Babala - I mean, Disclaimer: I am writing this post, knowing that I probably won't finish my work for tonight, to earn some good karma points from God. :D I don't know why, but I feel like I should mention this.
Disclaimer #2: EVERYTHING I SHARE HERE IS WHAT WORKED FOR ME. I am not saying it's right. I am not saying it will help you succeed. I am not saying it will help you at all. If you have nothing nice to say, I'm one of those terribly proper people who think it's then better for you not to say nothing at all.
When I switched to indie publishing, however, I gradually found myself experimenting and, yes, deliberately breaking rules that I felt I had to break because of how I want to write. And to my surprise, the experiments seem to pay off. I'd like to think they did pay off, but I also think these rule-breaking experiments worked in my favor because I knew I was breaking the rules. I had the chance to discuss this with a fellow Filipino writer (and editor), and she was the one who opened my eyes to this, actually. She told me (this is not verbatim) that there's a major difference between writers who deliberately violate certain writing principles AND writers who make the same mistakes out of inexperience or ignorance.
SHOW VS. TELL
And I'd like to think it paid off, since the book got me back on Amazon's overall list for Top 100 Movers & Shakers as well as giving me a temporary spot on Amazon's top 100 contemporary romance authors (which, I promise, is even harder to do these days if you're not in KU).
We can, of course, argue about skipping this part of their relationship entirely and just go straight to the part where she's old enough to show her side of the story. We could...but I didn't. Because I felt that this part of their story is integral and I personally believe that it's something my readers would appreciate.
But here's the other thing. A lot of readers - and I'm like this, as a reader - have favorite authors because they know their expectations will be met. And that's what you're trying to satisfy when using a formula.
For most people, prologues are unnecessary and even a means to feed one's ego at times (I guess it's because some people use a lot of deep / flowery words in prologues).
But here's another thing. I really like prologues. I think it's a great way to introduce a character's background without slowing down the rest of the story.
So when I started self-publishing, you can bet your ass I started writing prologues as well. And I'd like to think it works because my prologues have a purpose.
Purpose #1: Readers get to KNOW your characters.
Purpose #2: To make your readers FEEL.
Another is Lynne Graham, my #1 go-to Harlequin Presents / Mills and Boon author. She does a lot of head-hopping, too and I love it.
There's also Christine Feehan, with her Carpathian series. I absolutely adore the way her characters are able to communicate telepathically and yes, that's a head-hopping scene, too.
BUT again, I avoided doing this because I knew I'd have a hard time convincing agents / editors to even give my manuscript a chance the moment they see one head-hopping scene. In fact, this was what led me to write most of my early manuscripts in first person.
And then I started to self-publish, took the risk in writing the way I really want to write, and I'd like to think this also paid off.
One of the more frequent / common similarities among reviews of my books is where you see a reader actually commenting about my "writing style", which I believe pertains to my head-hopping POVs.
I honestly believe by "original" she means the head-hopping, thing. :D And notice that this review also mentioned my writing (style). Normally, you see readers only commenting about the story and characters.
Another common similarity is how my readers LIKE that they know what the characters are feeling / thinking ATM. I
So really, the less negativity, the better. Avoid reading bad reviews.
Remember: a bad review only means your book got into the wrong hands.
AND SO YOUR POINT IS?
No, not really. :D I'm kidding.
The point is, it's essential that we take our time to hone our craft. To study the basics so that we have the right foundation to "build" our stories on. It's only by knowing what these rules are and understanding why they're there that we can effectively determine for ourselves if all these rules are something we should adhere to when writing.
So NO, I AM NOT ENCOURAGING YOU AT ALL TO BREAK THE GOLDEN RULES OF WRITING.
What I am saying is that if you do intentionally break a rule (meaning, you know you're breaking one) and you do it because you feel it's right (meaning, you understand why the rule exists but you also believe your story can't be told properly without breaking the rule) then go for it.
It's your story, and it has to be told the way you envision it.