Whether I go sailing, scuba or dirt track racing, I’ve had to learn the ‘rules’ before I learned how to break them. Writing is the same. There are certain ones you adhere to regardless of genre or activity. Then there are the ones you can slide on a bit, and those you can outright break. Believe me, on that first book, I broke most of them.
Writing isn’t stagnant (neither is scuba for that matter.) Rules are changing. But that doesn’t mean I — or a reader — will always like them.
Are you a strict follower or a breaker? How do you keep up with the changes?