You learn grammar and “rules of writing” so you can break them – John Marsden
I just love this quote so much. It makes me happy. In your face grammar Nazis!
You know, learning about writing and all the rules that go with it during your schooling years turns out not to be followed at all by writers that have become great authors like John Marsden, Erica Hayes and Anson Cameron just to name a few.
I mean of course, when starting out, you go by the books. However when skills are developed over time, it seems writers become immune to such preposterous guidelines and decide to make up their own rules, because well... they can. Then they get praised for it and are great successors.
Listening to each of these authors shut down story writing methods like having to be politically correct, and knowing how your story will end pleased me a lot.
Take the title of John Marsden’s most famous young adult series ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’, already he has hits us with this politically incorrect mockery of a title… and we like it.
It made me think, yes. I have the same issues and this is John Marsden we’re talking about. It’s inspirational to hear him say “most people get better results when they make it up as they go along”… What! Really? But that’s what I do, and still no results…hang on what’s that John? Don’t edit as you go?
Oh, that makes sense.
Here I am wasting time going over my already written beginning, a hundred times when I should be on a writing roll, not giving a rats about all the red jagged lines scattered all over the word document.
You mustn’t edit as you go, says John Marsden, “just write, write the whole story, until you have finished, then go back and fix things later”. Yep. That makes perfect sense!
Then you had Erica Hayes telling us that she doesn’t even know how her stories will end, and it’s true, most of the authors said they don’t realise how their stories will end until half way through.
However, not matter how much you might think it helps, Anson Cameron did warn us that actually no, your writing isn’t as brilliant as you’d thought last night on your fifth glass of wine, and his advice was to “write sober, and write early” fair enough! But then again, don’t all writers drink? Well that’s another story…