Stephen King wrote an incredible book about his craft, entitled On Writing. It’s a brilliantly written book by a master storyteller who's a classic no-nonsense kind of guy.
One of King's main points in the book is to get in, and then get out, of a scene as quickly as possible. It's what stuck with me as I read the book, since, obviously, I have a tendency to go on for far too long in my writing.
But the thing about that is...King doesn’t take his own advice.
Known for his long form fiction, King has the tendency to write massive tomes. Like, serious, thousand-page buggers. He spends lots and lots of time in important scenes, letting his characters do and say things until they're finished doing and saying things.
And, often, it takes King characters a while to finish.
But, I think, somewhere in that contradiction lies King’s best piece of advice when it comes to writing—and, really, to doing anything creative. Follow the rules, but only until you come up with something better.
Or something more fun.
This is especially true with writing fiction, I think, but it can be applied to all forms of creative output. I think, as anyone else who needs to work within certain boundaries at work, it's always better to do something differently than how others have done it.
As long as it works.
And there's the key. It's cool and different to be cool and different, but that won't fly--ever--when what you come up with just doesn't work. But when it does work, even though it's different and not what people are used to seeing?
That's when you go with it.