Developmental Editor Gives Pros and Cons To Learning The Rules Of Writing and Editing

DALLAS, TX: Developmental Editor Susan Mary Malone ( recently issued a statement of strong caution to authors newly entering the field of traditional publishing, regarding writers who fail to learn the rules of composition and other basics of the writing process.

She stated: “First off, however, you must know the rules of composition and grammar. So, you study and learn, understand and use them. Once you’re familiar with them inside and out, then and only then can you begin to break rules effectively. And then, only for specific reasons. In other words, you must be able to justify to me (or another novel editor or agent) exactly why you broke this or that one, and what you sought to accomplish through it. Most manuscripts I see where the rules are broken, the writer doesn’t know he’s doing so. Plus, that excuse of: ‘Well, that famous author did this in his last book,’ begs the question: did it work? Did the author achieve a special effect by doing so, and can you tell me what that was? Or was it just sloppy writing?”

Ms Malone discusses in depth other notes of importance on the writing process and the “rules of writing.” They can be viewed here:

With a BS in Political Science and minors in English and Journalism, columnist and journalist Susan Mary Malone has worked as an editor since 1993, Her client list includes NY Times Bestsellers, Essence Bestsellers and books featured in Publishers Weekly. She is also an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction. She participates as a speaker in literary conferences such as the Harriett Austin Writer’s Conference (at the University of Georgia), the Blue Ridge Writer’s Conference, the SouthWest Writer’s Conference, and the East Texas Writer’s Guild, among others. Her full biography and featured list of published authors can be viewed at