Rule Breaking | Rejection Pile

vic briggs

How do you feel about rules on writing? I know. I used to feel the same way. Surely to create art requires freedom – not the straightjacket of rules? The greats have put no store by rules, and in breaking the rules, they were able to create works of art that have survived them and are here today for us to delight in. This I believe still. However…

rules-1In order to break rules, it is best to know first what rules we are breaking. Why?

Because there are no rules to great writing, but as we start on this journey to becoming better versions of ourselves, knowing the rules will help us avoid falling into some fairly obvious “bad writing” traps.

Knowing what not to do sometimes is more useful than knowing the opposite. And whereas talent can’t be learnt, craft can.

Here is the first thing I learnt.


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The Twelve Best Facts from a Year of Interesting Literature

Interesting Literature

Here at Interesting Literature we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary this weekend. With that in mind, we wanted to offer the twelve most interesting facts that we’ve uncovered over the last year – one for each month we’ve been up and running – and as a present for all of you who read our posts and interact with what we write. (Consider what follows an early Christmas present!) So, here goes:

Woolf21. In 1910, Virginia Woolf and her friends dressed up in costumes and donned fake beards in order to convince the Royal Navy they were a group of Abyssinian princes. And thus they pulled off what became known in newspapers as the ‘Dreadnought Hoax’, earning a 40-minute guided tour of the ship. Several members of the Bloomsbury Group were involved, but Woolf was the most famous among them. More information can be found in this Guardian article.

2. None of…

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The Dog Park – First Draft

The Many Scribbles of Gaelan Hamilton


Just finished it there so I thought I’d pop it up before I go out tonight 🙂 Enjoy!

A plethora of steadfast wooden soldiers

Wrapped in nature’s leafy emerald mantle

Watch as tamed beasts march on by with their owners

Oh so obedient; never at battle.


The multitude of cascading scents grip them;

Tearing their dedication away briefly

And plunging them back into feral mayhem.

But with a word they return from far away.


Friendly exchanges are passed between strangers,

Their companion their only affinity

Yet they smile and they wave and they can snigger

For this is their place; their own community.


How many people have walked these very paths?

The collection of souls linked by common cause;

Can they sense each other through time’s endless depths?

Or do they walk on with no reason to pause?


All leave their mark; the roads are never…

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Northern Wardens.

Mother of Pearl

Northern Wardens.

They stand
Tall and proud
Their hard and worn faces bracing the wind.

Gallant, they stand
Grounded and Beautiful, as
Giants of waves pummel against their pillars of legs.

A force,
An army, which only nature could mother
As their crooked hats point to the skies

Alienated from their brethren
Aligned in defence
Against the coast that once bore them

Foreseeing the future and telling the past
Facing the bleak horizon
Failing to sleep and never awakening.

Noble Giants
Protectors of the North
With shields and skin made of stone

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Seasons ;

Another- slightly more sombre- sonnet!

Verbal words can be stammered, typed messages cannot convey,

The twist of nerves and the surge of glee

whenever I glanced his way,

like a cage of butterflies set free.

Hair a darker shade than night,

Eyes paler than untouched snow,

that shone impossibly bright,

like a beacon, calling me to his glow.

The innocence of spring vibrates strong,

the warmth of summer held in his gaze

that made me belong,

with the promise of autumn’s haze.

He is the seasons, which means we cannot be,

For he loves another, and does not think of me.

Sonnet ;

I have officially written my first ever sonnet! It’s about…writing a sonnet. Because I’m that original. I’m debating calling it sonnetception, but that’s probably the lack of sleep talking.

Putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys,

Eyes dart around to find inspiration,

hoping that somehow, miraculously

words will appear in rapid succession.

Finding distraction anywhere you can,

the thrall of the television, food, even by cleaning,

until your parents have put Netflix on ban,

and you’re left Googling sonnet and iambic pentameter for their meaning.

The deadline’s looming ever closer, turning day to hour and minute

whilst you’re left

praying you reach, or even scrape, the word limit

of this seemingly impossible quest.

And though your eyes fight the oncoming fatigue,

You lie awake, worrying about tomorrow’s critique.

Shored ;

Poem 2/4 for college; I was to write a six stanza poem about my favourite place.

Fading prints in the sand,

A volume of water that eclipses the land.

The temperature barely reaches twenty,

But still bikinis and trunks are spotted aplenty.

Wind and rain are far from thought,

Joining work and deadlines as an afterthought.

Children building castles as far as the eye can see,

Others daring the water, as happy as can be.

Eyes hidden behind sunglasses that have barely left home

Grains of sand as white as bone.

Out of everywhere in time and space,

The beach is definitely my favourite place.