writers tips / writing

Writer’s Tip #75: Break the Rules

writers tips

Great tips for soon-to-be great writers

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

This tip is from Robert Masello, award-winning journalist, television writer, and bestselling author of many novels and nonfiction books  like the Medusa Amulet and Vigil. It’s #102 in his Kindle ebook,  Robert’s Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Should Know (Writers Digest Books 2011). That’s right. He’s showing not telling. We writers understand that approach.

Here’s what he says:

Rule 102. Break the Rules. The cover of the book says 101 Rules—and that’s why I’m writing 102. Just to prove that rules are made for breaking. For example, for every writer who writes in the morning, there’s one who writes only at night. For every writer who plows ahead, never looking back, there’s one who agonizes over every word and cannot go forward without polishing every syllable that has come before. For every writer who works from an elaborate outline, there’s one who flies by the seat of his pants.

For the 101 others, download the free Kindle ebook (though I don’t know how long it’ll be free) and enjoy!

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

8 thoughts on “Writer’s Tip #75: Break the Rules

  1. Pingback: On Blogging: Can We Talk? | The Blog Farm - A Growing Blog Community

  2. Pingback: On Blogging: Can We Talk? | Mirth and Motivation

  3. Seriously … sometimes the “rules” bog us down. At least for our first draft, we should not worry so much about the rules. However, during editing and revising there is definitely a place for most of the rules! 🙂

    I’m a new follower and fellow campaigner. Nice to meet you.


  4. This made me smile! We’re always so rules-oriented in many fields of work. But you’re right, there are many times when the rules are broken without consequence – and often with better results!


    • So true. I studied the Soviet society in college and came to believe that one of the reasons it failed was because life was too scripted. They didn’t allow for originality or creativity. Without those, how do you solve problems?

      That is surely true in medical research, too.


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