Today’s guest post comes from the satirical G.C. McKay, author of the anthology Sauced up, Scarred and at Sleaze and his recently released novel, Fubar. G.C. is one of my favorite writer friends because he always pushes limits and questions the status quo. Plus, he manages to be totally irreverent and profound at the same time. The following is his take on the writing “rules” for transgressive fiction authors.
Transgressive fiction gets a pretty raw deal. In fact, it gets the same treatment by the world we live in as its characters often do inside their stories. This is probably to be expected, as the themes it explores are normally on the, shall we say, darker side of the human spectrum. Whilst we can argue till our faces turn blue (sexual-innuendo obviously implied) about what actually defines transgressive fiction, I’d venture to guess that we can all agree that it… unnerves us, as Lauren Sapala so adequately put it in her post Why are so Many Writers Afraid of Transgressive Fiction?
On that note, here are seven sin-ridden writing tips to keep in mind when your gunk-filled fingernails sit poised over the keyboard:
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:
My clients fall across the entire spectrum of writers. I coach people who are writing Memoir, Young Adult, Literary Fiction, Zombie Apocalypse, Paranormal Romance, and everything in between. Almost all of these writers come to me with the same issue. They’ve started their novel but can’t finish it. They don’t know what’s going on or why they’re blocked or what the problem is.
Much of the time these writers are confused. I talked about this in detail in my last post The Number One Reason Writers Give Up. But there is another problem lurking that most writers don’t even think of as a problem.
There are a lot of writers out there who have started writing their novel but never finished it. They tend to beat themselves up for this, believing that the reason they gave up was lack of determination. I’ve worked with enough writers though to know that this is not the case. In fact, I’ve actually never met a writer who lacked determination. Instead, the truth is just a bit more insidious.
Every story is a living thing. Experienced readers know this. But sometimes writers forget it. Sometimes we act like our story is a piece of IKEA furniture, and if we don’t understand where all the screws go right after we get it out of the box, it must be because the product itself is shoddy.