So if you've read my last post Are You A Writing Lemming, you’ll know that I’m kicking writing rules. I’ve been off rules for a couple days now, and I have to say I’m Jonesin’ for some limitations. I need a fix of red pen scratches littering my page. Quitting cold turkey, letting my writing hair down to write whatever I want, with whatever punctuation I want, ain’t so easy. Look. *holds out shaking hand*
My w.i.p. has seen better days too. This morning I found a wandering adverb mingling with a dangling participle. I like a dangling participle as much as the next gal does, but there’s a time and a place, if ya know what I mean.
My sponsor doesn’t seem to help much either. She’s encouraging me to overload my script with lively tags.
“Throw in a ‘hissed.’ That’ll spruce it up.”
“A hissed?” My lip quivered with memories of past critiques gone wrong. Flashes of non-hissing dialogue barreled at me, one after the next, whizzing by my ear. I shook them off and tried to refocus. Must refocus back to freedom and no rules. Rules are bad. Rules dampen our creativity, right? Rules . . .
Maybe just one rule wouldn’t hurt.
One rule. No one will know. I’ll slip in my one rule and then go back on the program—I promise. I’ll still have some freedom. But which one should I choose? I have so many favorites.
There’s the opening line with weather talk in it. I don’t like that. Or the dialogue tags that aren’t really tags. I hate those. You know, the “I love you,” she laughed. Or what about manufactured drama using ellipses. Yep, I hate that too. (“I walked into the bar with one thing on my mind . . . to murder Professor Plum.”)
So many choices. Passive voice, show vs. tell, P.O.V. consistency, tensing, lackluster verbs, yada yada yada. My head is spinning with possibilities.
If you were me what would you chose? What one rule would you cling to like a raggedy ol’ teddy bear?