Of all the “writing rules,” this is the one almost every writer breaks.
It’s also the one that will always bite you in the ass if you break it.
If you break this rule, your story will punish you for it. Your plot will fall flat and your ending will fizzle. In fact, you might not even reach the end because your book will have given up on you long before you’re lucky enough to reach that point.
Here’s the rule:
Today’s guest post comes from my brilliant writer friend Cheryl Muir, an expert on love and relationships (as well as lust and attraction) and also an author who loves to break through barriers and question the norm. Cheryl’s taught me so much about creativity and character development that I couldn’t wait to host this article from her:
There are certain love stories that stand the test of time.
Jack and Rose from Titanic.
Allie and Noah from the Notebook.
John and Mary from the superhero movie Hancock (no, seriously – if you’ve watched it, you know the plot twist as well as I do!)
In the past few years trilogies have become all the rage. Whether you write sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or some other kind of speculative fiction, you’ve probably heard that everyone wants to read trilogies these days and everyone is writing trilogies these days.
This can create problems for writers who despair of having a story in them that’s long enough to span three novels, and who also doubt their ability to sustain interest in one project for that long of a time.
This is an area many writers feel weird about, and by “many writers” I mean most of the writers I’ve encountered, myself included. We’ve all giggled over what a bad sex scene looks like, and no one wants to be the one who writes something that other writers—or readers—make fun of. But how do you write a good sex scene? And what do we even mean when we say “good” in this mostly un-talked-about area?
You don’t make friends with people so much as you try to swallow them whole, and then regurgitate them back out onto paper.
—The Writer’s Husband
I’m the writer, and the quote above is from my husband. It might sound funny now, but at the time I was really offended that he would say such a thing. I wasn’t some smarmy writer worming my way into inner circles, drinking in people and conversations only to skewer them later in my fiction…was I?
But I had to admit, he had a point.