christi Atherton said...

I see a couple of those I would REALLY like to ignore, but I would ESPECIALLY choose adverbs! SERIOUSLY, what's not to love? They are so WONDERFULLY, DELIRIOUSLY expressive. Who wouldn't want to CONTINUALLY use them? I, for one, like to use them FREQUENTLY. In fact, I have to go through my manuscripts and highlight each of my NUMEROUSLY-sprinkled adverbs so that I can SADLY get rid of most of them. Great blog subject--SERIOUSLY.

Kristin Tubb said...

Thanks, Christi! I am totally, fully, and completely in agreement with you! :-)

Traci @ ITD said...

overuse of adjectives. I love a really good outstanding, phenomenal adjective...or two, or three... also, adverbs are totally misunderstood. Really, what would I do without them in my completely overwhelmingly crappy first drafts? And we writers on vacay can't forget to use lots of -- and ... for real.

Kristin Tubb said...

Hi, Traci! Yes, I love a good, descriptive, full, well-rounded, spot-on adjective as much as the next gal! ;-) Thanks for stopping by!