To me, there are no hard and fast rules about writing well. It all comes down to the fact on how you break those rules. And how you make it work into the novel.
I have a personal belief that all writing rules are meant to be broken, and they are merely guidelines for us to follow. Most of this guidelines at the beginning would help our work. But one of these days, given that we as writers would always think out of the box, we would eventually break them one way or another.
I’m fine whether you are reading this while working on your first work, or how many manuscripts. Since I’m giving you a few tips on breaking rules well, and making it work cohesively with your story.
So, here are some tips on how you should consider breaking rules.
#1 It must be necessary
If it is necessary, by all means break it. If your feel as though your story could do with that twist, by all means use it to your advantage. But do note that there might be better alternatives, and should it come to seeing which is the alternatives is better, I would suggest you take everything into account first, and consider other alternatives before doing this. Since it isn’t as easy to break rules than following them, as you need to understand the craft very very well.
#2 It must have a good reason
This is above all, everything must come with a logical and good reason, you can break all the rules and no one can tell you not too. But you have to know whether it is the logical way to go, or are you simply doing it for the sake of unpredictability, which can backfire quite badly. Since readers are smarter than that, and they will know whether it was broken because the author simply wanted it to be complex or whether there is a logically good reason behind it.
You must execute it well, how you break the rules has to be executed well in the book. Otherwise, it feels sloppy and cheap rather than anything else. And execution can make or break a book usually, either where the book always have characters saying things at the wrong time. Or where it feels so cheap to have pulled it off or have a happy ever after when it was feeling like a tragedy after it all. That kind of thing.
So, here are my tips on what you should consider before breaking a rule and making it work. If you feel as though there is more to be added, leave a comment below I always greatly welcome comments.