The term Rules used in the below post really means guidelines but we're taught that they're rules, thus that's the word I use. In reference to breaking them, I mean departing from the standards we're taught :-)
Rules are fun to break, but there's two things we must know before we break them.
1) What are the rules?
2) Why are we breaking them?
As I've been reading contest entries, a commonality stood out to me. The overuse of exclamation points. I'd forgotten how much we writers love that bit of punctuation. And so when I was reading a very good book, I noticed immediately when the author used exclamation points in three consecutive sentences.
I thought to myself: Now that's Voice. That author knows exactly what she's doing, and why.
When we write, we must be deliberate. Every word, every character, every action, every scene must have a purpose to the story. It is up to us to discover what that purpose is. It is up to us to decide how to use the rules to make our story most effective.
Have you broken any rules in your current WIP? If so, why? Leave an example, if you'd like. :-)