Rules. They are meant to be made, followed, broken and even disregarded completely. There are those that abide them to the letter and those that avoid the responsibility of even knowing them. So it would stand to reason that I would write such personalities into my characters.
The struggle to abide by rules is real, its tangible because most people have encountered a moment in life where the rules simply cannot apply. There are self inflicted rules, rules imposed by others and rules imposed for safety or the law.
Almost everything is governed by rules:
How to write, how not to write
How to edit, revise and review writing
What to wear and how to wear it
Who to socialize with and when
What to eat and drink, when to eat and drink
How to do a job or task
How to drive
Basically how to live. The rules are never ending some serious and some ridiculous.
As a writer rules are everywhere, some I abide by, some I take with a grain of salt. A lot of rules “made up” are just that, made up. Somones over inflated ego passing off opinion as fact. However when it comes to writing about rules or implementing life rules in my writing, I am in charge, I choose who follows what and when. More importantly I control who breaks them and causes trouble.
I like to have someone straight laced be forced to break a rule or forced by circumstance to decide to break a steadfast rule they hold true to normally. It can be equally fun to have a rebellious persona find need to follow one too. The inner turmoil this might dredge up can be fascinating to both write and read. All I do is think about how I personally feel when faced with a rule that is either holding me back or keeping me safe. I apply my state, emotions and reactions to my writing. Not all rules are good some can be restraining, cause problems and even tension.
Scott stood outside Clifton’s office and glanced down at the article on his cellphone. He had the code to get in, in fact he had all Clifton’s security codes. It was easy to get the overly cautious boss’s codes from his overly snoopy spy program. Only because it was installed wrong and Clifton had no clue about anything. This would mean termination if he was found or caught, but he had to know.
With a heavy sigh he wiped his sweaty palms on his pants that bespoke his nervous state. He glanced up and down the hall then punched the three digit code into the pad and the door opened. Slipping in and easing the door closed behind him he let out his pent up breath. The computer was already on and not logged out.
“Idiot.” Scott whispered to the bright sunlight office as he sat and began his search. “First things first.” He took out his cellphone with the picture of Baylor Crowen from he news. He thought he recalled seeing this guy before come in for a meeting. He showed up early, went into Clifton office and disappeared before Clifton even showed up. The boss was weird so nobody questioned it.
“Holy sh…” Scott leaned closer to the security footage of the day Baylor attacked Sasha. It was him, no doubt. Heart racing and palms sweating Scott glanced at the door as someone walked by. He could lose his job for this.
“No.” Amber shook her head and looked away from Scott.
“Ah come on Amb’s I need your help.”
“Oh like hell you do. You just want me to take the heat for your snooping like usual. I told you to let it go. I told you not to go into Clifton’s office.”
“Since when do you care about the rules?” Scott smiled sweetly. “I’d love it if you did this for me.”
She narrowed her eyes. He was too attractive. Why Sasha didn’t jump at the chance to be with him she would never understand. She pushed Scott to pursue Sasha hoping he would realize she was as warm as a tundra stone in mid winter.
“No. I can’t.”
“Can’t?” Scott tilted his head seductively. “Or won’t”
“Both. If you want to break into Valerie s personal email and the companies HR files you’re on your own.”
“But just think of all the juicy ammo you could get.”
She sighed. “Three days ago I’d be all over that offer. I can’t Scott. I hate that I even know. And for what? Sasha? She doesn’t like you. It’s pathetic that you moon over her, that you chase her shamelessly.”
Scott laughed loudly. “Oh hello kettle.” He wiped his eyes. “So rich coming from you!”
Clenching her jaw she threw the binder at him and stormed out of his office.
She couldn’t help her feelings. As she approached her desk she watched Dale work, engrossed in an edit he didn’t see her approach. Dale did love his work and he was exceptionally good at it. Did she help the wrong guy get the promotion? She looked back down the hall toward Scott’s office who laughed at her constantly then back at Dale who helped and encouraged her consistently. The sudden burning in her stomach made her turn toward the washrooms instead of her desk.
Breaking rules can be so much fun and can take a story in so many different directions. The options are endless and I’ll often think out a few different scenarios before committing to one.
My advice about Rules.
The same rules that apply in live, apply for writing life. Rules exist, they can be ignored and broken, followed and worshiped. It’s totally up to you how you want your characters to respond to rules and the potential of breaking them.
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