Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Rules Of Publishing Are Not Gospel

Due to some unfortunate circumstances involving old URLs that were taken by other people, and spam bloggers, etc, and my own growing frustration, I was forced to completely start over with blogger. Completely new account, new set up, with a proper URL.

So, welcome to the new den, my loves. Gods willing, this will be a good thing rather than a source of great annoyance for me.

We're more than halfway through the first month of the year, and I am no longer sure what kind of year it's going to be. On one hand, I'm horribly behind on my personal goal of reading one book a day, but on the other, I've actually been writing. So, it's kind of a toss up.

I've been trying to get myself caught up on the things I've missed from the publishing world, without letting it influence me too much. I remember when I first started blogging--y'know, five years ago--and I read agent and editor blogs like every post was the Word of God. I still kind of have a wide-eyed enthusiasm when it comes to agents and editors, but I like to think that, for the most part, I've lost the Take Every Word As Gospel mentality that I once had.

Jenn actually made a post recently about Rules and Regs and it really hit a cord with me. There are a lot of things that I know I still wince at in my own writing purely because I've read so many blog posts and tweets from agents and editors that say Don't You Do That Silly. (Don't use dialogue tags, don't use adverbs, etc etc) But, let's be honest, you're going to do those things. I absolutely (adverb!!!11!!) still do those things. It's nothing to panic about.

I know from personal experience that, when you worry too much about the "rules," you freeze up. You obsess about what you're doing wrong and if So And So will reject you based on This Rule or That Rule--Stop. 

Stop that right now. 

The fact of the matter is, it's not that big of a deal. Tell a good story. Tell the story you care about, in a way that will bring others to care about it too. If you're so stressed about not breaking the rules, you won't be doing any writing anyway, so what's the point?

Write first for yourself.

Edit for the readers.

And this isn't just advice for you, dear reader. This is advice for me, too. Because I still freeze up every time I go to put in a dialogue tag. (Said is so boring how can you know what kind of tone they're using goddamnit???)

(I'm okay, I swear.)

This has been a post.



  1. My post that you linked to got deleted in a rather unfortunate Internet mishap. Rewrote it for tomorrow, though; you can update the link if you wish. :)
    And yes, this post is fabulous. Personally I'm still not a fan of fancy dialogue tags, but that's just a personal stylistic thing...and I wish more people viewed it as such. They're not wrong. They're not bad. They're just a personal stylistic choice, as are so many other things that people love to harp on about in their rulebooks.

    1. Thanks for letting me know! C=

      Mostly, I just get bored of "she said" and "he said" -- tags help me imagine the tone with which they say things. (Granted, you should technically be able to tell from context but darn it I don't want to think that hard.)