According to my Oxford Concise a manifesto is ‘a public declaration of a policy and aims’. I’m currently planning a tour in October for 3 teen/tween writers – 3 days, 3 cities, 3 remarkable writers – title yet to be decided, but we have some pretty nifty names already. The writers involved are Judi Curtin, writer of the fab Alice and Megan series, Sophia Bennett, writer of the equally fab Threads series set in the London fashion world, and moi!
And I came up with a tongue in cheek manifesto:
No vampires No werewolves No boys that go bump in the night
Real girls Real drama Really amazing stories straight from the heart Prepare to be pinked!
We all write books for age 9/10+ with characters who are in their early teens. We all deal with real life issues – family drama, friendship problems, bullying – hence the no vampires, no werewolves bit.
So it got me thinking – maybe I should have my own writing manifesto, a Sarah Webb Manifesto. A ‘public declaration’ of my writing intentions.
So here goes:
I guess my most important aim is to entertain.
First commandment of popular fiction of any kind is (as the lovely Claudia Carroll once said): Thou shalt not bore. Quite right too.
Second aim – to say something.
I know this sounds a little vague but sometimes I read books that don’t actually say anything. They just potter along, telling a nice story, but not really going anywhere. I think books should have something solid rooted at the heart of them – a theme if you like. Sometimes that theme doesn’t make itself fully known until you finish the 1st or 2nd or even the 3rd draft, but it’s often bubbling away under the surface of your words, slowly rising to the surface. For example in the first Amy Green book I wanted to tell readers it’s OK to be yourself. In fact it’s pretty darn cool to be yourself. It’s a theme that runs through all the Amy Green books.
My third aim is to write with passion and with confidence.
I’ve been writing for many years now and I’ve started to understand what both these things really mean and how important they are. Write without passion and you’re doomed. The confidence bit – that can be learned over time. But if you write with both passion and confidence – then you might just have a pretty good book on your hands.
So there you have it – three aims for my own personal manifesto.
What are your aims when you write?
Do you have a writing manifesto?
Yours in writing,