So, this is one I’m actively soliciting feedback (comments) on from fellow writers, particularly if you’ve self published on Amazon or similar, or have been professionally published.
I’ve read the guides about showing not telling, no adverbs, and ideally no or minimal adjectives also, avoid long drawn out descriptions, etc… I can’t help but wonder how much validity there is to some of it though. Clearly some, but how much in the modern era? There are top selling professionally published books out there that seem to break multiple rules.
50 Shades of Grey being my favorite example here. Plenty of tell instead of show, there are long involved descriptions of things like the wood of the bed frame, which really doesn’t serve to advance the plot or characters in a major way, etc…
Show don’t tell is probably the really tricky one. Don’t tell us a character is mad, have them show it in their words and actions. That was one example in a book. Western culture generally seems so pacified and non-confrontational anymore that I wonder if having a character slam a door and yell at another character can even be taken as plain anger as opposed to the character being wrongly seen as unhinged. To some, I’m sure that may seem a silly exaggeration, but I live in a very politically correct area.
Plenty of self-published stuff on Amazon and B&N that seems to ignore the rules even further and sells modestly well. Of course, none of us want tosell only “modestly well”, right?
Now that I’ve rambled on in my sleep deprived state, how do you all avoid brain lock worrying about the rules? What are your personal opinions on their level of validity nowadays?
Note here: I DO have comments set up to be screened, but only to filter spam and comments on the level of “you’re a whore for writing smut”. Anything intelligent and constructive, agreeing or not, gets posted here.