Rules, shmules

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I hate those “writing things to avoid” sorts of lists, as I feel that they rather miss the spirit of creativity. After all, slavish devotion to a set of rules will result in limited writing.

Take, for example, the advice to never start with the description of weather. If you say it fast and don’t think too hard, it seems like sound advice. After all, something like, “The sun was shining brightly as Timmy walked down the street” is pretty boring.

But sometimes the weather matters.

The sun was shining brightly, the birds were singing cheerfully, and a cool breeze was playing through the leaves, making it the perfect day to work, Timmy thought as he pulled out his hacksaw and began cutting up the corpse in front of him.

The description of weather is used to deliberately create a juxtaposition with Timmy’s grim work. That’s interesting.

So, if you’re starting with describing the weather just because you don’t know where else to start, then you should probably spend more time brainstorming. However, don’t be afraid of describing the weather if it serves a purpose to enhance the story, no matter what someone on the internet might have said. Whoever wrote those rules was just after page views anyway.

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