Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG and the Rules!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

January 4 Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

LOL - a LOT of them!!!

Almost any rule that says "HAVE TO" drives me nuts.
You have to write every day
You have to include description
You have to tell readers the MC's hair colour
You have to plot
You have to follow your gut
You have to ...

I love to learn and I'm always willing to try something new, so I'm willing to try anything.

Over the last few years, I've learned a lot, but I've also spent a lot of time on trying out new 'rules' that don't work for my brain or my life.  On the plus side, I now know a lot of things that DON'T work for me, so it's definitely not wasted time.

How about you? Do the Have Tos drive you crazy as well? Are you an experimenter as well?

48 comments:

  1. New rules that don't work for your brain - that is a great way to describe some of them.
    Happy 2017, Jemi!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year, Jemi!
    I can only say amen to your first sentence, almost any have-to rule drives me nut! You summed it up nicely, Follow your Gut!!!
    Great!
    All the best for 2017.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pat! Educating the gut and then following it = Plan A! :)

      Delete
  3. "Show,Don't Tell" was annoying because I kept getting it in rejection letters at the start of my writing career and no agent ever linked to any helpful info!

    I'm with you on the 'have tos'!

    Happy New Year. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finding info on HOW to do things is so important!!

      Delete
  4. Completely agree with you about those have-to's. It's one thing to offer a suggestion, but to insist it's the only way to do something is just wrong. People have done that to me in the past, and it never fails to be beyond grating...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does!! I think most creative types don't fit into too many 'have-to' niches!

      Delete
  5. Who says we have to? Just break all those stupid rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - once I know why they exist and how to manipulate them, I do exactly that! :)

      Delete
  6. I think it's good to know the rules, but we don't always have to follow them. A good writer knows when to break those rules to best effect.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with you and Marcie on writing rules. And what Diane says too! Glad you're figuring out what works for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Natalie - it's a slow process at times, but lots of fun learning along the way!!

      Delete
  8. Following your gut is actually a really good rule. If you're not sure, follow your gut. I do that all the time with my writing.

    I always say that writing rules aren't law. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a really important one - just have to make sure my gut is educated! :P

      Delete
  9. LOL. Most of them are suggestions, but you should at least LEARN each one and the WHY behind them. Beyond that, there are few actual "rules."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my philosophy - learn and find out the why and the why not, then make the decisions! :)

      Delete
  10. You are so right. And read any successful, famous writer's work and you'll find them breaking all the rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true! But, they're usually judicious about the when and the how and the why! :)

      Delete
  11. To me a 'have to' rule tends to curb your imagination and creativity. Figuring out what works best for you is the way to go. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Mason! Hope 2017 is good to you!! :)

      Delete
  12. There are so many. Rules, guidelines, methods, dos and don'ts. Sometimes it's easier to just write and sort it out later. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a plan right up this pantsers alley! :)

      Delete
  13. There are no 'have to's in those rules. None in my opinion.
    Happy New Year, Jemi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That works for me!!!
      Have a great 2017!

      Delete
  14. I think a lot of a writer's voice depends upon which rules they decide to follow and which they don't. Do whatever feels best for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true! I'm all about the sentence fragments!! :)

      Delete
  15. Boo to have to's. How many books that we love have tossed so many of those little buggers out the window? Writers are artists - tools of the trade are valuable, subjective rules...not so much. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed!! Learning the ropes is one thing - being a crazy rule follower is another! :)

      Delete
  16. I believe writer's have gone beyond the basic rules. Some are essential, but many writer's are thinking outside of the box.
    Good Post.
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yeah, pretty much any rule that includes "always" or "never" goes in the out group.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Rules are made to be broken to my way of thinking!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey Jemi!

    One moment please as I adjust my toque, eh!

    For goodness sake, "IWSG" aka "I Was Seeking Gary!" :)

    I'm a grammar anarchist. All supposed rules about writing are like totally ignored by me.

    Have good 2017, eh!

    Penny's fictional character,

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ignoring them all seems to be working very well for you! :)

      Delete
  20. Hi Jemi!

    Writing rules and made for writers to learn, understand and to know when and where to break them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NRB - I like that attitude!!! Going to adopt it :)

      Delete
  21. I have had rules that I was taught when I was growing up, that I have found out were wrong and have had to learn the "right" rule. That has been frustrating at times, but I love to learn and luckily I tend to learn from my mistakes. :) I can understand not liking the "writers have to..." rules.
    ~Jess
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - I actually like knowing the rules, just like knowing I can break 'em too! :)

      Delete
  22. Great post, Jemi! Yes, learning all the rules and remembering them are so hard :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I guess I'm not a great rule follower. If there are any rules I don't like, I just try something else! And what works for me has changed over the years.

    ReplyDelete