Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Margaret Atwood on Rules and Writing

Margaret Atwood on rules and writing:

The word should is a dangerous one to use when speaking of writing. It's a kind of challenge to the deviousness and inventiveness and audacity and perversity of the creative spirit. Sooner or later, anyone who has been too free with it will be liable to end up wearing it like a dunce's cap. We don't judge good stories by the application to them of some set of external measurements, as we judge giant pumpkins at the Fall Fair. We judge them by the way they strike us.

Margaret Atwood, "Reading Blind" in Moving Targets: Writing With Intent 1982-2004 (2004).


Dorothy W. said...

Amen! That's a great quotation. I think rules are mainly useful to be broken in interesting ways.

Anonymous said...

I think she wonderfully applied this quotation in The Blind Assassin.