I don't. I just don't. There is no fact that is 100% correct. Want to try me?
The Earth is a sphere.
Actually, no: Due to its spinning, there is a slight bulge around the equator.
The Earth orbits the Sun.
Partially. There is another focal point to its orbit, and that is the reason the orbit is elliptical.
Even in science, there is no such thing as 100%s. Facts that we take for laws might be overthrown later on (such as Newton's Gravitational Laws, overthrown by Einstein).
I truly feel that this post is best for ALL aspects of life, not only writing.
I don't believe in words such as 'always' or 'never.' I like 'usually' and 'mostly' a lot better. In fact, you'll rarely (see, I even did it there) see me use these words in my posts (other than the occasional slip). I get scared when I say these words, because I KNOW that there has been an exception. Because, the truth is, there is no 100%. No deed is ever 100% wrong. Is murder wrong? How about to defend our country? Is betrayal wrong? How about Brutus's betrayal to Caesar, for the benefit of Rome?
Bad books get published, good ones do too. A 200K word debut, and maybe even a 10K hits the bestseller list. SO MANY 'laws' are overthrown all the time!
There are no 'rules'! They are man-made, and like anything else man-made, they are fallible. Whenever anyone says the word 'always' or 'never,' I cringe a little bit, and my trust in that person goes a wee bit down. It is important to appreciate the nuances of grey between the black and white. Writing a book by the letter of the 'law' and rules is, plainly, dumb. Appreciate the grey areas!
If I believed in 100%s, I would have trunked my manuscript the minute I finished the first draft. Why? Because it was 136K long, contained a framing device, a prologue, and a major rule-breaking. In all respects, my book would never have been published.
But little old innocent me thought I could make it better, and I did: it is now 91K (a YA fantasy). I cut the prologue and the framing device, and my rule-breaking is well developed and set up so it doesn't feel (I hope) like a major violation. My book is not in queryable state, something that probably shouldn't have happened. Repeat after me: There are no such things as 100%s!
There ARE things such as trends, and I believe in trends A LOT. This doesn't refer to genre trends; I'm talking about writing styles, success trends, and the 'rules' of writing: one thing that worked for many, many writers time and time again. Trends are the 1%-99%. Trends are LIFE-SAVERS. (But that post will come later.)
Next time you write a extremely critical critique for a friend or feel down about your book, think again. There is no reason something can't be published if one works really hard at it (another thing I really believe in. Reasons will come in future post :) ).The reason less than 2% of writers get published is because the 98% gave up, or believed in 100%s.
Revel in the 2%. Because if the 100% existed, we would have no Charles Dickens. We would have no Dorothy, Narnia, or Middle Earth. And, above all, we would have no Harry Potter. And imagine how horrible life would be then.
What do you think? Should writers, or anyone, think in 100%s?
And now, the dare. Can you come up with anything that is a 100%? Be as witty and ingenious as possible; NO answer is wrong :) (Keep in mind, if you play dirty, I'll play dirty back, hehe.) I'll try my best to refute them, and I'll post the winner (if there is one) tomorrow with my next post. EDIT: You only get one try, so pick your best, and good luck!