Give Yourself Permission to Break These 3 Writing Rules: Guest post by Desiree from Reedsy

Hello everyone!

Today I have at my blog a special guest, Desiree Joy Villena who is a writer with Reedsy, a service for authors. She has written many posts about writing and publishing for Write To Done, The Write Life, Electric Literature, and many more sites in the publishing industry. She has a fantastic range of resources to impart and is helpful enough to share some of that knowledge here.

So here’s a guest post related to writing which many of you will find very, very useful. Over to Desiree and her topic for today that is:

Give Yourself Permission to Break These 3 Writing Rules:

Are you chipping away at a manuscript? Chances are, you’re already looking forward to hitting the period key for the final time and typing out a triumphant, all-caps “THE END”. But whether you’re plotting to take Kindle Direct Publishing by storm or wondering when to start putting out feelers for an agent, it’s important not to get too ahead of yourself. After all, you can’t get published until you’ve got an actual book in hand.

If you’re working on a book, you probably enjoy writing. But getting a manuscript over the finish line can still feel like a stressful, nerve-wracking process. With so many writing rules you’re supposed to follow, it’s hard not to find yourself freezing up on occasion. Can you even type out so much as a sentence without flouting some legendary writer’s oft-repeated advice?

Write for yourself… but keep an eye on the market.

Paint a picture with your words… but don’t make it purple.

Choose strong, precise verbs… unless they’re used in place of “said”.

With so many contradictory rules floating around, you might find yourself overthinking every word you type — making it impossible to finish (let alone publish) your book. Luckily, you don’t have to follow every piece of advice to craft a killer story. In fact, here are three writing rules you should feel free to break.

1. Write from an outline
Some authors swear by outlines. But if you’re not one of them, don’t feel like you have to fake it. If it goes against your natural bend towards spontaneity, you might end up forcing your plot down an unnatural direction, leaving you with stilted prose and cardboard characters.

Also, you might very well start from an outline, only find yourself diverging from it as you go from bare-bones idea to a fleshed-out story. Your characters, after all, will change as you write them. Feel free to explore the tantalizing new paths they’ll inevitably want to drag you down, even if you end up throwing your old outline in the dustbin.

2. Write every day
Everyone has off days, and it can be instructive to work through them. But if you consistently force yourself to write when you’re really, really not feeling it, you’ll likely exhaust yourself without even producing much usable prose. The last thing you want is for writing to feel like a chore. Sure, it’s work, but it should be joyful work.

The next time you find yourself well and truly stuck, give yourself permission to do something else. You don’t even have to step away from your manuscript entirely — after all, finishing a book involves so much more than just the actual writing. If drafting feels like pulling teeth, try spending the day talking yourself through a complicated plot point, or diving into some research for an upcoming scene. And most importantly, don’t make yourself feel guilty about it!
3. Write what you know
This one’s probably the most commonly cited writing rule of all, but that doesn’t mean you should live and die by it. At the very least, you can interpret it elastically.

Take it from Ursula K. Le Guin, the legendary writer of sci-fi and fantasy. Now known for her wildly original tales of spaceflight and wizardry, she once got the usual advice: write what you know. And what did Le Guin have to say about that? “I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.”

So change that rule to, Don’t write what you know — write what you want to know. Or maybe just remind yourself that you know more than you think. Once you give your imagination permission to roam, you’ll be able to write your book in the spirit of joyful discovery.

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A big thank you, Desiree, for this wonderful post which will surely benefit the writers. Most of the author community is riddled with uncertainties and hemmed in by the rules. While rules are important as they anchor the structure of writing, it is also important to know that rules should never interfere with creativity, but rather harness and guide it. Thanks for pointing this out in a lovely post.

Dear writers, have you found any rules related to writing which you feel are better cast off? Or a rule you found annoying, but had to grin and bear it? Do share in the comments! Would love to hear from you.

#Goodreads #review #ATwistofFate #Amazon #kindleunlimited #bestseller

Hi everyone,

Today I received a lovely compliment for my historical fiction, A Twist of Fate.

“I was in for a beautiful surprise,” Says Kavita in her review of A Twist of Fate.

Needless to say it made my day. I lovedwriting this book and when you hare from a reader who totally gets the story and its tone, it is a wonderful experience indeed.

By the way, have you read it yet? If not, try it. It’s available for kindle unlimited subscribers or you can download it from the link below, if you enjoy historical fiction or like to read romance with twists and turns.

Thanks for tuning in.

Ciao!

#review #ATwistofFate #historical #fiction

Today I’m sharing a review from blogger, reviewer and editor Inderpreet for historical fiction A Twist of Fate. This is what she has to say about this romantic suspense story set in ancient India.

A well written, pacy romance thriller.
Historical romance with intrigue and spies.
King, thugs, enemies, con men and a plot twisted with love.
Strong heroine, wise, intelligent and a smart woman. The handsome, charming hero is shrouded in mystery that begs to be unraveled.
A book with romance and mystery and a thrilling twist, romance from the unlikeliest of places.
The setting and characterization is well etched.
I want to read the other books in this series.

Thank you, Inderpreet.

Have you picked up A Twist of Fate?

Check out a sample here at the look inside page at Amazon.

Amazon India:

Amazon US:

Thanks for reading 🙂

Ciao!

#excerpt #ASecretTie #fightsceneFriday

Hi everyone,

Today is Friday and so the time for sharing Fight Scene Friday. This space is reserved for authors who’d like to share an excerpt which is a verbal fight scene between their characters, preferably in romance. Send me your excerpts and I’ll post them here on my blog.

So here’s my contribution.

Today’s excerpt is from A Secret Tie, the historical romance between a king and a spy set in ancient India. Enjoy the excerpt from this unique story with the backdrop of a unique historical setting. In this, King Hitaksha set a caveat for Yashita.

*

‘I know you have done your job well,’ he said. ‘You have excellent attributes required for furtive work. Which is exactly why it is difficult to lose you.’
‘Maharaj, soon someone will replace me.’
No, no one could. The thought crossed his mind and he said immediately and indifferently, ‘Oh, but of course.’
‘Then allow me this.’ She folded her hands.
She stood with the light behind her, a perfect silhouette of a woman in a pose that was both demure and tantalizing. The small graceful head, the slender neck, full curves, the dip of waist and the flare of her hips – everything that made him want her. Want was an understatement. The thin muslin did not hide the curving line of her thighs or the slim undulation of calf. If he were an artist, he would trap her like this. Hold her in a cage, for surely she was a jewel not to be lost.
A jewel with too much fire. How could he escape getting burnt if he cherished the idea of having such a one in his keeping?
‘One last mission,’ he said slowly, ‘Then, you are free to go. You must make this one successful with all your effort. I can set you free on that condition only.’
‘A last mission,’ she echoed. ‘That will delay my marriage. I wish to get married now and God knows how long a mission will take.’
‘Not long,’ he said in his clipped way. ‘In fact, it cannot take long because we have a time limit. It must be accomplished before the adhipasuya poojan being held by Samrat Jayatshatru.’
‘That is going to be four months away. Four months, Maharaj!’
‘It is the one and only option I can offer you.’

*

Check out the blurb of this book here:

#Giveaway #ASecretTie #winner

Hi folks,

Today I am announcing the winner of the giveaway for A Secret Tie. And the winner is…drum roll…Arti Metro Reader. Congrats, Arti! I’ll send you the prize very soon!

Stay tuned for more giveaways and prizes. Subscribe to my newsletter and win a free ebook. Link given at the above bar.

Also coming up is a second edition of Against the Tide on popular demand. Many readers and author friends have said it’s too short and not *ahem* steamy enough. So, to close the gap between expectation and reality, a little anyway, I’m adding the beginning and touching up the rest of the book. Hope if you’ve enjoyed the first edition, you’ll love the second one. It will also feature the hero of the second book, A Twist of Fate.

That’s all for today. Keep reading and leaving reviews, so I know what you like.

Ciao.

#WIP update #amwriting

Hi folks,

Today I’m taking stock of what I have done in recent days and what I’m going for next.

Recently I completed two books for my historical series, A Twist of Fate and A Secret Tie. This meant a lot to me because this was solid writing progress. I started both the books last year and then got stuck and moved to something else. When I came back, a fresh look revealed the stumbling blocks and I was able to resuming writing with speed. In fact, A Secret Tie required only one and a half month to complete. It was done upto 14k last year and I finally finished at 78k. So, those were some productive days writing wise. But then Hitaksha and Yashita were intriguing characters with lots of conflict to write about and their adventures in the ancient kingdoms were quite fun.

Now for what’s next.

At the moment, I’m expanding the first book in the series. Since the second and third are novel length, and now I have a fuller grasp of the characters, I want to write in more detail of the first one, Against the Tide. It seems odd to go back to the same series, but after writing the last two books, I felt I hadn’t done justice to Jayat and Lohana, so you might say, I want to give their romance more footage, lol. I might release the newly written book as a second edition. I don’t know if adding about 20k words to the first edition of the book would be all right. Any thoughts? You can share in the comments. I think it could pose problem with the reviews which have been posted already.

So, what’s going on with your projects – writing or otherwise? Do share! I think it will help to keep track how much we get done.

Hope you have a productive week.

Ciao!

#FeistyFemmes #excerpt #ATwistofFate #Mondaymention

Hello folks,

Today is Monday and time to share #FeistyFemmes #Mondaymention excerpts.

To refresh the rules for you, every Monday you can share an excerpt which highlights a sassy retort or action from a female character. You can share as a reader from your current read or as an author from your books. Promote your post and others’ post by searching for above hashtags on Twitter.

As promised, sharing today a woman-centric book extract from one of my books for Monday.

Today’s snippet is from A Twist of Fate. It is a historical romance set in early medieval India.

In this excerpt, Charu has to take part in a pretence with Deva so they can make a getaway. It’s a light hearted passage so enjoy the repartee 🙂

*

‘It’s a pity you are so well built,’ Charu said, stepping close to him. ‘A slimmer man does the role of a hen-pecked husband much better.’
His eyes narrowed. ‘If you mean what I think you mean –’
‘Get ready to shed a bit of your pride,’ she smirked. ‘My aunt’s maid was a tyrant with her husband and I know the way things got in her household.’
‘No.’ He shook his head. ‘I’d rather go for an attack on the kotapala, than be a cowering spouse.’
‘We don’t have much choice. And I have no intention of being caught as your accomplice.’ She put her hands on her sides.
He still shook his head. ‘You don’t need to go with me.’
‘I do. Where else could I go? Look at the brawlers coming up behind us.’
He looked over his shoulder and heard raucous laughter from the heaving bellies of the wrestlers’ group. ‘All right. Take care.’
‘Oh, I would! Take care of you, I mean.’
**

Amazon link to check out the book:

Blurb:

Charulata wants revenge. She seeks to spill the blood of the man who ruined her. She has lost her home, her family and her prestige because of him.

Deva knows he had earned the wrath of this woman. But embittered and devastated, he’s like a wounded lion hunting his enemies, hurting her when he didn’t mean to…

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Share more woman centric excerpts from your books and books you’re reading and use hashtags on Twitter as I’ve stated in the previous #Mondaymention post.

Looking forward to reading your snippets!