You know the clichés: Rules are made to be broken. Or, The exception proves the rule.
Well, yeah. They’re clichés. They’re truisms because there’s truth in them.
When we start out as fiction writers, we tend to adhere slavishly to the rules (particularly if we are judging contests or budding members of a critique group) because we haven’t read enough, we haven’t written enough, someone once told us something, or we don’t know any better.
Your first sentence can be a one-word expletive if that’s what it takes. (Personally, I love that kind of sentence!) What it can’t be is something that slithers down the page like boa constrictor, festooned with inappropriate commas (or no commas) and questions marks where periods should go, until the life of your story is choked dead as a ferret (or whatever boa constrictors eat) in the jungle (or wherever they all live, including The Third Ring of Outer Gyyzapius).
Reading should not be a life or death struggle. Nor should writing, despite whatever the late, great Red Smith may have opined about sitting down at the typewriter and opening a vein.
I’m a great fan of rule-breaking and rule-breaking with impugnity, as you may have gathered from the number of broken rules and sentence fragments above. (That may have been a sentence ending in a preposition right there.)
It’s one of the reasons I love reading and writing paranormals so much: You get to break rules and makes stuff up. Create worlds. (As long as you stay logical and abide by the rules you’ve created for that world.)
For years, we thought of vampires strictly in terms of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is where we got the vampire rulz of garlic, no images in the mirror, wooden stakes and silver bullets. Then along came sparkly Edward of the Twilight saga, who could go out in daylight but glittered like diamonds. And J.R. Ward’s beefcakey boys in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series,who were not undead, and not turned humans, but a whole different HOT species.
Just because one writer once made something up, doesn’t mean you must adhere to that writer’s world. Especially if we are dealing with otherworldly beings.
In my recent series of 1Night Stand stories for Decadent Publishing, I write about a trio of succubus sisters. The first, Lily Night, put her high school prom date into a coma the first time they were together, because she didn’t yet know how to cope with the electricity and the lightning she generated during sex. One reviewer, who loved the story, nevertheless wondered if lightning wasn’t supposed to be a Valkyrie thing.
Well, yes. If you’re in Kelsey Cole’s Immortals After Dark world.
But now you’re in mine.
Here’s the blurb from FROST, my February erotic paranormal release from Decadent Publishing. The heroine is Dagney Night, Lily’s younger sister:
Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing hot sex. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist who created the works.
Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art—until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point. He needs sex. Now.
When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine’s 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle?
More about the Author:
Taryn Kincaid lives in scenic Serendipity-By-the-Sea. (Go ahead. Try to find it on a map. If you do, Taryn will send you a smooch. Also a Nutter Butter.) She is an Olympic caliber athlete in egg rolling contests and spends a great deal of her time petitioning the U.S.O.C. to introduce fantail shrimp competition. When she's not bungee jumping off the Palisades or parasailing up and down the Hudson River, she devotes her time to caring for her aging pet walrus, arranging her voodoo doll-pin collection and practicing rhythmic chants. At this moment, she is busy picking up loose wholewheat spaghetti sticks that spilled out of the cupboard and onto her kitchen floor. Wait. Is that something…shiny?
Taryn hangs around a lot on Facebook and Twitter with her trillions of fans and pops in at Goodreads from time to time. You can catch her on her website, http://tarynkincaid.com, and her blog, http://dreamvoyagers.blogspot.com where she lives for comments! She implores you to buy her books so she can retire.