Literary “rules” I wish science fiction and fantasy books would break more often.

Interesting stuff to think about for every author.


Image credit: Jonas de Ro via Wikipedia Image credit: Jonas de Ro via Wikipedia

Read any book on writing, or take a creative writing course, and there are certain pieces of advice that you are almost certain to encounter.  In many cases, the advice is good, but some have a tendency to take these tools of the craft and turn them into rigid rules.  And just about any rigid rule is guaranteed to cause problems.  Here are some I wish, as a science fiction and fantasy reader, that authors could be a little more flexible on.

Show, don’t tell.

In film and TV, “show, don’t tell” literally means to show the viewer things rather than tell them in narration or by dialog.  In literary fiction, it usually means to give details and let the reader reach their own conclusions.  Robert J Sawyer gives the typical advice on this concept.

First, what’s the difference between the two? Well, “telling” is…

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