“If rules are made to be broken, then what’s the point of learning grammar rules? You have to know what the rules are in order to break them, so there’s no way to get around understanding proper grammar. Learning the rules well and knowing how to apply them may lead you to infinitely more inventive ways of breaking them.” ~grammerly
I love it when a simple group chat turns into a thought-provoking tool of self-reflection in my own writing. In all writing really. I’ll elaborate.
The chat took form around the importance and validity of avoiding cliches in our approach to storytelling and when is it ok to break the standard rules of good writing.
Now, I believe that ANY writing is good writing because…well…because you ARE writing!
*I believe above all it is most important to get started! Damn the cliches, typos, run-ons, plot holes, and ill-conceived storylines with one-dimensional characters. That is what the rewrite is for, but you can’t do a rewrite without a first draft. *
(Am I right, or am I right? Can I get a witness?)
“Hemingway was an obsessive revisionist. It is reported that he wrote and rewrote all, or portions, of The Old Man and the Sea more than two hundred times before he was ready to release it for publication. Hemingway took great pains with his work; he revised tirelessly.” -cliff notes
BUT… this got me to thinking about great writers.
THE great writers, yeah, the ones we point to their work and say “Look. See. THIS IS HOW it is DONE!”, and I can not help but see so many rules that are broken by said great writers.
They are revered for them and dubbed “unique style”. Whether in the language they use (Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn), or the flawed grammar (Ernest Hemingway’s penchant to start new sentences with the word, “And”).
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
In achieving greatness or at least in achieving a first draft to work from, rules ARE meant to be broken!
I say, throw caution to the wind, make LOTS of mistakes, but MOST OF ALL, HAVE FUN and KEEP ON WRITING.
Then let’s reflect on how these greats break the rules with panache and no apologies.