Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG Post- What writing rule you wish you had never heard?

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s the first IWSG of 2017. IWSG aka Insecure Writers Support Group is a fabulous online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of every month. In the IWSG posts, we writers talk about all our writing related worries, anxieties, fears and insecurities. This group is like a discussion forum where other writers who share similar worries help us out with their advice and tips. Check out the IWSG website for amazing writing tips. Read the other IWSG posts here.

When we talk of IWSG, how can we forget Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars) for starting this awesome group. On the first Wednesday, when you say a blur in the sky, it’s just our blogging superstar with his guitar, trying to visit as many blogs as he can, all over the world.

The IWSG question of this month is ‘What writing rule you wish you had never heard?

Infact, I want to say that I wish I had never heard of any writing rule whatsoever to start with. Stories don’t follow a set template, that this incident should happen by the fifth chapter, this one by the ninth and this one by the fifteenth. All these rules simply stress out a writer who writes in an unconventional way. They start thinking they are doing it all wrong. Or they worry that they aren’t following the set method.

I always get concerned about the rising stakes bit. Sometimes it’s not possible to increase the stakes immediately. And we can’t always have the threat of death hanging over our characters. I personally feeling writing is all about instinct and pacing and ofcourse character development.

I’m looking forward to reading all your posts to see which writing rule you all wish you had never heard.


16 comments:

  1. So true that stories don't follow a template. Personally I think they help when you're just starting out. I didn't know any rules so broke them all. Once you get more confident in your writing, I think you can find the balance in following what helps strengthen your story and what rules can be broken, at least in a certain chapter of a certain story.

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  2. I agree. It's isn't always possible to raise the stakes, but as long as there's a driving question or a sense of discomfort moving readers forward, you're set.

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  3. I like knowing the rules...then breaking them. Okay, bending them. I'm not that much of a rebel. :)

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  4. I'm a blur in the sky - funny! Although yes, doing my best to visit a couple hundred blogs today.
    The Fifteen Beats from Save the Cat helped me, but not all of my books have followed that pattern. And it's all right if they don't.

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  5. It is a bit much especially if you're a pantser. I tend to be both plotter and pantser. Sometimes you've got to do your own thang!But you gotta know the rules in order to break them. Am I right?!

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  6. Rising stakes are different for each story. Some are so subtle. Most don't even involve the prospect of death or something dangerous. As Crystal said, a driving force is all that's needed. :)

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  7. None of my fiction books feature many rising stakes. My husband calls them "a slice of life," so it's more like a roller coaster ride.

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  8. I guess for me it depends on how the stakes rise. Lately I've read a lot of books where they are upping the ante at a pace that makes it irritating or exhausting to read. More action does not equal a more exciting read.

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  9. I imagine that writers who are good at outlining are better at following a template of what happens when. And I agree with Chrys Fey, sometimes the stakes are subtle. I think that's okay.

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  10. I'm the same way! Writers are meant to break rules, not make them. Couldn't agree more, Rachna:)

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  11. I'm with you on this one, Rachna! HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, too!

    Wishing you all the best.

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  12. All rules! I learned them all, and now I've thrown them all away so I can write what I want to write. It helps that I'm retired and have more freedom than the person who wants to make a living at writing.

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  13. I can agree with you that it's about instinct, though I would say that having the rules as a foundation is probably important for building up those instincts. My favorite rule is that "any rule can be broken, so long as you understand why the rule exists." As for templates, I don't think you need them, though basic plot structure for your particular culture (American vs. Japanese, for instance) are probably best.

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  14. I'm with Patricia Stoltey. Learned them all - tried them all out and chucked most of 'em :) It's like singing - if you get too technical, you lose the feeling and stifle the tone. The voice sounds forced. In writing, too many rules, too much technicality stifles the creativity and the words become stiff and meaningless. Just my humble opinion :) Happy new year, Rachna!!

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  15. Belated New Year greetings Rachna! The travel has taken a toll on reading and writing:)

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  16. You might be qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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