All right, so you’re driving down the interstate and one guy’s going 40 mph, another’s pushing 90. You and the other legal beagles are doing 65, just like you’re supposed to. My question is this: do you pay any attention to those who are doing the right thing?
The answer is no.
You only notice the ones who are breaking the rules!
It’s the same with your writing.
You want to be technically perfect? Great. Maybe they’ll study you in high school English class someday. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lofty goal. But it’s the difference between educating your readers and entertaining them. You need to choose which works for you.
You might say, “There’s a reason you shouldn’t drive 40 or 90 on the interstate, John,” and I’ll say, “Of course there is. People could get hurt, even die from such recklessness.” And that’s why I’m not advocating dangerous driving. But let me ask you this: who’s gonna get hurt if you break a flippin’ writing rule once in awhile?
I get a lot of criticism from purists for my writing, but I can live with it, because English teachers aren’t my target audience. Not all English teachers. Just the cool ones. My newest novel, A Girl Like You, breaks a lot of rules. Especially in the last six pages. But my target audience will love that final chapter because they’ve come to expect certain rules to be broken in my writing, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. I have two people at a table in that final scene. But in my mind there are two extra chairs you don’t know about. And I’m doing all I can to put my guy readers in one of those chairs and the ladies in the other.
Does it work? You Decide.