Breaking the Rules

Rules, rules, rules.break rules

  • Don’t change point of view in the middle of a scene
  • Show the speaker before the reader finds out what they have to say
  • Use simple, clear language.

It’s good to break rules sometimes. But we should always know which rule we’re breaking and why.

  • A talented writer can shift point of view in a scene. Let’s say we are in the head of character A. Character A interacts with character B. The writer goes on and on about character B and slowly, imperceptivity shifts the point of view to Character B
  • War and Peace begins with dialogue and it’s 91 words before we find out who’s talking. If I’m not mistaken, the original Russian text began with these 91 words in French.
  • Use simple, clear language, yes, but American President Lincoln began his famous Gettysburg address with, “Four score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation…” He could have said, “87 years ago our ancestors started a new country…”break rules

Don’t be afraid to break the rules.

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6 responses to “Breaking the Rules

  1. Somebody once said “rules are made to be broken.” It all depends on why you want to break them, where you break them, when you break them, and how you break them. Be cautious!

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