The more I work on this new project, the more I start to get nervous. It’s the same old familiar feeling I had when getting ready to send in the manuscript for my second book, since that one was going to be put up everywhere. I posed the question last year: Do the big named authors still get butterflies when they put out a new book?
Of course this book is a little more different, since this new one deals with the guidelines to writing. It isn’t so much one of those wild-imagination-fictional-novel-types. But I can’t wait to get back to that soon. So this manual for new authors with no formal training has me on edge. Why? Like I said in my previous post, these are guidelines not rules.
The guidelines to writing pure fiction do askew a bit from writing a manual or memoir. I must repeat at the end of every chapter that these are “guidelines” not rules. With that being said–repeatedly–is it then necessary to put out a manual with guidelines to effective writing? I think so.
I’ve been browsing some posts lately, reading through new author questions, and see some of the advice given still lends toward self-satisfying. One particular post really had me confused; the author asked if it was okay to change from 1st person to 2nd person point of view and he typed in an example. The responses varied, but what really stood out where those who responded, “it’s your book, you can do anything. Go for it.”
The author then asked if there was an effective way to do this. Several responses stated that the author could do whatever he wanted because it was his project. I wasn’t thrilled with those responses, and since I wasn’t signed up to that group (and didn’t want to join), I stood back helpless to put my two cents in. It wasn’t that what he wrote was bad, and I have read several books that jump point of view, but it really should be done in a way to not confuse the reader. The way this author wrote it was confusing, and other people just went along with it.
It’s that kind of thinking that frustrates me. I totally agree that writing is a stroke of our creative genius, but if we write to publish, then we are writing for people beyond ourselves. And if we are writing for others to read, then we should assume some responsibility to make our work(s) at least make some amount of sense to our readers. I’m really hoping this isn’t just me, but I have read enough to know that some authors seem to not care at all.
This is where I reach an impasse: put out a book on guidelines and be given doody by those who feel there are no “guidelines” in writing. Or put out this manual to help those who want at least a basic concept of some of the terminology floating around in the publishing world?
I’m an entrepreneur by nature, always having some wild idea and a few times reacting on it. And every time some crazy idea pops into my head, I do an insurmountable amount of research on the topic, complete with flow charts, projections, time, and numbers. This new idea of putting out a manual along with a website is a huge thing and makes me very nervous . . . so I’m still going to do it. Anything that makes me this nervous has to have something to it.
See you December 21, 2012.
written by, Tania L Ramos author of Be Still and When I thought I Was Tough.
Follow at Facebook.com/TaniaLRamosBooks