You Can’t Break the Rules Unless You Know the Rules

So, that seems self-evident enough, right? Yet, time after time, I am lectured by non-writing professionals about the rules of writing and how they simply cannot be broken. Ever. Period.

Really? Well here’s a newsflash: times have changed, and with them, the traditional rules that used to dictate the way we wrote in grammar school have changed as well. In other words, if you’re not a professional writer, you are probably still adhering to the same tired rules that your 5th grade grammar school teacher taught you, and that professional writers long outgrew for a much more sophisticated writing style.

Case in point: I am still corrected on the use of beginning a sentence with the word “and.” Old school. Doesn’t apply any more. In these modern writing times, as evidenced in nearly every modern book in print today, you will find sentences that start with the word “and.” It works. It makes sense. And, it’s dramatic.

Like how I worked that in? And doesn’t it work? And yes, it is dramatic. And I did it three more times!!!!

So, the point is this: refresh yourself on yesteryear’s writing rules, because once you know what they are, you can break them at will to become a much more sophisticated writer.

Well, you can break a lot of them. You really can’t break all of them. That would just be madness.

Not all writing rules are meant to be broken. But you can’t even begin to break writing rules unless you know what the rules of writing are to begin with. And, if you’re still with me, and I’m hoping that you are, that’s exactly where we are going next…Writing Rules 101. Learn them and break them.


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