I'm a natural-born venter, so that's exactly why I loved Betsy's "open forum" post yesterday. I'm guessing at one point or another in my writing career, I've probably complained about all those things.
But like Betsy so wisely observed (there I go with the adverbs), there's a reason why some of these rules exist. It makes for a better final product, and to be honest, it keeps us from getting lazy.
So many writers (myself included) have our pet turns of phrase that we often turn to. And challenging ourselves to tighten things up (including saying goodbye to those aforementioned words often ending in "ly") is a great exercise.
With my own novels, however, there was an instance where I believe breaking the rules made a considerable difference, particularly in setting my story apart. I (gasp) switched tenses between first person and third person.
My protagonist, the illustrious Sydney Alexander, had such a unique voice that I wanted her to speak to the audience in first person. But my secondary characters were vital to the overall story, too, so I often switched to third person, so we had the benefit of varying perspectives. After all, I didn't want readers to experience only one side of the story. If Sydney's sister Samantha just had a hot date, I liked that we got to hear what her guy thought about everything, too.
Now I knew I was breaking the rules, so I wasn't surprised that a few readers and critics found my approach a tad unconventional. But hey, when you're a writer, a thick skin is essential anyway, so what better way to develop one, right?
In fact, I remember my editor even promising it would happen, but what was wonderful is that she had my back anyway. Taking risks is an essential part of life, and sometimes essential to your story, too. So if you can't shake the feeling that it's the right thing to do, don't be afraid to do so. After all, we've all got instincts for a reason, and yours just might be the difference between a good story and one that shines brighter.