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VO4TA: Rule No. 48

Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at


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VO4TA: Rule No. 48


HPK VO Rule No. 48: You may ignore any, some or all of these rules and still succeed. In fact, it is very worth your time to figure out which ones are just not for you.


This is similar to HPK VO Rule No. 37:  There is no rule 37.


My editor asked me: “What does that mean: ‘There is no rule 37’? Is there an explanation? If there isn’t - that’s okay. I like that. But I wonder if you have one...”


Maybe now I do.  


ACTOR: I see that the lines should go together, like you’ve written, - ‘connect the lines to make a cohesive idea and don’t let page layout get in the way’ - but I want to read them as separate thoughts. It just makes more sense. It feels right.  


HPK:  That’s Rule 37.


(I actually heard myself say that - I felt like Gibbs on NCIS).


ACTOR: What’s that?


HPK:  Rule 37 is - “There is no Rule 37”.  No rule. Take the precept and throw it away.  


But let me take a moment right there.  


Look closely at what the ACTOR said: “I see that the lines should connect, like you’ve written…”  


They understood common practice.   


Then they said: “but I want to read them as separate thoughts”  


And NOW we arrive at the most important point!


There is an implied “BECAUSE” and then the actor continues saying -  “It just makes more sense. It feels right.”  


All the rules and guidelines are important and so very valuable. This actor understood that. And then they actor also illustrated the presence of mind to question those precepts.


Rule 37 says “be willing to break a rule if necessary”.  


Rule 48 says “learn which rules are good for you and bad for you and apply them accordingly”.  


Similar in spirit.




If you liked this post take a look at:

The General Rules

My First Time

Failures in Execution


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This is a personal weblog.  The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own and are not those of any of my employers.


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