Never Say Never: Taking a Closer Look at Writing “Rules”

This post by Amy Knupp originally appeared on The How To Write Shop on 10/2/13.

Don’t kill a puppy. Never use an –ly adverb. Exclamation points are the mark of an amateur.

I’ve heard these writing “rules” and dozens of others from the time I started pursuing publication. And I’m ashamed to say, when I was new, I even believed some of them.

The fact is, writing is an art, and in art forms, there are no absolutes. But when we’re new and hungry for success and validation, it’s amazing the things we take to heart.

Mention the mere word “rules” in any group of writers, and you’re bound to start an animated, opinionated conversation. And the thing is, there are reasons most of these “rules” have been circulated for so long. Usually pretty valid reasons.

As the cliché goes, you need to know what the “rules” are and understand why they’ve been perpetuated. Then…then you can break them.


Read the full post on The How To Write Shop.