Anyway, since I am as yet unpublished, everything I'm about to say could be a total load of bunk. A year or two from now I might be recanting this post. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to live dangerously.
The average reader would probably be surprised by the number of "rules" writers are forever being told to write by. I won't go into them because, frankly, they don't matter. If you like a book - great! If you don't, well, there could be a whole lot of reasons for it.
One "rule" is that you aren't supposed to use adverbs. You know, those pesky little -ly words that run rampant through all of my writing? Yeah, those.
I like adverbs. To me, they can change a sentence entirely. Now, I understand not peppering your book with things like this:
"I'm home from the market," she said cheerily.
"Did you leave any for someone else?" he asked sarcastically.
"Of course not!" She smiled as she walked away jauntily.
There's so many things wrong with that little snippet of writing that I can't even begin to tell you. Rest assured, my book is better than that. But the point is that -ly words got a bad rep for being lazy writing because of examples like the above.
As I've started putting my writing out there in hopes of publication, I've gotten a lot of compliments on my "voice". (That's the general flow and feel of an author's writing.) I think -ly words are a large part of my voice because without them, I feel like a lot of my sentences get stilted.
But I've had to come to terms with the fact that part of who I am as a writer goes against some accepted notions. The feedback I've gotten around that seems to be working for me, even if I do break the rules.
So what do you do when who you are seems to go against the norm? I think you roll with it. Since the Bible doesn't outlaw adverbs, I'm good with using them. Everyone might not like my writing, but there's a lot of people that do.
Life is like that, too. There are "rules" about church, work, family, and everything else, but sometimes you just can't fit within the rules. I know pastors reaching hundred in churches that hold services on Saturday nights, or in a closed down bar, or with slamming rock and roll music playing.
I think some rules make fabulous guidelines and should never be broken just for the sake of being broken. But unless the Bible specifically speaks against it, don't be afraid to break those unofficial always-been-accepted rules.
Have you broken an unofficial rule? Did it work for you?
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