I'm a big-time rule follower. This is an issue for me as a writer. A big-time issue. Attending cons, workshops, writing group meetings, reading how-to craft books, getting sage advice from writerly folks, and taking in all the rules of writing have clogged my creativity.
I've become so rigid in following all the rules, my fiction is in deep doo-doo.
I spend more time making sure my writing is free from:
-too many adjectives
-too much backstory
-beginning w/ dream scenes
-reallys & verys & thats
-weak & whiny MCs
-and gosh forbid, more telling than showing...
That my writing sucks! I'm so busy critiquing while I write, I can't get a darn thing, worth a toot, down on paper.
I've snuffed out my own creative spark!
I recently got a critique back commending me on the ms being free of was / were and passive language. Problem is, the ms lacks luster. In simple terms, it stinks.
What's a writer to do? Learn when and when not to break / bend the rules. Easier said than done for this rule follower.
I like what Rachelle Gardner says, "Rules are just tools."
I made the decision this morning to try and follow Rachelle's advice from now on.
Once, back before I became such a big-time rules of writing follower, I wrote straight from my heart, listened to my creativity. I know I can be that kind of writer again.
What are your thoughts? Are you a rigid writing rule follower? If so, do you let it affect your creativity?