Friday, 3 October 2014

Writing - Rules and reasons

Whether it is for personal safety, safety at work or just life management there have to be rules and regulations. Sometimes these rules are written down and enacted by governments, on other occasions they are just part of our culture and are passed down through the generations. Many of these rules are in place simply for our own comfort and that is the crunch point. There comes a time in many people's lives when questions about the need for the rules arise and that is healthy but it is what we do about them that is crucial.

Writing has rules also and for the most part there isn't much in the way of flexibility and that is so that people round the world can use the same system to code messages, produce stories and generally communicate. Of course written English isn't the sole system, as there are other scripts in use round the world, again all with their own rules. However, on occasions the result of slavishly following the rules can produce some strange outcomes.

The Japanese are quite anally retentive about the meticulous following of their culture in particular. For centuries they have taught children that they should 'follow the rules' 'don't be selfish' and 'the nail that sticks out gets hammered down'. The people and government are also keen to follow the seasons closely so at midnight on the 31st August summer ends and autumn begins which results in deserted beaches as in the above photograph. 
You may ask why, when the summer has been disappointing that come September, when the sun finally comes out and temperatures soar, the beaches are empty. Well its quite simple.
The beach patrols, lifeguards and other summer related facilities are withdrawn by local authorities and the populace have been brought up to believe that you do other activities in the autumn, so apart from foreigners and dog walkers the beaches tend to be deserted. 

So slavish following of rules leads to deserted beaches on this occasion.

Writing rules are important but if we make an error it isn't the end of the world that's why we have editors. Even so I am pretty sure that most people who read regularly come up against errors in books that they've bought. However, when you self publish, it seems that it is an opportunity for people to deliver your mistakes back to you.

A message to all who read. Do you look at a painting and whine about a slight error in perspective or the odd misplaced brush stroke, or do you stand back and look and try to appreciate the whole work? 

All of us who write are doing so because we have that drive and we know that some will like our work, some will be indifferent and others will hate the stuff. All we ask is that you take the opportunity to dip into our work and if you like it stay awhile.

God Bless