Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Break a Rule

The ubiquitous they like to comment on the way things should be done. These armchair humans try to tell the world how to run itself according to the they philosophy. For example, they say, "never run with scissors." I say what if you have to cut someone's hair that got stuck in the ceiling fan and that person is getting really dizzy and might hurl at any moment? I say run with the dang scissors. They say, "don't chew with your mouth open." I say, how's anybody going to see your purple tongue after you eat a grape jolly rancher if you don't? They say, "never pet a burning dog." Okay, well, maybe I can go with that one. Don't start petting, grab the garden hose first. The point is, there are exceptions to every rule. Come to think of it, I think they say that one, too.

They also have a lot to say about writing. "Don't let your characters think too much." "Make sure every word advances the plot in some way." "Never begin your story with characters waking up in the morning." "Never make the romantic male lead a pimply red head." The thing about all the they philosophy is that as a general rule, they are right. A lot of the they statements about writing are good things to know. But some rules were meant to be broken. There they go again.

I say let your characters think for a change. It's not often that people do that particular activity, so it might be refreshing. Let some of your words be there just because they are beautiful, whether they do anything or not. Wake your characters up with a tsunami wave in the middle of the night on page three and see what happens. Let that red head get the girl. She'll buy him Clearasil anyway, and everyone will live happily ever after.

I say, go ahead, break a rule.

1 comment:

haricot vert said...

Dang. that is just so freakin' encouragin'!
I <3 you for that. :)