6 Writers Who Broke the Rules and Got Away with It
Have you ever read a book and noticed the author has broken what we writers often hear of as “the rules”? My initial reaction is usually indignation: “Why can she get away with that, and I can’t??” The more I study the craft of writing, the more rules I hear about, and most of these are guidelines based on making a book reader-friendly. As much as I believe it’s good practice to avoid the common pitfalls of beginning writers, there are always exceptions to every rule. Here are six commonly heard rules for writers, and six authors who’ve gotten away with breaking them. Rule: Don’t write in First Person, Present Tense Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife: Niffenegger’s popular title is told by dual narrators from the first person point of view, in the present tense. Rule: Keep your novel under 100,000 words Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall: Literary agents keep telling us it’s nearly impossible to sell an overly long book, these days. Rule: Limit the use of adverbs.