Maybe that is exactly what we are being; turning out page after page of what we hope an unknown judge will not deem drivel. Preface: I read post after post about how this should be that and that should be this according to some unseen Oz we nominate as sellable or the regurgitations of the daily lessons of the high school teacher who is but a stone skipping across the fathoms of literature. We use words like craft and craftsmen, art and artisan. We play the same plays that made the ones before us good. We place our favorites on high pedestals and marvel at their skill and uniqueness, but daren't tread upon their majesty. No, that hallowed ground was for them and them alone. Yet, even today, an author will cast down the bulky confines that limit his craft (again, sorry ginger and maia for using masculine) and present to us another bestseller or question maker. Meat of the Matter: Are those new, groundbreaking authors telling the readers to go fuck themselves? No! They are showing, not telling. They are telling a compelling story that stands out from the rest of the confined, homogenous blob of what writing should be. Spoiler alert: I hate to break it to you, but living amongst the poor and downtrodden citizens of Lafayette and Yocona (pronounced Yok-nee) counties in Mississippi; Faulkner's stories could have passed for newspaper articles. His dialogue is not unique; it is real. One of my favorite shows to watch as I fall asleep over my half full cocktail, of which I wish I had the alcohol to use the following night, is The New Yankee Workshop. I could learn to emulate everything Norm Abram has to teach me if I had roughly $37,532.57 to spend in equipment, right?. Probably not. The real question, though, is would I want to. If all I do is copy Norm, does that make me a master? If all I do is write like Keats, does that make me a master? Plato did not reason like his teacher, and his student did not reason like him. Who do you know best out of the three? Conclusion: Of course there are certain rules you have to abide by as an author: syntax, tense, POV, etc. It is your unique ability to apply those rules (not all are always applicable) and create your own story. Don't copy. Don't replicate. If all writers on this site are craftsmen, then the person replicating table after table at the Wal-Mart woodshop are craftsmen as well. Take your teachers' lessons with a grain of salt and apply; never copy.