I had intended to talk about titles today because, like the dreaded blurb, we often shy away from them. I won’t go as far as to say we’d rather write the novel than title it, but still…there’s pressure!
Instead, I’d like to talk about creative/poetic license, or taking liberties – basically whatever you want to call the technique writers use to bend the rules. We do this for many reasons, though mainly for effect – to engage and draw our readers in. It could be that we break the conventions of grammar, not because we’re arrogant and believe the usual rules don’t apply, but because it serves a purpose. We want to entertain, to amuse, and to create a positive response. That’s not to say that using poetic license isn’t criticised or misunderstood. It’s just a risk we take. As long as we’re careful, our readers will understand what we’re trying to achieve. Plus, a lot of the decisions we make are part of style – a recognisable voice in our writing.
It’s easier to bend the rules if the world we’ve created isn’t dependent on factual accuracy (crime, for example). That being said, you can create a whole town (or even another dimension) and apply different rules. It gives you more freedom, but not exactly carte blanche. You still have to follow the laws of human nature and at least some social order!
Some writers use creative license to challenge societal norms, perhaps to educate or raise awareness. If done right, this can be powerful and highly effective.
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