Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . .


This Blog Conversation began on October 15th… Rules of Writing

That first post had a set of “rules” that some would call “long” and others might see as “compact and practical”…

It was written by C. J. Cherryh, was called Writerisms and other Sins, and had a summation statement that said, No Rule Should Be Followed Off a Cliff.

Sage advice Cherryh offers; yet, there are accomplished writers who could disagree, stating particular “rules” they feel are essential to their work.

One excellent one, that many of them cite, is “Read a lot.”…

Yet Cherryh’s rule would still apply (in my mind); plus, many a writer can end up reading so much they hardly ever write…

I happen to agree with that reading-rule but must admit that a certain type of writer could, conceivably, avoid reading altogether ( though, obviously, they must have learned to read or they wouldn’t be able to write... :-)

So…

Let’s move on to the comment that allowed this discussion continue, from an author and publisher from Germany:

“My rule for writers who write in languages other than English: When you read a book on writing that was translated from English, check every rule on grammar and style to see if it applies to your language. Most rules do apply, at least to German, but not all. German texts that sound like bad translations from English (but are not translated!) make me first scream and then cry. (I cry a lot lately ;-) ) “

I’m extremely grateful for that comment.

I can write only in English; and, this blog has most of its readers coming from countries that have a predominance of English-speakers (though, I’m always grateful for a smaller yet steady readership from many other countries...); and, I can only wonder if that translation widget, at the top of the left sidebar, actually conveys the meanings of the posts here to folks who know no English…

I believe there will be a day when humanity’s governments decide on a “World Language”, taught in all schools, with most people being bilingual…

So…

Our German commenter makes two mind-widening points—check translations for fidelity to your native language and spurn poorly written books of rules; yet, Cherryh’s rule-of-rules still seems to apply…

But, perhaps you don’t see it applying…?

And, perhaps, you might consider sharing your thoughts in the comments…?

Or, you may have other opinions about “rules for writing”…?

Or, you may have ideas for where to find “rules for writing”…?

Or, you may not understand why there should ever be any “rules for writing”…?

And, you might be the first reader to comment and allow this discussion to continue :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs
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10 responses to “More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . .

  1. Jane Watson October 18, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    Writing rules are rules invented for folks who want something regulated to hang on to because writing can be frightening, terribly frightening – as Hemingway is reported to have said, “It is easy to write. Just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed.” But bleeding isn’t fun…so just like being in the army it feels kinda safer to follow the rules… Except that writing isn’t a drill camp – it’s the wild jungle of your heart that is calling the shots here. just look inside, that’s the secret:-)

    Like

  2. Pingback: Still More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: Even More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: Yet More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  5. Pingback: Further Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  6. Pingback: Even Further Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  7. Pingback: Still Further Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  8. Pingback: Yet Further Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

  9. Pingback: Yes, We’re Still Having a Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . . | Notes from An Alien

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