Have you heard the one about not wearing white after Labor Day?
Such a simple rule to break; such a hard mental hurdle to jump.
Breaking the little rules of writing can often feel the same way. It’s hard to step out on a stylistic limb when the end result could include people dismissing your work or even doubting your ability as a wordsmith. Pretty intimidating!
If there’s a guy who knows a thing or two about breaking the laws of art, it’s Vincent Van Gogh, whose skewed perspectives and anything-goes approach to texture created a style so distinctive that if you weren’t familiar with all of Van Gogh’s work, you might ask for your money back upon purchase of a painting like this:
Van Gogh Bedroom breaks every rule of perspective, but when you really look, you can see how masterfully the delicate proportions of the chairs are rendered (even if their cushions are tilted toward the viewer), and how accurate the grain of the wood floor is represented. These little details tell you there’s a master behind this work, playing with the rules, bending and breaking and simply ignoring them.
Van Gogh wasn’t a slave to the accepted rules of proportion (or to the fact that those chairs and that bed probably cast shadows on the floor and walls, shadows that are absent from this painting). So go ahead, feel free to bend a few of the “rules” of your genre, and create something new. Something Van Gogh-like.
Happy Monday, writers!