I've recently found myself faced with something I'm sure many experienced writers hit -
The Wall of Writing Rules.
It stands high above the manuscript, ominously foreboding.
And It's gotten me down.
After perusing forums on AbsoluteWrite (among others) I feel as though I've finally been overwhelmed by the amount of 'rules' I've learned about writing a novel. They deal with wordcounts, page-lengths, word-choices - even titles. They've finally piled up in my brain to the point that even thinking of my manuscript-in-progress elicits a small twang of pain.
I've been Pavlov-ed in the most rudimentary sense - I think manuscript, I feel dread.
And shee-it, it sucks.
I'm not sure what other writers / agents / publishers may think on the matter, but has writing a novel finally come down to a formula where x + y / c = a sellable work? Are there really rules that dictate what is and isn't appropriate in Young Adult fiction? How about too extreme / not extreme enough in Horror? It seems for every question that comes to mind, four different answers from four different authoritative resources rise to meet it.
My goal for the coming week - to get back to writing, and to do it soon.
Wish me luck.