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  #1  
Old 07-01-2018, 10:55 AM
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Rules of Writing

#1--There are no rules.

#2--Show don't tell. Bullshit. Showing and telling are both tools in the writer's box. When confused, show, then tell. Showing often refers to showing emotion by revealing gesture, not trying to dramatize every instant of a novel--the thing would be a million-pages long if one did that.

#3--Don't use adverbs. Bullshit. I think the intent is say, use strong verbs. If there's no strong verb that fits, add the adverb.

#4--Don't end a sentence with a preposition. Bullshit. I don't know where that rule came from. But there's a great joke about it.

A Texan arrived for his first day at Harvard University and found himself lost in the grassy yard surrounded by brick and stone edifices. He stopped a professor who was walking by and said to him, "Howdy Pardner, could y'all tell me where that there library is at?"

The professor couldn't believe his ears. "What did you say?" he said.

The Texan again said, “Could y'all tell me where that there library is at?"

The professor became indignant, "You can't talk like that at Harvard University. I mean, you ended your sentence with a preposition. Try to do better!"

The Texan shuffled for a second and said, "Well, could y'all tell me where that there library is at... ... ...asshole!"

#5--Don't listen to rules written by writers.

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Old 07-02-2018, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Hadian Gripp View Post
Rules of Writing

#1--There are no rules.

#2--Show don't tell. Bullshit. Showing and telling are both tools in the writer's box. When confused, show, then tell. Showing often refers to showing emotion by revealing gesture, not trying to dramatize every instant of a novel--the thing would be a million-pages long if one did that.

#3--Don't use adverbs. Bullshit. I think the intent is say, use strong verbs. If there's no strong verb that fits, add the adverb.

#4--Don't end a sentence with a preposition. Bullshit. I don't know where that rule came from. But there's a great joke about it.

A Texan arrived for his first day at Harvard University and found himself lost in the grassy yard surrounded by brick and stone edifices. He stopped a professor who was walking by and said to him, "Howdy Pardner, could y'all tell me where that there library is at?"

The professor couldn't believe his ears. "What did you say?" he said.

The Texan again said, “Could y'all tell me where that there library is at?"

The professor became indignant, "You can't talk like that at Harvard University. I mean, you ended your sentence with a preposition. Try to do better!"

The Texan shuffled for a second and said, "Well, could y'all tell me where that there library is at... ... ...asshole!"

#5--Don't listen to rules written by writers.
Your list. Bullshit.

Learn the rules, then figure out when and where they apply.

Showing takes practice. Very few writers naturally know how to show. If you don't practice this, then you end up telling your whole story; that's shitty writing. It's true; there is a time to tell and a time show, but learn the rule first. Once you have, then you can determine when you need to tell and when you need to show.

Learn how to appropriately use adverbs. The more words you put between the verb and the noun the more you drag it out for the reader. If you're using adverbs to compensate for weak burbs or to try to make a bland sentence ordinary, you're using them wrong. New writers will dump a shit-ton of adverbs into a sentence when they're unnecessary.

If you're not going to listen to other writers, what's the point in a writing forum at all? Is it so others can blow smoke up your ass and tell you how wonderful you are? Really, what's it for if you too cool for the rules?
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:48 PM
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Halloo! Hadian.

How goes the struggle?

Published anything lately?
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:14 PM
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I tend to agree with Shane. Rules (or guidelines, maybe that's a better word) are certainly there for a reason. When a shitty writer doesn't follow the rules, the writing is shittier. When a shitty writer follows them... well, it tends to be a little bit better. More readable. And it's not like the "rules" are arbitrary. Nearly everyone, either consciously or unconsciously, agrees on them. Don't end a sentence with a proposition? The joke doesn't make it any less true, and we all spot it as a mistake when we see it. Whether it's intentional or not is up to the writer.

I guess that's the thing. You have to be good enough to break the rules (and make it work), and good enough to know when you should and shouldn't. That's where probably 99% of writers (myself included) fall short. In general, it's best to go with what's proven to work. In the grand scheme of writing fiction, that still leaves you plenty of room.

I've been reading a lot of Richard Russo lately. Fuck me, he's good. And you know what? A sizeable portion of his writing involves telling instead of showing. But he's good enough to make it work, partly because the writing itself is superb and partly because his characterization is so goddamn on point that you actually want to hear what he has to say about his own characters.

There are countless other examples, but I think the bottom line of following vs. not following the "rules" is this...

You have to be good enough to get away with it.


Then again, looking at rule number five more closely...

Last edited by JesseK1213; 07-04-2018 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:18 PM
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Thank you for the thoughts, all. That thang is just for fun although it might have some value.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Hadian Gripp View Post
Rules of Writing

#1--There are no rules.

#2--Show don't tell. Bullshit. Showing and telling are both tools in the writer's box. When confused, show, then tell. Showing often refers to showing emotion by revealing gesture, not trying to dramatize every instant of a novel--the thing would be a million-pages long if one did that.

#3--Don't use adverbs. Bullshit. I think the intent is say, use strong verbs. If there's no strong verb that fits, add the adverb.

#4--Don't end a sentence with a preposition. Bullshit. I don't know where that rule came from. But there's a great joke about it.

A Texan arrived for his first day at Harvard University and found himself lost in the grassy yard surrounded by brick and stone edifices. He stopped a professor who was walking by and said to him, "Howdy Pardner, could y'all tell me where that there library is at?"

The professor couldn't believe his ears. "What did you say?" he said.

The Texan again said, “Could y'all tell me where that there library is at?"

The professor became indignant, "You can't talk like that at Harvard University. I mean, you ended your sentence with a preposition. Try to do better!"

The Texan shuffled for a second and said, "Well, could y'all tell me where that there library is at... ... ...asshole!"

#5--Don't listen to rules written by writers.
Hello Hadian Grip. I don't remember seeing you around before. It is probably me.
Where did you get the Texan and the professor's tale from?
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:20 AM
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These kinds of lists are mostly about stirring the pot. They're irrelevant to writers who have talent and know what they're doing.

Last edited by E. Zamora; 07-07-2018 at 06:23 AM..
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by E. Zamora View Post
These kinds of lists are mostly about stirring the pot. They're irrelevant to writers who have talent and know what they're doing.
one can never know for sure what one is doing. It is always only a hypothesis especially when it comes to writing.
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Old 07-07-2018, 09:22 AM
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("...it's not that it's perfectly written that makes something pulling to read, it's that it's pulling in itself as it is that makes it so perfect to me but what would I know now, no you humans are always funny like that always thinking that presentation is more important that substance..." ventured the goblin not disagreeing with anyone here though, then adding "...yes, just perhaps then, like most things in life one first has to learn the rules in order to get away with breaking them later, I mean after all look at the greats as we know them today, how they all learned their trade and then somehow unlearned it to become remembered by what they produced in place of that learning, van gogh, beatles, coleridge, and dickens to name but a few then, whereas today we wouldn't remember any of them if they too had just followed the crowd like the rest of them had...", at which point the goblin suddenly remembered the goblin "if you write like everyone else then "like everyone else" is all that it'll ever be", so the goblin smiled "...better to be wrong for a real good reason than right for no reason at all, just saying though..." but to be honest here the goblin also suspected the nobody normal would ever read his post this far let alone reply here, sighing "...ah yes, you can always unlearn something by going against its teachings, ah but you can't unread this post where you have read it by now...")

Last edited by fleamailman; 07-08-2018 at 01:31 AM..
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:35 PM
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Once again, the flea questions my normalcy...hey, Hadian, long time no see. Always glad to see you popping in.

One of the old crew, as it were.
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