Fandom Friday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Fangirl Initiative about all things fandom. This week’s topic is the best advice you’ve ever taken from a fandom, and my first instinct was “don’t panic” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us,” from The Lord of the Rings, because those quotes have been with me for as long as I’ve been a fangirl.
But if I’m being honest, neither of those are quotes I live by. You know how it is, there are the quotes you spend your life trying to live by, and then there are the quotes that you actually live by. (I highlighted this in one of my character spotlights, actually, and it was pretty perfect for him.) And the quote I always live my life by comes from Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course. The movie I can quote from beginning to end without it playing.
The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do.
Because how true is that? Like, sure, there are rules and laws and expectations and I spent most of my life trying to abide by all of them, but in the end, it really boils down to what you can get away with. It’s not even what won’t get you caught, but what other people don’t care or notice if you do.
Take being a writer, for instance. There are thousands of grammar rules, a myriad of trope do’s and don’t’s, angry readers, angry writers, angry editors… but all it really boils down to is what your reader will enjoy. Whether he’ll get engrossed in the story. Whether she’ll fall in love with your characters. It doesn’t matter what you write, doesn’t matter how you write, so long as it makes something beautiful.
What a man can do.
And what a man can’t do.