We all know the old saying about curiosity killing the cat. And curiosity has gotten more than one person in trouble through the centuries. But sometimes, you have to admit, it’s hard to ignore or pass off things without at least wondering about them.

That’s where I’m at tonight, at the end of book written by a New York Times bestselling author. I’m not saying who wrote it, or which book it is. Neither will I mention the name of another not-so-famous author and novel I stopped reading yesterday.

What’s got me curious? The fact that both of them have broken more writing rules than I can count. Well, I could…if I had an entire day with no responsibilities. Then I could go through both of them and count the vast number of no-nos in each one.

Smiling cheeks, and sentences that talk about ‘wordlessly joining,’ ‘sheepishly grinning,’ or ‘mightily sighing.’

All things that take me out of the story long enough to scratch my head and say…huh? All things relentlessly pounded into our little writer brains to avoid. Yes, I said ‘relentlessly pounded’ on purpose…just because I’m feeling a little rebellious at the moment.

It makes me wonder where the rules come from. Seriously…a NY Times bestselling author does this – presumably throughout the long series. I’ve only read this book so far…and it’s well into the series. Since most authors improve with time, I can only assume the earlier books weren’t as well written.

You already know I have issues with the writing rules that insist that only a+b+c can equal a good story. And the ones that say characters shouldn’t whisper, weep, or sigh (that would be the said-only rule).


I’ve never been one who like rules. Laws are an entirely different matter. Those need to be obeyed for the good of everyone. But rules? Who makes them up? Who decides that one group or another must follow their specific guidelines in order to succeed?

So to the rule makers, I’d like to introduce myself. Hi, I’m Kristy, and I’m a rule breaker.

No, I doubt I’ll ever have any smiling cheeks in my stories…maybe dimpled cheeks, but none that smile. That’s just creepy. But I’m not going to sweat all the rules like I have been.

I was looking for a song to describe my mood after finishing this book, and only one comes immediately to mind. Not the lyrics so much as the attitude. This means I’m revealing something about myself here that you all need to keep secret though. Okay?

Yes, I’m a closet Alice Cooper fan…


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4 Responses to Curiosity…

  1. Ugh. Rules! Every time I read a book that is being heralded as the next greatest thing since chocolate, I find myself wondering WHY? But more importantly, like you, I’m wonder HOW, dear god, did they get the book printed? I mean, some of them break more rules than I ever knew existed and it’s supposed to be great literature. I don’t know who makes the rules, but apparently there aren’t really rule police, so I say break as many as you want. Enjoy writing, don’t sweat the small stuff. Heck, if you break too many rules, you’ll probably end up on the best seller’s list! Wouldn’t that be cool?

    • Kristy K. James says:

      That literally made me laugh out loud, Tameri. Maybe I SHOULD start breaking all sorts of rules. Except I have trouble writing things wrong when I know better. Maybe that’s the key though. 😉

      But I know what you mean. The funniest thing is, I stopped reading the book by the not-so-well-known author because of things like smiling cheeks…only to find the same sorts of things in the one by the best-selling author. LOTS of them. So good thing for her that there aren’t any rule police, lol

      • I know we’re trying to keep this no-naming-names, but the new Dan Brown novel KILLED me. He had sentences that ended with ?! all over his manuscript. I was like, REALLY? Who the heck let that pass edits? Text messages, Twitter, and Facebook maybe, but I counted twelve on one page. ONE! I had to stop laughing every time I read one because I was losing the story. Actually, I don’t remember much of the story even now, it wasn’t all that or a bag of chips.

        • Kristy K. James says:

          LOL! I, too, am stunned at some of the stuff I see in books by traditionally published authors. That’s the point I was at with the book by the non-famous author and her near constant rule breaking. I will finish the story, but I needed a break. When you keep wondering when the next one is going to pop up more than you’re concentrating on the story…it makes for a less than satisfying reading experience.

          It wasn’t all that or a bag of chips. LOL…never heard that before. That’s cute! 🙂

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