Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The list below outlines nine generally recognized rules for good writing. Opinions may differ, but these are what I look for at Five Star Friday, my curated weekly roundup of better blog entries, and if you write with the intent of having other people read your work, these are good points to brush up on:
I ran this list by the Palinode this afternoon, and he warned me that it sounds like I'm telling people how to write. I replied, "I am!"
If you feel that the above rules don't matter, to quote the Palinode quoting some other guy, "your subjective opinion is not objectively correct."
There is, of course, leeway with each of these rules, because nothing is absolute. I will concede that some authors are masterful enough (see: ee cummings) that they can play with language successfully in ways others cannot, but 99.99% of the time, our layman attempts at bending the rules amount to little more than clumsy screwing around. This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, and it can be a very good thing when it stretches our understanding of the tool we work with, but if you're writing something that you would like an audience beyond yourself to understand and pass on to others, it's usually better to err on the side of coherency.
Is there anything you would add to this list? What would you change?