Us Writers Don’t Need No Rules

Dear Maggie, 

I ain’t got time to read no rules about writing this here novel I been working on, and I certainly don’t have no time to take no english classes even if I could understand them teachers and all there nonsense, my novel is pretty dam good just as it is it don’t need no special punctuation nor to follow any them stupid grammar rules. All that there garbage is just for highbrows who call there stuff literary fiction and sell them for big bucks to socalled literary magazines that git sold to rich people. 

When I shown my novel to a agent at a big writing conference last week, she took one look and laughed at me laughed at me! Kin you imagine that and after all the time I spent writing it so I just punched her and run for my life.  

So Maggie I guess I respect your advice so tell me Im right? My writing friend told me that rules was meant to be broken so we real writers don’t need no stinking rules do we? 

Respectfully,

On-the-Run-from-the-Law

 

Dear On-the-Run, 

I guess I’d better get caught up on my self-defense training before you read my reply. Why do you think that languages, not just English, but all languages have rules? It’s not so anyone can go around breaking them. It’s so people can understand each other, can communicate effectively and effortlessly (more or less) with each other. How well would you understand me if I wrote something like this: 

“I think you maybe should take the time to go to english classes like as soon as you get out of jail otherwise not just agents but everyone that look at your manuscript if you can get anyone to look at it will too. And then where will you be, you cant go around punching everyone which don’t like the way to write now can you. Unless that is you want to get caught up on writing rules class in prison which’ll probably happen if you continue to act like your better than writers which follow the rules.” 

Now that little paragraph above is a bit hard to understand. It would probably necessitate more than one reading to fully get the drift; in your case it would probably take quite a few readings. On the other hand, you might feel right at home reading it, even if you don’t understand the message it so unclearly specifies. 

Think about it, On-the-Run (that is, if you know how to put your brain in gear). If everyone wrote any old way without following any rules at all, the result would be total chaos. Now that might appeal to anarchists like you, but law-abiding people and writers wanting others to buy their works would not appreciate such nonsense. And such manuscripts would find no market at all, not even among the agents of chaos. 

Some writers can get away with breaking the rules of writing, but not just anyone and not just any rules any time they felt like it. Newbie writers who broke such rules would simply come across as ignorant of their craft. Even well-known authors who decided to break rules indiscriminately would quickly lose their following. 

So, On-the-Run, either put up or shut up. In other words, either learn the rules and apply them, or get into a different line of business. Once you get out of jail, that is.

 

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About aakemp

I am a fiction writer and freelance writer/proofreader with excellent research abilities as well. What I offer is high quality writing done in a smooth, logically consistent and error-free manner. No fluff ever with my writing! Just intelligent, interesting copy. My novels include the young adult fantasy, "The Dragons of Atlantis" and the thriller/mystery, "Beneath the Smoke," available on Amazon's Kindle program. Also "The Dragons of Atlantis" is available on OffTheBookshelf.com as an ebook or hard copy.
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