Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rules- schmules

As some readers of this blog may have realised, in my spare time, when I’m not fighting off grubby handprints from the boy or working towards a nasty deadline in La Office, I’m a writer.
Now I say I’m a writer because I write. I have written almost three books - and countless columns and a jillion articles on everything ranging from depression to the monthly Diabetes Association meetings.
I’m not really qualified to be a writer. I am, of course, qualified to be a journalist and I follow certain journalistic rules - otherwise I imagine I would get the boot.
But when it comes to writing I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of a gal.
I was actually shocked when I joined Write Words to discover that there were all kinds of rules for writing fiction. I’m ashamed to admit my eyes glaze over when I hear people wax lyrical about narratives, POVs and “showing not telling”.
I have this notion you see that writing should be about doing what you enjoy. Most of us won’t make a decent living out of it. We won’t be able to quit our jobs or swan about the town in a pashmina declaring we are artistes.
Most of us, dare I say it, won’t even get published so for most of us writing is a hobby - albeit one we are passionate about.
I just think if something is a hobby you should enjoy it. You should make up your own rules - enjoy the process, live through your characters - EXPRESS YOURSELF! (Now I know I’m getting all Madonna, but that is how I feel).
We could all write by numbers. We can all learn the mechanisms of writing and the technicalities of what makes a good story, but without the passion and the uniqueness, it’s all for nothing.
Rules, schmules.
I would put it more eloquently than that, but if you want to read the literary argument, then visit Emma Darwin’s Blog, or The Mock Duck. Mine is just how I feel - which is basically how I write, rules or no.

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