Before I get into today’s post I must offer you my most sincere and humble apologies for the lack of book review. Again. I’m now really getting absorbed into Fiver and the gang’s flight to “Watership Down”, but of course that means I have not finished it as yet. Next week. Promise.
Through my procrastinating serendipitous travels in the internet this week I came across an article about writing how to books and how needless they are. I admit I have never read one, bought one, used one as a coaster, for the reasons the author suggests. I read a wide smattering of books that encourage my writing to grow in the direction I want it to – and this includes occasional samplings from various genres. When I read narrowly, primarily romance, I found myself writing specifically to that end. All stories I wrote and thought of had a love story that was critical to the book and also served as the main purpose of it. Plot was vaguely defined and built up around the characters and always seemed to struggle against the “norm” of the genre. As I stepped away from the comfort of the HEA my writing seemed to evolve. I can’t quite explain it. Although there are certainly some books I’ve read this past year that resulted in me saying “THIS got PUBLISHED?!” those same books also pushed me to evaluate what I thought worked in a written format (for me as a reader) as well those things that failed abysmally didn’t. I found my writing evolving and improving through critical consumption and analysis of the written word and without utilizing any manual or guide.
What do you think? Have you bought a how-to manual or three? Used it/them? Do you think the manuals are necessary or that, as the article states, an author needs to be well read above all else and manuals about writing are ultimately unnecessary? [I’m not talking about books regarding the publishing industry, btw, primarily because the industry is complex and it’s helpful to have a guide aiding and abetting your agent research and the like.]