D.B. Tarpley's Amazing Ass Blog - Part 8
Greetings people and peoplettes.
Rules, rules, rules...
Where do all these goddamn rules come from? I have been engaging in many superfluous debates in writers rooms of late regarding the proper rules for writing; the proper rules for editing; the proper rules for publishing; the proper rules for marketing; and the proper rules for semicolons;;;
Fuck all these rules!
I am about to tell you everything you ever need to know about writing in one sentence.
Are you ready? Here goes:
When you write you are God and God is infallible.
And that pretty much sums it up. Everyone writes differently and if what you write is effective in that it communicates something to you and or entertains you, as your one and only audience, then you have officially “written” something.
Never one to give advice which could be defined as “absolute”, unlike those damned vodka people, I will tell you the loose structure I follow in my professional process. You can take it or leave it – I really don’t give a flying fuck.
(It seems too dangerous a proposition with all these sharp points lying around.)
So there you are, a writer, wondering whether or not you should read The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. You might as well be wearing a suit of armor and asking whether or not you should read The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Of course you should.
In the beginning of any focused and/or disciplined endeavor, there is a period where one “finds oneself” as it relates to whatever you are attempting.
This is when you read the books, look at the rules, and learn the grammar. Then, as you begin to find your voice, you can pick and choose which elements you want to retain and which simply aren’t valid in that which you are attempting to communicate.
Here are my own personal basic rules of writing:
Sex...by which I mean story
Everything you do and every element you use should serve to tell the story. Anything else is extemporaneous and gratuitous and redundant and every other relevant synonym.
You should keep a consistency of voice except where it serves the purpose of the story to do otherwise.
You should keep a consistency of tense except where it serves the purpose of the story to do otherwise.
You should, in all things, be fluid except where it serves the purpose of the story to do otherwise.
If breaking the rules, any rule, will help you better communicate that which you are trying to say, then by all means go for it. It is your world, it is your universe, it is your message to get across or bungle as you see fit.
This does not mean you have carte blanche to be sloppy.
By all means, use spell check, use grammar sweep, use your thesaurus, exhaustively rewrite every sentence.
But in the end, if you like what you see, if it reads smoother than the “correct” way, then keep it.
Make up words, break the fourth wall...hell, break the fourth dimension. You do whatever you need to do to communicate whatever it is that is in your heart.
That is what writing is.
Not a bunch of pussy ass rules.
Until next time keep reading, and have an amazing ass day!
D.B. Tarpley's Lick the Razor is available on this website as a downloadable eBook or from other sites such as Amazon, iTunes, etc.