Patterson described the book as a story that “unwound like nothing I’d read before” and “felt like it must have been written in 2059”. He wondered how Sterne was able to “break writing rule ever made” Patterson felt the story was so much more enjoyable because of the broken rules.
Here’s an excerpt from Patterson's article: “...Sterne mixes first and third person, throws down sentence fragments...in short, to do whatever he damn feels. So I admit I’m a copier. I copied Sterne’s full-throttle freedom. And haven’t looked back since...”
Patterson is right. There is a sense of freedom in writing the story the way you want without having adhering to a set of archaic rules. The publishing landscape has changed so why not the writing landscape too?
Think about it - in real life, dialogue and thoughts are not always in complete sentences. When you speak, be it with friends, with co-workers, or with family, do you always use complete sentences? Of course not.
In my first novel, Price of Justice, published last year, I used a mix of first and third person for Jason Scarsdale and Dani Mueller. That mixing generated some criticism but, hey, I wrote it the way I wanted to. In my newest novel (almost ready for the editor), I use incomplete sentences a lot and you know what, I love it. It really feels natural and free.
We, as writers, strive to make our stories believable. Why bind yourself to archaic rules? Be like Patterson. Let go. Write what and how you feel and never look back.