Why You Should Take Risks in Your Writing
I've never been one to follow the rules. When I go to my grave I don't want it to say: "she followed the rules." I'd rather it read: "she took risks." No risk, no reward.
It's been over 50 years since The Lord of the Rings was published and to this day it, along with The Two Towers and Return of the King, are regarding as a benchmark for high fantasy novels. Honestly, no one is ever going to write anything that comes close to J.R.R. Tolkien's classic books and do you know why? Because writers are afraid to take risks.
Too many aspiring authors are being force fed rules for writing and it is killing creativity.
Tolkien broke all the rules. Modern publishers today would probably reject his work citing it was too long, not structured properly, lacked character development, and it would lose the audience.
But Tolkien wasn't writing for an audience, he was writing for himself and he had no hangups about it being a commercial prospect. He simply had a story to tell and he wanted to tell it his way.
I think alot of authors these days get hung up on the little things and forget about just telling the story. Far too often I hear "write to market" and it makes me cringe. I don't put artistic expression in neat little boxes where you check off little boxes as you meet a certain trope requirement. That sounds abysmal and if you are abysmal when writing it will show on the page. But, if you can capture the emotion that is inside of you and turn it out on paper for the reader to then experience that same emotion then that's all that really matters.
That's why Tolkien's work broke ground and spawned so many other wonderful fantasy novels after it. Another author who said to hell with the rules and wrote a breakout novel is Chuck Palahniuk. Palahniuk started out writing formulaic novels he thought would sell. But, after being rejected by publishing houses over and over again, he finally got so angry he wrote something that went against every rule in writing. Fight Club went on to break new ground in the publishing world and spawned a highly successful movie on top of it.
The reason certain books stand out more than others is the author does something different. If everyone is "writing to market" then you're getting the same book over and over. But when someone comes along and is rebellious in their approach, they stand out from the pack.
Writing is supposed to be fun. Don't pull your hair out because your story isn't fitting into a little box. You are better off taking a chance on something different. Put your own unique stamp on it. If you enjoy the story, chances are others will too.
Please do me one favor, when you write...write without fear! Because I would like to read that book.