Monday, May 28, 2012

Others have said: There are Rules


Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

William Safire, Great Rules of Writing

And yet, I'm breaking the rules now. And I do it often. VERY. Often. It just works for me, because conciously breaking certain rules change the feel of what has been written.

I am, however, very finicky about what I perceive to be errors. People breaking rules per accident. It just stands out more and degrades the quality.

So... what's your favorite writing rule to break on purpose?  


  1. I'm such a rebel. I break rules all the time, and most of them are intentional. :D

  2. Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules!
    The no italics rule. (More of a guideline than a rule.) I use it for my characters' mental communication.

  3. My motto when it comes to rules is "The more rules you have, the more rules people have to break". With that in mind I usually prioritize 2-3 of them and leave it at that.

    When it comes to rules in writing I try to stay within the guidelines but I really don't pay much attention to them.

  4. I LOVE those rules!!!

    For every rule, there's a perfect place to break it. The trick is in recognizing that place.

  5. Me? I like to put punctuation outside quotation marks like "this", instead of inside, like "this." I think they do this in Britain, but not sure.

  6. I always break all the rules.

    Em-Musing - no we don't put punctuation outside quotes. I read this somewhere else recently. But we don't.

  7. I read this a couple of times and I finally got the "jokes", ha! Clever.

    "And don't start sentences with a conjunction."

    I think we'll all get over it when I do it all the time :P

    Also, this guy must be from before the "there is nothing original anymore" times. Cliches and Tropes are our friends, it's all in how we use them and in what quantities.

  8. Just dropping in to let you know that I selected you for a Versatile Blogger Award! Stop by to claim!

  9. The "and" rule. I break that all the time. And I use a lot of semicolons; they're just so useful. ;)

  10. Ending with a preposition. Rereading and editing.

  11. I try to be as grammatically correct in the bulk of my stories so that the kids I write for will see how to do it right. Conversations are a different story. If I didn't break the rules there, the conversations would sound pretty stilted.

    - Susan from mywithershins

    (It didn't work with my wordpress ID, so I'll try with my Blogspot one)

  12. I like to start sentences with conjunctions. And I do it all the time.

  13. I don't think there may be rules for blogging.

  14. I totally do the "start sentences with conjunctions" thing. Also use fragments, to emphasize or build a mood. Tsk. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic


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