There are thousands of books on the market telliing us how to write the novel. On the other hand, there is Somerset Maugham's oft-quoted saying, "There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what the are."
The truth is, we can change the rules of the game. Why not? After all, it's our game. We can do anything if we can make it work. But . . . if we want readers, we have to fulfill our side of the contract by fulfilling their expectations. (If we write a science fiction novel with no science, no truth, and no speculation as to what the truth might be, then we have not fulfilled reader expectations.)
So, what are the rules of your game? What traditional rules do you follow? What rules do you make up? If you create your own rules, how do you make your story work?
As always, any topic that will help us improve our writing is fair game in these discussions, so feel free to bring up any of your writing concerns.
The group No Whine, Just Champagne will meet here at this article for a live discussion about writing and the writing life on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 9:00pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT). Hope to see you, but if you can't make it then, the discussion will continue during the days afterward, so please stop by and tell us what you think.