We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Take this cat for instance:

This cat just wants a nice, refreshing drink of water. And he gets it by sticking his whole head in the water and enjoying the droplets running down his face.

Um… you’re doing it wrong, kitty.

New writers (and I can say that now because I was guilty of this when writing my first novel) tend to think the rules don’t necessarily apply to them. They don’t want to take advice because they have a brilliant idea and no one else will know how to execute as well as they do.

But sometimes rules exist for a reason. Basic plot structures (three-act, I’m looking at you) work: that’s why so many people use them. Suggestions like, “Don’t write a ten-POV epic your first time out,” are intended to help you learn, not make a judgment about your ability. People who give advice aren’t out to get us: they’re usually trying to help us.

Instead of getting a drink, writing my first novel, I jumped fully-dressed into the pond. It quenched my thirst, sure, but it also ruined my outfit and the rest of my day.

Don’t be like this kitty—don’t be like me—and try to do a simple task in the most difficult manner possible. Sometimes it’s best to just dip into the stream, not jump headfirst into the deep end.

8 thoughts on “Inefficiency

  1. You know, I think it is hard not to completely take that full dunk. It’s like you just got to get it out of the system before you can sit down and actually learn how to write. A hard lesson.

    • I think this is true. It’s impossible to avoid the mistakes. We all have to learn for ourselves, I suppose.

  2. Mind you I did write a post some time ago on how to balance multiple PoVs, and KMWieland (YouTube Channel of the same name) did a video on it. So, it is not impossible to do, but one has to thread lightly.

  3. It takes a long time to learn the rules of writing well. I don’t think you can really understand which ones it is okay to break until you understand why they are all there. 🙂 Good post!

    • Thanks! And I agree. I definitely understand now why the rule exists. And I’m sure this wasn’t the last time I’ll drink like this kitty. 🙂

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