Stickin’ it to the man(uals)

I chose the project and it’s counter -intuitive. 

It’s been building slowly. I’ve been doing my research and I’ve reached a breaking point with these How to Write a Really Fantastic Romance Novel Everyone Will Want to Buy manuals

Where do writers get off telling other writers the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’ of using the written word? I don’t mean grammar or punctuation, those have their place as an aid to (mostly) the reader. I’m getting at the writers who say, ‘never use adverbs,’ or never head hop, only Nora Roberts can get away with that,‘ and my favourite, ‘keep your style simple; only literary novels use descriptive passages.’

Don’t thrust your small-minded pettiness on my writing. Writing, like a language, is a living thing. It evolves over time. Style can change in a decade or less. What was considered pulp fiction of the day (Chuck Dickens) is now classic literature. He was pretty long winded and mightily descriptive. Put a descriptive passage into a romance and you’ re being hoity toity and not adhearing to romance genre. 

Face it. One man’s Dr Seuss is another man’s Sophocles, James Joyce, or Jacqueline Susann. That Jackie Collins novel you think is trash is one person’s golden nugget. 

Wait a second. This was a bitch about prescriptive bossy boots books, not another dive into literary snobbery…

Hmmm, Could they be the same thing?

Let’s say there’s a snotty family resemblance–they’re brown-nosin’ cousins.

So I have to ask myself this question: Is this about me? Is this about my writing? 


But it could be. 

Sort of. 

Only because it annoys me so much, but listen, from where I sit, I think it’s admirable to want to stand something on its head, buck the trend, and try something different. I appreciate a romance that’s different from all the others. Hello, Elizabeth Hoyt anyone? 

Hooray, Elizabeth Hoyt! Yay!

I heard the mighty Puck-slapping Maple Sucker agree. Heartily. Hey look, an adverb!

Tarnation! I want to chuck these How-to guides out the window, but I paid good money for them and my research isn’t finished.

Luckily, (adverb again) I can claim it on my taxes.

While I’m up here on my soapbox, lemme toss in my 2 bits: Let’s get rid of pink or pastel covers. Let’s ban all those bodice-ripper style covers than never seem to actually capture what the hero and heroine are supposed to look like. Let’s have covers that match the title. Let’s allow the author to have input into the cover artwork!

Back to the research at hand.

One thought on “Stickin’ it to the man(uals)

  1. And the title! Let’s let authors have input into what their book is called. Because we do *not* need another book titled “The virgin said, ‘Wow!'”

    Puck slappin’ Maple Sucker Average everyday saint psycho super-goddess, with occasional good ideas

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