Writing Tips
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Rules versus Mighty Revelation

Rules vs Rev

Original vector Art by Candice Coates

I have, since I can remember, held firm to the belief that in any form of art, one must know the rules before they can properly break them. Being a person that is still learning to go through the process of things, I find that I often remind myself of this truth; learn the rules and then break them. Break them through revelation.

In art, in writing, there are set rules for the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s.’ Why does this color go with this one? Why must I tone my canvas before starting to paint? Why do I need to be concerned with first person narrative verses third person?

You get the drift.

Creating, and being good at it, involves knowledge but it also includes a great level of instinct. Both go hand in hand. Rules will only take you so far but instinct powered by Revelation can take you to heights you never dreamed of.

So what is the difference between the two; Rules and Revelation?


  1.  principle governing conduct: an authoritative principle set forth to guide behavior or action the rules of the game
  2.  usual condition: a prevailing condition or quality

Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


  1.   information revealed: information that is newly disclosed, especially surprising or valuable information
  2.  surprising thing: a surprisingly good or valuable experience
  3.  disclosure: the revealing of something previously hidden or secret

Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

In  short, Rules are there to set safe boundaries, make sure you are building on a firm foundation.  Revelation comes to show us how to safely go beyond those boundaries into depths we have not known. (Come on, be honest, how many of us really follow the rules when we play Monopoly? My point exactly! Each family has their own fantastic revelation on how to play the game despite the written rules.)

For the last three years, I, as a rule, have set June aside as a month to push myself beyond my limits and write like a mad person to reach a goal…have a novel within 30 days from start to finish. RULE.

The point of this Blog, however, is  to flow with the Revelation that I can create and I can do it well through faith in Him. That even though striving to honor the rule is “honorable” for lack of a better word, following instinct and thus taking hold of greater Revelation, is far more valuable. More beauty comes from my craft through the vehicle of Revelation.

The beauty of both is that the Rule of June births Revelations about the abilities inside of me.

I like to think of the Rule as Gravity while Revelation is Aerodynamics: gravity says what goes up must come down or stay grounded and tethered. Aerodynamics says take flight and only land when you are out of gas! One law is greater than the other even though both are relevant.

So why is this relevant?

For me, I started June with this grand goal of writing “Ascension Graveyard” and having her done by the end of 30 days (or at least mostly done.) I had a rule of a certain amount of words daily, same as the process that I used in the other years that I embarked upon this venture. BUT with the revelations that I have come upon I feel instinctively the drive to just slow down, not to push this story so hard to fit into the rule of the 30 day month of June.

I am confident in what I am working with, and I feel like not only does Ascension Graveyard deserve the time, all the time, that it needs to develop into the novel that it is meant to be, but you the reader, deserve a work that is worth your time. I intend to give you just that.

Does this mean that I am completely trashing my goal for this month? Not necessarily. I will still continue in making genuine efforts to produce a body of work worth publishing and worth reading by the end of June should the worlds flow towards the original goal.  I am just not going to let the rule make me rigid when I have such a clear revelation in front of me, and that is to let this story take its time and tell itself.

I hope you too will find yourself moving towards the beauty of Revelation and breaking beyond the boundaries of rigid rules.

Cheers! And look for Part 2 of this blog, exploring the spiritual aspects of Rule versus Revelation, coming sometime this week. 🙂

This entry was posted in: Writing Tips


Founder of "I came for the soup...", Candice Coates is a Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer, jumping from genres ranging from Inspirational, Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy to Comedic Clean Read Romance and Suspense, all with touches of her Christian faith. She is a lover of Ireland, languages, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing she is working on creating visual art.


  1. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort
    to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too
    much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    • Gubernur Nur Alam, I sincerely appreciate your comment and your time. Time is a precious commodity and I am so glad that you felt like you got something in exchange for it by reading what I posted. Thank you 🙂 Are you by chance a writer? Is that why you feel like you spend too much time reading and commenting? Either way, I again appreciate you reading AND I appreciate equally the comments. Feedback helps me to become a better writer and blogger for that matter.

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