I try to avoid reading advice on how to write that tells me what I must not do. I always end up doing it. Or if I don’t do it, I think about doing it.
You know, things like this:
DON’T switch points of view!
DON’T repeat words!
DON’T use long sentences!
DON’T overdo it on the adjectives!
DON’T try and impress the reader with your extensive vocabulary!
DON’T use the passive voice!
DON’T try and write a sex scene!
The subconscious doesn’t understand the word DON’T. Stripped of the negative imperative, these words become powerful positive suggestions that cannot be ignored.
Last night I was talking to Lanying about this. She wasn’t listening. She was in the bathroom and she kept turning the taps on and off, on and off. She was aware only of a monotonous, droning drivel from my disembodied voice in the other room. It was assaulting her, haunting her, an inane and artless buzzing in her poor ears, driving her crazy, and she kept turning on the taps partly to drown it out, letting the water hiss and gurgle loudly so as to suppress and overpower this persistent meaningless susurration that she couldn’t silence. Time passed. The bedroom door opened. My senses were surprised by an aromatic sweetness. Exotic, alluring, intoxicating, it silenced me completely. I stopped talking and took her in my arms.
“Don’t put this in your blog,” she said.