break rules

Writing Rules That Were Made To Be Broken

Those darn English writing rules

I must admit that school was a period of time when I created havoc. I hated math, so I often “ditched” that class to cause trouble such as smoking cigarettes, maybe some pot or even worse, flushing an M-80 down the school toilet blowing the pipes and forcing a school wide evacuation. Wow, I hope that admitting that now, so many years later, doesn’t come back to haunt me. One class that I never skipped was English. I just loved English, and writing rules was a favorite topic.

ed2goSo what were some of those writing rules that we learned in our school days?

Don’t end a sentence with a preposition

I must break that rule from time to time. Greg has no one to play with. (do I get detention?)

Don’t use a passive voice

This is a rule I break a lot. As a matter of fact, I will probably be called on it when I post this in Lancerlife. Greg has broken many rules. (yes, that is passive).

Don’t use double negatives

While I tend to agree with this rule, there are times where it can be broken. Often, when quoting someone who is not well versed in grammar usage. The man don’t know nothing (so he must know everything).

Don’t start sentences with Because, And, But or Hopefully

And why not? Because the English teacher said we can’t, we follow the rules. But, isn’t that stupid? Hopefully, you do not just follow the leader every time, because they may lead you to your demise.

Hopefully, you got the point!

Write long paragraphs

As you can plainly see, I have broke this rule all throughout this post. So why not write long paragraphs?

In these days of online writing and content creation, people need immediate satisfaction. They do not want to read a bunch of words all jumbled together. Breaks are good!

Short paragraphs are the new rule. You will keep readers that way.

No profanity

This is one of those gray areas.

You want to write for your readers, so if saying: that is a bunch of horse shit fits the bill, by all means use it. It probably will keep a reader better than saying: that is a lot of horse feces.

Detach yourself

Sorry Mrs English teacher, but I disagree. Some of the best material I have has put my story right in the midst of it.

Use complete sentences


FreshBooks
Basically, I do agree that teachers should make this a basic principle, but once we are writing professionally, an incomplete sentence from time to time makes perfectly good sense. Understand? (ouch, don’t hit me with that ruler).

Indent your paragraphs

All I can say to that ignorant rule is:

INDENT THIS!

Final Thoughts

Someone once said: rules are made to be broken. I don’t always follow that standard, because jail sucks.

No one is going to put you in jail for breaking writing or grammar rules. Yes, there may be a Grammar Nazi out in internet land who will desire to hang you by your toenails and give you a citric acid enema, but can they find you to do that?

Go for it!

Break a writing rule.

Because you can.

But they said not to.

Well, if you are gonna follow what someone says as the rule, then I say:

Send me $10,000, because I say it’s a rule!

So tell me what writing rules you break. Do you have any more you can’t stand? Just post them in the comments area below.

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2 thoughts on “Writing Rules That Were Made To Be Broken

  1. I loved your way of telling us that rules in writing are often broken. English has never been an easy subject for me. Since I have been trying to learn so much in order to save money for self-publishing, line editing and marketing, When you become a pro, I guess breaking the rules doesn’t hurt as much. I appreciate what you said about passive voice. There are many opinions about active and passive voice; so much so, that much of my writing time is a confusing mess.

    Freelancing, is something that I like, and I would like to know more .

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