What You Know Can Be Wrong

I’m back with another annoyance about critiques I’ve received in the past. You all know I hate it when someone wants to say “Gnome” or “Dwarf” CANNOT be capitalized and I say it can just like I’d capitalize “French” or “Hungarian.” Well, here’s another one I hate.

And in all honesty, this post isn’t a result of someone telling me I did this wrong. No, it’s actually my friend Rosanne suggesting that I do break the general understood ‘rule’ and go with the ‘rule of flow’ instead. In this case, my friend is right. Let me give you an example here (I’m making this up as I go along):

Bob got up from his chair and looked around at his dinner guests. “I am sure that one of you is the murderer. You have killed my butler, so I am sure that he didn’t do it. And before this evening is finished, I’m going to figure out who it is.”
In his mind, Bob saw Clay as the biggest suspect. Bob knew of Clay’s hatred toward the butler. He just wasn’t certain if Clay had a good alibi. “Clay, you hated the butler since he wouldn’t submit to your blackmail any longer. Where were you at the time that he was killed?”

(Okay, not my best work, but it hits my point.) So what is the perceived problem here? Well, I would have people tell me something like “Bob is still talking, it should all be one paragraph.” Seriously, I have gotten bitterly annoyed at anyone who has said something like that to me. Okay, I’ll admit that occasionally I have one person speak in two adjoining paragraphs that needs to be one. However, this is not a rule. If it was then there are some failed people who edited Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Mistborn, and I can go on.

Seriously, this isn’t a rule. Why am I right here? Because Bob in my example has two completely different points. It’s like writing an English paper. If I were to talk about a murder and then talk about the murderer in the same paragraph, I would have to defend it, not the other way around. These aforementioned books do this many times. Katniss in Catching Fire speaks all the time in two adjoining paragraphs. But it seems like most people who have taken a pen to my work seem to think that I’m breaking some sacred law. No, it’s perfectly okay to split one person speaking into multiple paragraphs. I’ve seen it ALL THE TIME. I keep looking at traditionally published books and waiting for the split monologue. And you know what, I find it.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


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