Welcome Wednesday – Breaking Rules

Welcome Wednesday – Breaking Rules

Welcome to this week’s edition of Welcome Wednesdays!

This morning, let’s talk about writing rules, and specifically about the times that authors break them.  In the comments, tell us about a rule, either a grammatical rule, or an unwritten rule or storytelling, or a rule of conventional publishing wisdom, that you’ve broken in your books, and tell us why you did it (include a short except to illustrate, if you want, too).  Be sure to leave a link to your book so we can see for ourselves!

I’ll begin…


In the Dream Series, I break several rules on the very first page of the first book, DREAM STUDENT.  I don’t “open with a bang” – the story takes a while to get going.  I open with a dream, which I’ve read is an absolutle no-no.  The first couple of pages are all in italics, which apparently is also something that isn’t (or isn’t supposed to be) done.

Why?  I didn’t know all those rules when I started the book.  But, more importantly, that’s the story that I wanted to tell, and how I personally needed to tell it.  I thought abot other ways to open the book, but none of them felt right.  And I thought and still think the italics are a good way to set off the dreams (and, in later books, Sara’s flashbacks).  I think that in spite of breaking the rules, the book works pretty well…


And now it’s your turn!

(when you’re done here, please stop by Exquisite Quills, where there are daily memes just like this one and plenty of fantastic authors you can discover!)

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3 Replies to “Welcome Wednesday – Breaking Rules”

  1. Writing Rules! Every writer frets about them and some of us delight in breaking them. I follow Suzanne Brockmann’s lead of writing deep point-of-view WITHOUT the italics. I tend to use a lot of internal thought, so if I italicized everything, some pages would be mostly italics, which, in my stories, I think act as speed bumps.

    In my debut novel, Phantom Traces, my publisher would not allow me to break this rule. However, my second New Gothic ghostly romance, Hearts Unloched, will be coming out in April from Erato Publishing. And the rule shall be broken 🙂

    Sometimes rule-breaking is part of your voice, your way of telling a story. So I say, let the rule-breaking begin!

    Read more about Hearts Unloched at my website, http://www.clairegem.com, and sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when it comes up for pre-order!

  2. Rules are meant to be broken, right?

    My newest series breaks all kinds of rules, but the biggest one is I don’t offer the hero’s point of view in the story. At all. It’s told in first person from the heroine’s point of view. Every word.

    I know you’re thinking I’m crazy. We want to know what’s in the guy’s head! I’m shoving us back to the 80’s when we didn’t get that glimpse. But I had a good reason, at least I think it was…

    The books are about women who aren’t your typical heroines. They’re all overweight and I wanted the readers to feel like they were the heroine. To feel her pain, to understand how difficult it is for some people to be overweight and how indifferent others are, to be her. If you’re not in her head, you might miss something about who she is that makes you cheer for the woman who, in most novels, won’t get the guy. I wanted the overweight woman to get the guy, but I wanted the reader to really want her to get the guy.

    Plus, let’s face it, in real life we have no idea what men are thinking. Why should we always get that glimpse in the fictional world?!?

    If you’re a rule breaker, the Big & Beautiful series is available everywhere. Chubby & Charming is now free and there are four more books available now to follow it up, including the brand new Fat & Fine. You can read about all the books on my website and get free ones when you join my Insider’s Club!

  3. I’ve read cautions against multiple viewpoint characters, unless you give each one his/her own chapter, but it “felt right” to use three viewpoints in each chapter (each POV scene separated by breaks) when writing Mercy’s Prince. This is an epic fantasy, spanning years with many characters, and the number three is symbolic in many ways, especially regarding Mercy’s pacifist oath, which is symbolized by her braid of three strands. In the same way she braids her hair, this story has been woven between the three viewpoints of each book, and I’m continuing the pattern throughout the series.

    I should mention that this pattern begins in chapter 2 after the opening chapter from the prince’s POV. (I really didn’t mean to rhyme; I find I do that all the time!) Mercy’s Prince is coincidentally on sale this week for 99 cents: http://www.amazon.com/Mercys-Prince-Katy-Huth-Jones-ebook/dp/B0115KNDS4

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