Rules: Is this OK?

I could fill this post with an enormous amount of rules that mostly work for any novel you want to write, but that isn’t the point here.

Any writer, especially the ones who are just beginning, ask themselves now and then: Should I do this? Is that allowed? Can I write this scene like this? This is amazingly good and will help you a lot in order to build your story and give your work some quality, but let’s talk about writing rules in general: they are guidelines, not rules!


You can, if it works

No matter how peculiar your ideas might seem, if they work for your story, then you can use them. This is the only actual rule.

Do you want to tell your story from the flea point of view? You can, as long as it makes sense in the context. Now, you are probably thinking: OK, so how can I know if it works? The answer is easy: try it. Experiment, write different versions of a scene, for example, to determine who should be telling the story, if the narrator is sarcastic, funny or serious, if the narrator gives its opinions or merely describes what is taking place. You decide.

Flashbacks

One of the major problems a writer faces is how to tell background story and flashbacks are a commonly known way of doing it, however, most people would say “no” to it. So, are they allowed?

The reason flashbacks seem to be so hated is because you’ll need to stop telling the main story, to introduce the ancient story and most of the time, it’s not worth it. Again, these are guidelines, which work most of the time, but your story might very well be the exception and that is OK!

If it is, in your particular case, so important to describe something that happened before, do it! And that goes for any other guidelines too. If your story works best by breaking a rule, then please do it!

Experiment! Have fun! Try new things! Maybe you’re a visionary making something new and amazing, or maybe you’ll fail and need to start all over again. It doesn’t matter. There are so many options out there to be explored! Just enjoy yourself and never stop writing!

Fantasy Worlds: how to make them work?

Writing about some fantasy world can be a lot of fun, as is reading about them. I’m sure you’ve already read many a book containing descriptions of worlds that don’t exist at all, yet still managed to feel so amazingly real! You almost wanted to live in them.

However, when you’re creating a whole new world, you might face some challenges and sometimes end up feeling that it’s not as “real” as others you might have read about. Don’t know why? Well, the rule is simple: make up the underlying reality inside your mind, before putting it into words.

 

Imagination is the key

Imagination is like a muscle you can, and should, train and you must use it as much as you can whilst creating your stories. It’s the perfect tool!

Sometimes, though, building something out of nothing might be difficult, so you need a starting point, such as places and people you know, a crazy dream you had or even a strange idea on your mind. Pick it and work on it. Always remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect on the first try.

What you need to do is to make it real in your mind and then, you’ll more easily put it into words, in order to showcase your world to your readers. Make them see what’s in your mind as if they were watching a movie.

 

It has to have some rules

No one finds a random place, where everything is random, believable, so coherence is absolutely required. For example, if in your world people can read someone else’s thoughts, it can’t be always good or always bad, right? And if it’s something normal, or usual, there, they will probably deal with it much more easily than we would in our real world, right? No matter how crazy it might sound, it has to make sense inside the world you have created.

Another important question is the background. Unless you’re creating a new world, that had just appeared (and, like that, it would have its own consequences for the story), your world has a history. You don’t need to tell everything, but it has to be in your mind, because the past always has consequences in the present behavior, for example.

Lastly, if you’re still not sure of what you’re writing, there are some question you can ask yourself which might help:

How would it be if…?

How would I feel if…?

How would most people react to…?

In the end, I’m sure you’ll have a very interesting world to read into, talk about and fall in love with.