Why other people think (regardless of who they are) they have the right to tell us how to think, what to say, what to do, how to write... it mystifies me.
Yes, there is protocol to writing... good grammar and punctuation, strong opening sentences and believable characters. The most important is an error-free manuscript.
My take on this...
A writer is an individual expressionist. If 3 writers had the same subject, each would pen something in a different way. It isn't about being a recipe or a cookie cutter author. Rather, it is telling your stories in a manner that allows you to stand in your truth and integrity. Mechanics are always the same...good grammar, sentence structure, and strong characters. The rest of the story is your beautiful imagination woven into a blanket of words that puts a smile on a reader's face. Be you! Don't be Nora or Jill or Kristan or anyone else (they are awesome writers, but they are not YOU.) Write and stand in your truth. Don't be afraid to write outside of your comfort zone or in a different genre. It pushes us to be better, more well-rounded writers.