When I went to journalism school at the University of Colorado, Boulder, we were taught to report the facts – the who, what, when, where and how. And, to get that information into the first paragraph (the “lead”). So, when writing fiction, it’s nice to have more leeway in including emotion and description into my imaginary stories. Fewer rules result in more creativity!
However, there are a few rules that still drive me to drink (or at least to ponder a glass of wine).
One of the rules that I’d wish I’d never heard of was to never begin a sentence with “And, …” In marketing and creative writing, it seems so conversational to begin a sentence or two with the word “And”.
Also, I’m sorry I ever heard of “not ending a sentence with a preposition”. As soon as I am reminded of that, I can’t NOT end my sentences with prepositions. The power of suggestion is amazing!
Now that you’ve gotten me started, I recently read a book that said that the average reader prefers to read at a 5th-grade level. It’s not that people are incapable of reading at a higher level. It’s that even if people have doctorate-level or multiple degrees, they are most comfortable digesting information and reading at the lower level. Gone are the days when I should write with weighty words that I learned from my latest Words with Friends app.
What writing rules do you dare to ignore? Ah, such freedom we have!