I love Loretta Chase. I mean, I want to build a shrine to the woman and light a candle and slaughter a goat for her. I LOVE Loretta Chase.
Loretta Chase is not a good writer though, according to the rules of writing and the fervid followers of such. Would you believe that Ms. Chase on occasion, tells and doesn't show? She starts sentences with But. (In fact, in one paragraph she did it twice and I was ready to call her publisher and ask to speak to the lazy editor who allowed that.)
Oh she can tell a wonderful story, write beautifully, create characters I'm totally invested in and make me laugh out loud in public places as I read her but she's just not a good writer. She doesn't start in the action, she allows the reader to use their imagination to fill in spots and she trusts in her reader's intelligence to believe that she'll follow along and not have to have everything spelled out.
This little rant is coming because of the writing advice that peppers the online writing community. So many writers out there who know the rules and are quick to quote what you may or may not do.
Start with the action. Show, never tell. Don't head-hop. Keep description to a minimum.
I doon't understand where these rules come from. A creative writing class I was in with Robert Ray many years ago, Mr. Ray gave rules of riting, one that included no stories allowed with only two characters in a romantic moment. I left the class never to return. His rule was ridiculous (the author in question was writing a short story about an anniversary dinner) and I knew that such arbitrary rules would never work for me.
I worry about these arbitrary rules and how they stifle writers. I happen to know a certain writer who loves description and a little head hopping and when she writes it flows. Then she says it's all wrong because rules are broken and the writer dips her head in shame and dismay.
I don't believe in rules unless you plan on breaking them.
Did I mention that I love Loretta Chase? Oh I do. She's such a rule breaker. And she does it so damned well.
(By the way, reading Not Quite A Lady right now and am LOVING it. Highly recommended.)