In Fiction, Nothing Is Forbidden, Everything Is Permitted

This post by Chuck Wendig originally appeared on his terribleminds site on 5/12/14. Note: this piece contains strong language.

In other words: “Fuck the rules.”


Okay, so, at cons and conferences — or via e-mail — someone inevitably mentions in a question something that writer is “not supposed to do.” This person has been reliably and repeatedly informed at some point that This Particular Thing is Fucking Anathema, a Dealbreaker Of Epic Narrative Proportions, and to Do This Shitty Thing is Tantamount To Kicking A Baby Down A Flight Of Steps Into A Pile Of Burning Books. (No, I don’t know why I capitalized a bunch of those words, but it felt good at the time. This is probably appropriate given the post I am about to write.)

This can be anything, really.

Don’t open on weather.

Don’t open with a character looking in a mirror.

Don’t open on a character just waking up.

Never ever use an adverb ever.

(Related: “In Writing, There Are Rules, And Then There Are Rules.”)

And for all that’s fucking holy, writing a prologue is a major biggum no-no, on par with and as pleasant as prolapsing one’s anus. You may in fact be told that a Prologue killed Jesus in the Gospel According To… I don’t remember. Dave, maybe. Dan? Eh.


Click here to read the full post on terribleminds.

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