Breaking the Rules

The Rules of Writing – Why I can never be a published author and why do we feel the need to place limitations upon creativity. PART TWO…



The Prologue:

Please don’t judge me too harshly, but I had never heard of this Gent before a University class one evening, where these ‘Rules of Writing’ were covered by our lecturer. To appal and alarm you even further, I still hove no idea who he is or what he has written, I remain blissfully ignorant. Perhaps I should be a good little student and familiarise myself with everyone quoted in class, but I’m a little rebel and staying true to my rebellious nature (as well as my blissful ignorance) I can not agree (or understand) these rules laid down before us in class.


It was a dark and stormy night:

I love this! It automatically makes me think of Snoopy, or Frankenstein…. However the weather is a non starting point regarding stories. But how does the day start? If not with throwing open the curtains and seeing what the weather is doing? The weather creates atmosphere, mood, emotions… A misty morning conjures images of Silent Hill, bright sunshine can inspire a romantic picnic and a dark and stormy night can create monsters.



When most people think of Prologues, they relate this to deep classical literature, Shakespeare and the link. Prologues relate to a time and style of writing, which isn’t widely regarded or used today. However, in my mind a prologue, or ‘The Prologue’ I can only ever hear in Frankie Howerd’s  voice, avoid prologues and how would ‘Lurcio’ start his tale? Having said that, even ‘Up Pompeii’ is dated and is a form of comedy which now belongs to another time and style.

Times change, styles come into fashion and slip away again, prologues remain… Should you choose to use them…



She said, he said, the monster under the wall who didn’t even speak a language … said …


… Don’t you just love contradictions?! She exclaimed


I could continue and work my way through all of these rules, indeed there are some I would prefer to go into detail and the examples I have given so far are only my opinions and a little vague with no academic evidence to back up my words, as these are nothing more than observations. I always found, and still find, the ‘rules of writing’ used throughout creative writing classes to be exhausting and suffocating. Writing is an art, we paint scenes with words, we create worlds with nothing more than 26 letters (in regards to the English Alphabet) it is called ‘creative’ writing after all.

I feel lost with all these rules … it’s like juggling with too many balls … How do you write and remember to keep everything in mind to create a perfect story, when your words are trapped by limitations, restricted by plot structure diagrams and basic spelling/grammar.


I can never be published, because I can not take my writing so seriously. I cant even argue this point without going off on a tangent and carrying a measure of guilt for wanting to disagree with professional authors.

However, before this blog quickly becomes TLDR, I would just like to leave this topic with one lingering thought…

… Recently at work I had to print off over sixty different CV’s for business studies, however, I am clearly aware that each and every CV is individual, BUT! Every single CV looked exactly the same, because of the way we are taught to write CV’s they all appeared identical… Is that what we are creating? Clones of ourselves? Clones of our creativity? Clones of our writing? Because that is how we are taught success should look like…


I re-posted this tweet recently and thought to myself, if I ever send in any work…

… I’ll print the fucker on Pink Paper!!


If you think finishing a script is a great achievement, here is a pile of 2000 unread scripts at a friends office!



Anne Harrison 24.05.16


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