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Welcome to My Official Web Page!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rules Are Like Pie Crust, Easily Made, Easily Broken


First of all, a big thanks to Steph Damore for the Honest Scrap award! You should all check out Steph's blog if you haven't already- it's awesome!

So here's a present for all my followers! If your purty little mugshot is on the right of my blog, you've earned the Honest Scrap award too! Congrats!

And yes, I just used five exclamation marks in two paragraphs. Take that writing conventions! Hey! That brings us to the topic of today's post...

What writing convention do you get a little thrill out of breaking?

There are so many rules we writers are expected to follow: stick to said and asked as dialogue tags, don't use adverbs, nix the prologue, stay in one head at a time, use proper grammatical conventions, blah, blah, blah...

We all know the rules and we all know rules are occasionally meant to be broken. I'll let you in on a little secret. I love sentence fragments. LOVE them! And they're one of the things I bust my students for in all of their writing assignments. They're absolutely never, ever allowed to use them. That's one of those cases where you really have to know and understand the rule to know when to break it. And I do.

With relish. ;)

So, what rules do you get a kick out of breaking?

16 comments:

Wendy Sparrow said...

I'm a radical rule breaker. I like to use product names and pop culture. Nearly every one of my books contains a twizzler reference at some point. (I don't even entirely know why.)

Natalie said...

Ah, man. I don't know that I know the rules well enough to know which ones I'm breaking! My grammar isn't great. I use a lot of sentence fragments and I begin sentences with "and" or "but" way more often than I should. (Luckily my beta readers make me fix most of them!)

L. T. Host said...

Oh my. I say, stick it to the man! Or rather, the um, rules.

Me? I LURV me some adverbs. I, too, am a fan of the sentence fragment.

Yeah, I'm a rebel. You heard it here first.

Anissa said...

I'm so with you. Hello fragment, I love you. I do try to cut them back in revisions, but some stay. Definitely.

Amalia T. said...

I, too, love to fragment. But you know, it's a totally different thing to use them in fiction than it is to use them in papers or the like. And people speak in fragments, so I figure in dialogue, it's not even BENDING the rules. :)


The rule I am kind of a stickler about though, is sticking to POV and staying in one head at a time. Drives me crazy when people are hopping all over the place in their writing!

Valerie Geary said...

Fragments are the bomb-diggity. Also... I like... er... using... ellipses... possibly... way... too... much. Oh and dashes.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Yay for fragment lovers! We should start a club!

Amalia- I'm with you on the head hopping. I'm having my students read Killer Angels by Michael Shaara right now. It's a classic and definitely good, but he head hops in the beginning. It drives me (and my students) nuts!

L.T.- I always knew you were a rebel!

Wendy- I'm jealous you can include Twizzlers in your novels. If I did that in ancient Egypt I'd be in big trouble!

Natalie- I like to start sentences with And and But sometimes too. It's breaking the cardinal rule Mrs. Neale taught us in third grade so I always feel a little deviant when I do it. Hehehe...

Stephanie Thornton said...

Valerie- I LOVE dashes! A lot, a lot, a lot! My first drafts are strewn with them and I have to take them to the chopping block. They're the best!

Susan R. Mills said...

Adverbs. I love them unconditionally, and I use them fluently, and frequently. Eventually, I hope to break myself of this ridiculously obnoxious habit, but so far, my attempts have been horribly unsuccessful. I pray endlessly for relief of my clearly horrendous affliction.

Matthew Delman said...

I love me the sentence fragments. And starting sentences with "and," "but," and "because."

Of course I also try to write the way my characters would talk. Which makes things very interesting indeed.

Matthew Delman said...

And now I want pie. Thanks Stephanie. Sheesh.

Tamika: said...

Sentence fragments! Oh Yeah!

Truthfully I break so many rules it's not even cute. Maybe I should practice it right before I go deviating.

Bane of Anubis said...

In first drafts, I'll intentionally break parallel structure conventions b/c I think I'm being clever... eventually, I'll come around to editing out, but it depresses me for a few seconds doing so :)

And, as w/ Tamika, I used to be all up in the sentence fragments. Now I use them much more sparingly, though I'm not sure why.

Lynnette Labelle said...

I'm usually a rule follower, so I can't think of any that I intentionally break, but I'm sure there are some... I'm just drawing a blank at the moment.

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Stephanie Thornton said...

Lynnette- Welcome!

Bane- I was told by a beta reader who read a first draft (crazy, I know, but I wanted character feedback) that my sentence structure was good. So that was heartening. I do edit out a lot of sentence structure issues though.

I'm so going to start a sentence fragment lover club!

Steph Damore said...

I'm all for joining the fragment lover club!!!