When To Break The Rules

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rob-lost
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When To Break The Rules

Postby rob-lost » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:06 pm

So writing comes with a lot of rules, doesn't it?

So does trying to get said writing published.

And then there's this: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2017/05/288-ftw.html

A query that breaks just about every rule in the book. Result?

==The hell with the critique, send the manuscript toot sweet. (ok, I know it's tout suite) This query breaks almost every rule in the book. It also works. Why? Well for starters, the voice. It's vibrant. It's fun. It's enticing.==

Rules CAN be broken. Just make sure that you do it to good end. Hell, even *I* wanted to demand a copy.
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wdarcy
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Re: When To Break The Rules

Postby wdarcy » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:14 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting Janet Reid (QueryShark) at ThrillerFest this July. She vetted one of my query letters and made a lot of helpful comments that will be useful when I write the query for my current novel.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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ostarella
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Re: When To Break The Rules

Postby ostarella » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:26 pm

I've always been of the opinion that there's nothing wrong with breaking rules IF you know you're breaking it AND it's because yit works better that way. But then I'm also of the opinion that other than SpAG and basic submission requirements, there are no real rules in writing, just a wide variety of advice.

jackitaylor
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Re: When To Break The Rules

Postby jackitaylor » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:00 am

this was on my mind yesterday. I started reading "gone girl" yesterday, for the first time (I havn't been getting out much, recent years) I was pretty surprised, when I started reading it, that it was such an acclaimed best seller. Nothing all that interesting on the first page. I could barely make myself continue reading. It was only the blurb let me know that something interesting was going to happen. I suffered through some 20 pages before the first hint that things had gotten interesting. How did that become a best seller. I thought it read more like literary fiction. I only picked it up because it was hailed as such a great thriller/suspense, i thought the beginning was pretty slow and boring, more than 20 pages of it. so this topic (breaking the rules vs bad writing) was on my mind, and i was thinkng of posting about it, but i figured it had been discussed before . . .

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ostarella
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Re: When To Break The Rules

Postby ostarella » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:53 am

[quote="jackitaylor"]this was on my mind yesterday. I started reading "gone girl" yesterday, for the first time (I havn't been getting out much, recent years) I was pretty surprised, when I started reading it, that it was such an acclaimed best seller. Nothing all that interesting on the first page. I could barely make myself continue reading. It was only the blurb let me know that something interesting was going to happen. I suffered through some 20 pages before the first hint that things had gotten interesting. How did that become a best seller. I thought it read more like literary fiction. I only picked it up because it was hailed as such a great thriller/suspense, i thought the beginning was pretty slow and boring, more than 20 pages of it. so this topic (breaking the rules vs bad writing) was on my mind, and i was thinkng of posting about it, but i figured it had been discussed before . . .[/quote]

Well, one has to bear in mind that best-sellers do, indeed, sell a lot of books - but that doesn't mean they are universally loved. For one thing, there was a company called ResultSource, which, for a hefty fee, would bulk purchase books so they "qualified" for best-seller status. That company has since disappeared, but no doubt there are other firms at least attempting to do the same thing. "Honest" best-sellers also made it there because they appealed to enough people in a particular demographic - so again, not universally loved but loved by enough people to garner the honor. And finally, personal tastes differ, pure and simple. There are a lot of books on best-seller lists I have no interest in whatsoever - and other books that I cannot understand why they never made it.

jackitaylor
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Re: When To Break The Rules

Postby jackitaylor » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:06 am

I get that, there are as many personal preferences in reading as there are people, I guess. As I've heard, or read LOL, story trumps everything else. Tell a good story and tell it well.


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