Sunday, 7 April 2013

So, what are the rules for writing?

Hello, everyone - I am writing this after spending a wonderful day cruising around the countryside on a warm spring day... yes, I did say SPRING! 

However hard I try, I still cannot get the whole 'local library won't have my book' thought out of my head. I have tried everything, but nothing appears to shift it - I reckon it may be there for a while yet! As I pondered earlier, I was inspired to write a blog post about the 'rules of writing'.

Up until now, I believed I could write in a correct way - but what is correct? I have read extracts from Ulysses and the style here certainly deviates from that taught a school. Quarter-page long sentences were hardly praised when I was still in full-time education and the use of commas, rather than full stops, doesn't fit in with my traditional view of 'Correct English'.

But since having my book refused by the library, my beliefs have changed with regard to the rules of writing. I do not believe there can possibly be solid rules for something as fluid as literature. Jane Eyre is a classic I am ploughing my way through at the moment, but her use of punctuation is completely different to anything I have seen from contemporary authors. Does this make her wrong? I don't think so!

Language evolves in the same way as human beings, altering to match its surroundings. I was criticised for using the word 'quintessential' in my book, as some people do not believe it is suitable for teenagers. While I do agree on one hand, another part of me wonders why young people cannot simply look up the meaning of a new word - surely using unusual vocabulary helps to teach people something? Every book is different and every writer uses language in a different way. I use more commas than some and less than others. I may use a hyphen instead of a semi-colon, or three dots instead of a simple full-stop. But does this make me wrong? Surely writing is there to be understood, just as art is there to be enjoyed. If people can understand a story, does it really matter if there is a comma out of place. We all speak differently and we all interpret in our own unique ways... what may be beautiful to one, may be ugly to another.

I thought I'd share my Crocus with you. I think you will all agree that these are beautiful! Our late spring has allowed them to keep flowering into April...

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