Three Writers Who Broke the Rules

Comments: 2

  • A useful bit of writing, but you lost me at the old “Before you can break the rules…” I think that’s the first rule every writer should break. In fact, it’s the opposite of how we learn language in the first break. Toddlers don’t learn and then break them; they break the rules constantly, get them wrong, overgeneralize, twist the language all around, and *through that process* learn what the rules are. How do they manage this? First, they aren’t afraid to experiment and fail and fail and fail. Second, they are constantly immersed in language: they listen all the time to everything. Third, they make constant use of feedback; when they don’t get the response they want, they keep trying, tirelessly tuning their ears. I think writers get better by reading insatiably, writing voraciously, and being ruthlessly honest with themselves.

  • this was such a great post! and I actually liked the part about “Before you can break the rules of grammar on purpose, you need to learn them..” because I think in order to chop things up and to effectively play with and work with words – it springs off of a solid foundation – but I also think there can be great poets and writers who have never learned proper grammar – because it is also an art. :)

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