Kay’s blog was particular interesting.And I agree with her, it is the knowing when
to break the rules that is the crucial point.
It is also a personal choice as to whether the reader agrees
with the rules being broken or not.
I forget the number of times my critiques have suggested:
too many adjectives; too much of an information dump; too many names and too
many commas. I happen to like commas, my one addiction. They control the
nuances in how I want my character to act or speak.Most times when I go back and reread with the
critique in mind, yeah it’s obvious. But there are other times, when I stick to
my guns and say no, I may want a ‘name download’ for a specific reason. Whether
that reason works or not is another problem.
But all this critique is subjective to the person who is
reading it. It is their personal preferences of which rules I break, shatter,
or – ‘don’t even go there girl’.
For example, one of my favourite opening lines in a book is:
Lisa woke. For those who don’t know it’s from one of Anne MacCaffery’sDragons Books. (My apologies, all my books
are locked away in storage at the moment, and I’m too on a roll to look it up
on the net.)
I actually chose this sentence in one of my assignments when
I was completing a TAFE course, many years ago.The assignment was to choose two sentences
we thought made a good opening to a story.
The second sentence, was from a well known author in the Bronte Sisters era. While I can't remember the book or author, I distinctively remember the feel of it. The sentence was about ten lines
long. It not only set the scene, it set the emotion of what was to come. And
after that I was hooked.
Just as I was hooked on the two worded sentence.
And I was marked wrong. Why? Because my lecturer said the
first one told nothing and the second one told too much.
But the question was: Which two sentences, I, would choose.
The first one, I liked because it drew me into to read more.
There was urgency to it and posed questions and I wanted to read the next
sentence and the next.
The second I could picture the scene in mind, and I found it
interesting enough to read on.
- Personal choice of the reader.
So many times I have read a book and there is this word or
phrase that just pops out of nowhere that doesn’t fit in the way the author
writes. It’s like a red light. And I can’t help but wonder what the author
actually wrote, as it’s obvious it was not something the author would have
written – it was too ‘alien’.
Back to breaking rules. I’ve probably broken dozens of them
in this piece alone. I hope so.
If we all follow the same rules, imagine how boring reading