Rules Are Meant to be Broken

Douglas Adams, soul food for the mind 🙂

Robin Coyle

You have heard ad nauseum these two cardinal rules of writing:

“Show Don’t Tell”


“Avoid Stage Direction”

“Cookies,” from Douglas Adams’ The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time is a brilliant example of how you can BREAK THE RULES and still write a charming story. Read the text below or watch the video and be read to.

This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong.

I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.

I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in…

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