Must the Gun Always Fire? And Other Rules of Writing
Anthony Doerr, Natalie Diaz, Karen Finneyfrock, Jake Uitti
The craft of writing is governed by a variety of rules, and every writer has their non-negotiables. Chekov said, “One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.” F. Scott Fitzgerald hated exclamation points because he thought using them was like laughing at your own jokes. Strunk and White devotees must fight the urge to jab red pens into their own eyes whenever they see a sentence beginning with “however.” Both in writing workshops and in life, we are told rules are rules, and whether bad habit, petulance, or genius is to blame, we also know rules were made to be broken. Here’s your chance to make the likes of Chekhov, Fitzgerald, or Strunk and White eat their own words—or exclamation points! Pick a rule of writing and break it without mercy.