Authors have always been known for thinking beyond the horizons. They think differently and that’s why they can write novels, poems and stories that attract the readers. Moreover, it’s their thinking that helps them carry on a single idea to a meaningful conclusion that offers us, the readers, something to remember for our life. Who can forget Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair by Thackeray? Who can forget even the ‘supposedly’ Dark Lady from Shakespearean sonnets? Who can forget Wessex and Malgudi? Coming to the age we live, who will forget (only those who have read) Mr Bhagat’s chit-chats and twists in the plots? Who will now dare to forget Kazuo Ishiguro’s calm series of events?
What I want to say here is that an author must be prepared to offer something entirely new to the readers. If an author fails to offer something genuinely new, the result is very sad – getting lost into the oblivion from where there is seemingly no return! In today’s writing industry, it has become customary for anyone with the slightest of writing skills to look for publishing opportunity and I find it very encouraging for the times to come in Indian Literature. We will have many writers on whom we can put the weight of our great literature. However, with the rise of self-publication, any author who is hurried enough to get published, looks for any of the best self-publishing company in India and gets the manuscript published without even caring to amend it, improve it and polish it to the best version. Is it right? For the ambition, yes; but for the future of that ambitious person, no!
My sole emphasis in this article will be on the need for the manuscript’s betterment. Even if you are looking to self-publish your book, always remember that your manuscript is taken care of. Many self-publishing houses don’t do it because all they need is your money. However, there are many companies that work on your manuscript before publishing it. I will move one step further and say that you should work on your manuscript on your own before you submit it for evaluation. Talk to your friends and approach them with your story. Do the like it? Their feedback will be valuable in making your manuscript finer and finer. There is always that somebody in our circle who is interested in literature – if you have that somebody, half your job will be done easily! Arouse his or her interest in your work and get important feedback.
Working on the manuscript and making it the best version of itself will ensure that your work will offer something genuine and new to the readers and that’s the sole reason any reader reads a book. If you are also writing what Mr X and Y have already written, your book will certainly bite the dust because theirs have already been written before you and readers have had that taste! Once you understand the importance of originality in literary works, you can certainly produce the next bestseller!
Writing is a responsibility and that should not be taken casually. You have to be aware and ready to accept mistakes and correct them. As an author, you have to flexible enough to let the chances of improvements come from every possible side. Writing is a continuous learning process and it should be the same throughout. All the best!
Ravi Dabral is an Indian novelist who is currently based in Singapore. His debut work in fiction, Greed Lust Addiction, has become a bestseller and he is currently regarded as one of the best crime thriller novelists in India.