Breaking The Rules

 In grade school, my English teachers insisted upon three things: two spaces after a period, all sentences must have a subject, verb and object, NEVER start a sentence with “but.” These were laws. Breaking them meant deductions on your paper, often stamped atop the document in red with an accusing circle highlighting the offending sentence.  As a thriller writer I can say with gusto that all “laws were meant to be broken.” Authors aim to have a conversation with readers through their point-of-view characters. When I’m in a character’s head, I endeavor to write the way they would think–with a bit more editing. Few people think in proper sentences. Declarative statements and words are thrown into the mix of subject-verb-object complete thoughts. Actual dialogue trails off… Here’s a sentence from Ulysses: “God, isn’t he dreadful? he said frankly. A ponderous Saxon. He thinks you’re not a gentleman.”  “A ponderous saxon” is all a subject. But, it’s a good one.
And, that prior sentence started with “but.” Take that fourth grade. 

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

Writing on the Porch
  • June 24, 2022
How do I look?
  • June 23, 2022
Titles, the Torture Of
  • June 20, 2022
Write What You Know
  • June 14, 2022
A SERIES IS BORN
  • June 13, 2022
Loglines
  • June 10, 2022

Search By Tags