Ah, to be ignorant again

Ever wonder what you’d be writing if you didn’t know all the ‘rules’, or if your voice would have emerged faster? I do.

Last night, I wasn’t in the mood to write. I didn’t feel creative in the least. (Small wonder – it was already midnight.) So I decided to brainstorm new ideas, possible novellas and see if old ideas could be modified into Desires. I opened one file with a smirk, because it was the very first idea for a book I ever had. Probably sucks, right? Imagine my surprise – me of the ‘can’t seem to plot past two chapters ahead’ syndrome – when I found a detailed outline for a book. Detailed, people. Almost a full synopsis.

Granted, it has problems that need to be worked out. But there was real conflict, and the possibility for real character growth. I’d let my imagination soar and created in my head something like a movie. Scene after scene of goals and motivations and conflict. Scene after scene of plotting and moving the story forward. At that point, I’d probably read a couple small books on writing and a few thousand romances.

In my naivete, was I more creative than I am knowing all the ‘rules’ of writing, the latest trend in the market and what agents and editors are looking for? Was I more creative without the pressure of trying to find that ellusive ‘hook’ and ‘twist’ to make someone sit up and take notice?

Do you feel stifled by all the information and rules and STUFF that is absorbed into our brains on a daily basis? Or do you ignore it all and live in your imagination?

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About Annie Rayburn/Carol Burnside

As an author of sizzling romance, Annie takes contemporary settings. and incorporates twists with sci-fi and paranormal elements.
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8 Responses to Ah, to be ignorant again

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Test reply by Carol

  2. >Hi Carol I have a few more people to tag in a new little meme that going around so since I see that you haven’t been tagged yet, tag your it :-). Just go to my blog and answer the questions there & then go off & tag 5 more people. Have fun :-).

  3. >Oh & it depends on the rules. There are some rules I stick too like the head hopping & such but when I guess I’m a rule breaker when it comes to my settings. I don’t like being told where & when my stories can take place.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >Hi, Carol (hey,I think I figured it out!) I think I’ve read so many of my favorite category lines by now I just ‘get’ a lot of it without realizing they are rules. Just ‘this is how its done’ and I do some of it without thinking, but with, hopefully, my own voice and twist. And some of it I blatently ignore which might explain my yet-to-be-published status.KatieKatiecrawford.com

  5. Steph T. says:

    >It’s such a fine balance with the rules. I do feel I was more creative and had more fun writing when I didn’t know them. My writing *is* better now than when I started, but I don’t know if that’s because of the rules or not. I know the rules have ruined reading for me, since I approach most books I read with a critique mindset – So. Not. Good.

  6. Carol B. says:

    >Marguerite, I have no idea what a meme is, but I did it anyway. I don’t like head hopping. Changing POV? If it’s smooth, I don’t mind it occasionally.Katie, I think we can’t help but absorb some of it and it becomes second nature. Steph, my writing is definitely better for having learned some of the rules, but I also think it hampers my creativity to some degree. Got to get past that. I agree on the reading thing. Some authors I used to read frequently, I just can’t get through their books anymore, because of some of the ‘rules’ I’ve learned that they break too frequently.

  7. >Interesting topic.I think you have to find a balance. I do read some craft books (Dixon’s GMC, Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel…and I have Hero’s Journey sitting in the office waiting to be read as well), but not every “rule” is right for every book or for every author. I think you need to pick and choose what works for you.Having said that, my writing, too, is better than when I started. But I do get bogged down in the “I should plot more” mentality (*says she kicking and screaming the whole time*), and the POV controversies out there. And without even realizing it, I’m shifting toward one POV per scene (sometimes two depending on the scene itself), so maybe some of the “rules” are affecting me. (That or you and Linda are just rubbing off on me. Hit your head against a wall enough times and something WILL eventually get through. LOL) But do I follow all the rules? No way. I purposely skip over those “rule” posts on loops and try to ignore all that “advice” swirling around out there because it becomes stifling. I know what I like to read and I know what I like to write, and I don’t want to sacrifice my integrity just to get published. If it doesn’t happen the way I’m doing it, I’ll still keep doing it my way because it works for me.(How’s that for ptthththt…in your face? LOL)But Steph is right…my reading has definitely been affected by knowing all the rules (although I still love Nora and don’t have a problem with all that head hopping. LOL)

  8. Dorothy says:

    >Definitely we are influenced by all the rules and regulations that we have let sink in our brains since we started writing. Of course, I like to think that we grew from our older works. I was blogging and came across your blog…hope you don’t mind!

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