Thursday, May 15, 2008

This week's Booking Through Thursday meme is a funny one:
Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?

Do you ever read manuals?

How-to books?

Self-help guides?

Anything at all?

In terms of complicated gadgets, like I said last week, I'm a button pusher. I like to learn by doing (and by my mistakes). Once I've hit a roadblock, I'll try to troubleshoot using the manual (or preferably online searchable help).

I don't read how-to books, or self-help guides. I do read books about creativity and spirituality, but those are generally theoretical or narrative, and not "Take step 1, and now step 2, etc..." Again, I like to jump in and try.

It's how I wrote my first long piece of fiction, a novella, a few years ago. I came late to fiction - I was 31 - and had no idea what I was doing, so I just sat down and winged it. Same with my first novel. And it seems that approach worked out fine.


  1. Anonymous6:50 AM

    No manuals for me. I'm like you, I always try it first and then consult the manual. This usually works. The one time it didn't was in constructing my daughter's crib.

    Self-help - No. Besides, I don't know how reading someone's opinion on how to help myself is self-help :)

    How-to? Maybe for handyman, around the house stuff.

  2. Loved your answers. I use a lot of self help workbooks which are closer to guides than narratives, though I do enjoy both kinds. It is great that the jump in and try has worked so well for your writing. I jump in a lot but really need to work to keep at it!

  3. Now when John Wayne rode in to town to tackle the cattle barons in their fancy Eastern Style ranches you never see anyone struggling with a flat pack manual. Yet mail order catalogues took off in the 19th century so did the fancy furniture arrive all made up? We need an answer!!