Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A New Focus that's Old

Okay, I've lost my focus. The focus should be on my readers. THEY'RE the ones I'm writing for, and somehow I lost sight of that.

On a writing loop someone asked if we have too many "rules" to the point that we're losing creativity in our writing and storytelling.

This was my response:

Are there too many rules? No. Not too many "rules." But when the rules become more important than the story, then yes, there are too many rules.

The reader wants a good story. Not perfect prose. Now, I'm not talking about poor grammar, lousy punctuation, etc. Although, I just demonstrated poor grammar and lousy punctuation in the previous line. Readers simply want a great story with sentences that get the point across than a bunch of perfectly written sentences that amount to borrrrrring.

And in my book, rules are meant to be broken, especially in a field that requires creativity. So, learn the rules. Learn to master them. Then break them. :-)

So, I'm back on track. I'm writing for my readers, not for the critics.


  1. Great way to look at this. I like to follow the rules and really try to fit into stories what agents and editors say readers want. But, if that comes at the expense of bypassing my passion for a particular story that I know I'm supposed to tell, I really try to check my motivation. Who am I writing for and why? Once I ask myself these questions, I can usually get back on track.

  2. Cindy, yes. Stick with your passion. If you're not passionate about what you write, your readers will be able to tell.

    Thanks for sharing. :-)

  3. Thanks for this, Sandi. You know it's been my mantra for so long. Lately the novels "show" me that they're not going to "tell" me anything, and they've all started to sound alike. I love all kinds of styles, voices, and experimental prose in stories. Kudos to all who create with the knowledge of the rules and choose to break them.

  4. Oh, my goodness! I couldn't have said it better! I was just saying to someone today that they're "all the same." That's why publishers aren't open to anything "new" because they're looking for what they already have.