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We teach children not to cross the street on a red light. If they follow this principle, and wait for the green light, they will cross the road safely every time (assuming the drivers keep their end of the deal). As you grow older, your senses develop, and you can tell when it is safe to cross the road, even when the lights are red.


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I don't think this is in any way specific to writing. For example in physics, there are many wannabe-Einsteins who think that if you just claim the previous physicists were wrong and dream up your own theory, you can revolutionize physics. The result are crackpot theories, because unlike Einstein, those people didn't really know the physical theories which ...


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When to break the rules? When you know what you're doing. Breaking the rules "the good way" always serves some purpose. It's never done "just because". Writing is all about eliciting certain moods and feelings in the reader, and the rules prevent jarring, unpleasant surprises, breaking of immersion, and countless other errors that simply take away from the ...


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(a) Short answer: There are no rules. Read and write a lot to build your intuitive understanding of narration. (b) Long answer: To understand the rules of writing, let us look at language. People learn and speak their mother tongue without ever consulting a grammar or dictionary. In fact, language existed before any grammar was ever written. Now how did ...


2

This is a very difficult topic. But this is something that I've noticed over the years: when a beginner breaks a rule you feel like he has broken a rule, when an expert breaks a rule you feel like he wanted to break that rule. The best example I can come up with is the movie Adaptation. In the movie, the protagonist (Charlie Kaufman) says: Okay. But, ...


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The rules are there to give a pretty good outline of what is good writing and what is bad writing. Breaking a "rule" typically requires doing something else to accommodate it, and this web of complexity typically requires an experienced writer who knows these connections. For example, one rule you might hear would be to stay away from cliches. But there are ...


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This is what I learned the hard way. The rules are there to support you in getting from A to B and do a decent job regardless of skill level. Following a set of tried and trusted rules allows you as the author room to concentrate on the aspects of a story that you find interesting. Following rules is like a less restrictive form of re-telling an established ...



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