Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Open forum...

Alright fellow chickie-poo's...let's vent today. What are some of the common rules of writing you disagree with but know you have to follow in order to get published? What rules or guidelines really bug you, or make your story harder to write, etc.

Some examples of rules in fiction writing:

1. Show don't tell.
2. No head-hopping (stay in one character's point of view per scene)
3. Staying true to your character in regards to motivation, actions, etc.
4. Not overusing adverbs (ly words) when a stronger verb would do.
5. Formula-ish writing for certain Houses (or atleast what is perceived to be)
6. Not being able to use certain words or content when targeting certain Houses

Which bothers you the most? Why?

Let's talk about it and maybe the other Chicks and I can shed some light on why the industry suggests you follow that particular rule, what the pros and cons are, and such.

Okay, GO! :)


  1. I don't necessarily disagree with #4, but it is a challenge for me to find other words to use. Usually I can think of another way to word it after a little bit of thought, and it isn't really *that* hard. Still, it's easier to fall back on the -ly words when I don't want to think of something else. :P In your opinion, are all -ly words unacceptable, or should we just use them in moderation?

    I wasn't completely aware of #6. Do certain Houses really not like specific words? I can see Christian houses not accepting manuscripts with swear words in them, but other than that I'm not sure what words they wouldn't want.

    Thanks for opening this up! I'm sure it'll be really helpful! :)

  2. Moderation, Sky! Sometimes you need adverbs. But several on a page or even in a chapter start to stand out and make your writing
    appear weak.

    An example would be:
    He walked slowly across the room.

    That paints your picture and isn't a bad sentence. You definitely get the gist of what is happening. But wouldn't it be better, tighter, to say:

    He ambled across the room.

    See how that's better writing?
    Same with "he ran quickly" - that turns into "he sprinted" or "he ran slowly" turns into "he jogged" etc. Adverbs in themselves aren't bad - there is just USUALLY (not always) a BETTER way to say it :)

    As for Houses and preferences - some allow more "edgy" content than others when it comes to sexual chemisty, temptations, etc. Even things like dancing, playing poker or a game of cards, drinking wine, etc. It varies across the board because some Houses have stricter policies.

    Then there are some Houses that have limits and boundaries as to your spiritual content. Some let you get preachier than others. Some forbid certain words or labels that promote or degrade certain demoninations, etc. They don't want to offend their readers so they ere on side of caution. That's what that means.