Rules, rules, rules

Are there rules on how to write a novel? Do you need to make sure you follow a certain ‘standard’ and use certain words in order to ensure your novel is following the ‘rules’?

It is an interesting topic. As an active group member of many Facebook groups for writers, I often see authors post samples of their writing and ask for feedback. All too often, the feedback delivered is not necessarily suggestions, but ‘facts’ on how to write.

I have very strong views on this, as I have studied many traditionally published works and discovered that there are in fact NO rules you need to follow, apart from proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. And these things can easily be fixed and rectified by a good, educated editor.

Many novels are written with a lot of the ‘no no’s’, such as having the story begin with your character waking up (considered a BIG no in the author communities), as well as chapters starting with an introduction of the weather (also called ‘weather reports). In fact, these two are VERY common in traditionally published bestsellers.

So, based on that, why are there so many ‘rules’ out there for aspiring writers? All it does is inflict doubt and worry, when there should only be creativity and joy in writing your very own novel.

I have also seen a lot of writers being afraid of copying other stories. ‘It has been done before’. Yes, most things has been done before, but never in YOUR unique voice.

I think it is important to understand that you don’t have to follow rules when writing. In fact, the very best novels display unique writing styles, rules broken, and individuality.

Don’t stop yourself. Don’t worry or stress over your unique style. Focus on your story, your characters, and getting words down on paper.

I am interested in knowing what your views are on this. Feel free to discuss the Healthy Writer’s Members Club on Facebook –

ยฉ Melina Wedin 2019

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