Is it Okay to Break the Rules When Writing Short Stories?

Some writing related rules are really just suggestions.

On the day I decided I was finally going to take a short story writing course, I cautioned myself with the following words:

At least learn all the rules first, before you start breaking them.

I said it because I know myself, and my tendency to sometimes ignore the rules. I’ve never been the type of person who sticks to coloring inside the lines. But if I want to become the best short story writer that I can be, I know I need to have a little more discipline and stop going rogue.

When I made the above agreement with myself, little did I know that I’d be going back on my promise just a few days later. I didn’t mean to, it just happened that way.

I did exactly what I had recently learned not to do. I basically ignored the good writing advice that I paid good money to get. As you keep reading, you’ll see how I did it.

Ignoring Lesson #3

I read Lesson #3 of my short story writing course. l watched and listened to the same information in video format, and I completely understood the point of the lesson.

I even took the exam at the end of the lesson and aced all the answers to the questions. So why did I turn right around and do what I was cautioned not to do?

Can you believe I had the audacity to sidestep one of the main points brought out in the lesson? They talked about the need to limit certain elements in your short story.

New writers were warned against having more than one setting in their story. I now know this is a rule I need to start following with all my future short stories, but I was already working on a short story before I started taking the course.

This particular story of mine has two settings and both are important to the plot. I’m sure that’s what all the rebellious writers say when they go rogue, in fact…

Justiss Goode | Follow @GoodeWriter

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