Rules are Made to be Broken … Sometimes

Today, I came across a blog post over at Hunter’s Writings that contained a very handy infographic on writing rules. Of course, all writers know that the “rules” are made to be broken. The thing to remember, though, is that some rules are more breakable than others, and even the more breakable rules are there for a reason.

The Infographic : The Writer’s Rule Book or Writing Maxims

The things to remember before you break the “rules”:

1) You need to know the rules and why they are there before you break them.

I’m sorry. I know it’s tedious and boring and that we all want to do things in our own way. No one want’s their work to look cookie-cutter or like anyone else’s. We each want our work to be unique. The thing is, my way of showing rather than telling or of using active rather than passive voice will look nothing like your way of doing those things. The rules are there because they have been proven over time to work, but there are as many different ways of following the rules as there are unique author voices in the world.

2) you need to know why you are breaking the rules and what the outcome is likely to be or what effect the rule-breaking is likely to have on your work (or at least what you hope the outcome or effect will be).

It isn’t always possible to know what the outcome or effect is going to be, and I am all for experimentation and trying new things. Just do it with a critical eye. Ask yourself every so often, “Is this working? Why/why not? Can I tweak something to make it work better?” and most importantly, “Is it helping or hurting the telling of my story?” and “Is it distracting?”

Get good beta readers you can trust to tell you when something is or isn’t working. Point out your wanton rule-breaking and ask them what they think of it. There is no shame in admitting that something doesn’t work the way you hoped it would. Sometimes it works better! Sometimes you can tweak it and make it work. And sometimes you have to go back and change things. That’s why it’s called the creative process.

Some people break the rules without those two things, and it works out. Erin Morgenstern did it brilliantly in The Night Circus​, and I recall reading something she said about not knowing that writing in present tense was (at the time) considered “against the rules.” That rule has, of course, changed since then, and writing in the present tense has become fairly common. I would point out, however, that it is not always done well (it is frequently done very badly), and should, therefore, be done carefully. I would place, “Don’t write in the present tense,” in that Level 3 section of the infographic.

So I’ll add a third thing to remember about breaking the rules:

The “rules” can and do change.


For the record, I don’t agree with all of the rules presented in the infographic. I know how to break every single one of them in Level 3. But I also know how, when, and why it is or is not a good idea in my own work or writing process. I flat out disagree with the one that says, “If you want to sell, write to current trends” (if you do that, you’ll always be behind). And of course, it’s impossible to put all the “rules” on one infographic. There are whole books dedicated to the topic.

The trick is to break the rules in the best way possible to enhance your work. Be flexible in both following and breaking the rules. The goal is to always to tell your story as effectively as possible.

via #atozchallenge W is for The Writing Rule Book [Infographic].


In the numbers

I have always been interested in all things mystical. Tarot, numerology, astrology, palmistry… In the hands of a skilled reader and insightful interpreter, they can each offer a fascinating way to look at yourself. I have had several such readings from several different sources. I initially approached the exercise as a skeptic, but I was surprised at how accurate and helpful my readings have been.

Through the magic of Facebook, I have met a lot of really great and interesting people. One of those is Sofiana Rich – a professional name she uses for privacy purposes, but I am blessed to know her personally as well. She offered to give me a demonstration numerology reading (my first!) to share here for anyone who might be as curious or fascinated as I am.

There are several ways to approach a numerology reading. Numbers can be calculated based on a person’s name or birth date. For this demonstration, Sofie chose to read my Life Lesson Number, which is calculated by adding together the numerals in my date of birth then adding those numbers together until you arrive at a single digit number (there are cases where a two-digit number is used, but I’ll leave that to those who know much more that I).

My Life Lesson Number is 7, so here’s what that means straight from Sofie:

Your Life Lesson number is 7. This expresses traits that you are here to incorporate into your being and, therefore, will be tested on them often. At least until you’ve learned the accompanying lessons.

You have strong intuition and insight. When you choose to honor that intuition, your words are full of wisdom, which they are meant to be. You are a person who ought to strive to remain silent unless speaking from Wisdom. You are here to develop your mind, so you need to read, think, and meditate. You must embrace spending time by yourself, preferably in nature. Quiet, natural places will be most helpful in delving into your deepest thoughts, which is where/how you will uncover your destiny.

This is the number of the dreamer and the philosopher. You are likely drawn by the mysterious and mystical. If you believe in, and practice using, your intuition it can be developed into an effective tool in helping other people.

Pythagoras considered 7 the most sacred of all the numbers, and in ancient times children born under this number were trained from childhood to serve as priests or priestesses.

It can be easy for you to see through the outer masks that people wear, straight into the truth of their motives and being. This can make others uncomfortable around you, especially if their motives are suspect.

You like the quiet life, preferring the country to the city. You have a love affair with words, being a person of the mind.

You should develop selflessness and compassion, which will help you to create the world you know could exist. When the world doesn’t match your ideal you may become frustrated and depressed. Developing your mind, your intuition, compassion and selflessness will help you combat the depression as well as help you manifest a better world.

Overall, you have a sound, creative mind.

Here is a direct quote about Key VII “The Chariot”, your corresponding Tarot card: “”The Chariot represents receptivity to the will of the one Source. The keyword attributed to this card is fence or enclosure, and its sense function is speech. Every word we speak is a fence enclosing an idea or thought. An eloquent vocabulary is a powerful tool for protection and preservation, as well as advancement. When we speak we set in motion a vibration that acts upon the ethers, space, and akasha…It is only when we become still, quiet and receptive that we can be victorious. Then the primal force can work through us.” (Numerology and The Divine Triangle by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker, p142)

* * *

Wow! Thanks, Sofie. That was awesome! I really do see a lot of truth in this reading and a lot of things to think on.

If you’re as interested in this sort of thing as I am, I recommend you visit Sofie yourself. You can find her Facebook profile HERE and her Facebook page “Delphic Pandora” HERE. Tell her I sent you. 😉


My other hobby

This gallery contains 5 photos.

I’ve mentioned one of hobbies already – herb gardening.  My other hobby is photography.  For a long time – before I turned to writing – I thought I wanted to be a professional photographer complete with a studio and clients and lots of fancy equipment.  I decided that I prefer to make pictures for me […]


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

~ Roald Dahl


A stain on a baking sheet… It looks like a fairy to me.
Can you see her?

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

~ W.B. Yeats


You can even find something magic in a random wet spot on a counter if you look for it.

These are two of my favorite quotes.  They remind me whenever I think of them that there is magic everywhere.  All I have to do is open my eyes and look around me.

The Yeats quote I keep posted inside the door of my locker at my day job, and the Dahl quote is on my cover photo on my Facebook page.  I keep them where I will see them everyday so I never forget.

Where do you find magic in the everyday?

An evening at the faire

On Saturday,  had the pleasure of attending Joplin’s first Psychic Faire.

Here… I’ll give you a little tour of my evening:

First, I had a look around at the vendors –

I LOVED the jewelry, hair clips and crochet work at this table! (click the photo to visit her Etsy site)

I really enjoyed talking to this couple. Unfortunately, I neglected to pick up a card from them (I know… >_<… Bad blogger – bad, naughty blogger). I did, however, give them this web address. Hey, Guys! Shoot me a comment so I can properly share you and this awesome stuff with everyone my little world!

After the vendors, I visited my friend the OzarkSeer for a quick Tarot reading.

I met OzarkSeer about two weeks ago. She gave me my first ever Tarot reading. I found her very insightful.

And, since I’d never had one before, I stopped for a palm reading from Mystic Yarrow as well.

This guy blew me away! He knew so much about me just by looking at my hands. (That’s not me in the picture, by the way. This is the person who came through after me, but she was a good sport and let me take her picture.)

After all of that, it was time to relax with a Reiki treatment. It was so relaxing, I almost fell asleep on the table!

Click the picture to check out her Etsy page, too. Along with Reiki and tuning fork therapy, she also makes handcrafted incense. The smell was in all of the cloths and pillows on her table – so lovely!

I had a great time at this year’s Psychic Faire – can’t wait til next year!