I was all set to write a post today about authors who have influenced me and then I opened the internet and poked around. I shouldn’t do that; twenty minutes of internet time and suddenly I know too much about what people I don’t know are wearing to events I don’t care about. But I also read two things that altered the topic of today’s blog. One was the facebook post of an alcoholic celebrating another year sober, and the other was a blog post about the rules of mystery writing. The most immediate response to the alcoholic was along the lines of “Thank you for sharing your struggle; it helps me.” The first comment on the writer’s post was “I don’t really like rules and my novels turn out fine.”
And on one hand, I totally agree with that commenter. I also don’t like rules. I don’t like being told what to do. I don’t like having solutions dictated to me. Nobody is the boss of me, but me. So there. Nyah! (Sticks tongue out.)
You know what I do like though? Novels that make sense. And although I tried for years to just wing it, that doesn’t lead to novels with consistent internal logic, or, as is otherwise known, a plot. It’s also extremely inefficient. And with a dog, a kid, a husband, friends and an extended family who all prefer to see me occasionally, I do not have time to be wandering through the morass of plot lines. So eventually I gave up and laid down a few ground rules for myself. And since I am the boss of me, I figure that’s ok.