We sat down with Akshat wraith . To discuss him about his book and why non-fiction was the obvious choice for him..
Why did you choose to write a non-fiction book?
I should admit that one of the reasons I wanted to do non-fiction was because I could do this with a good proposal. I didn’t need to write the whole thing before. I’d had a couple other projects and commissioned writing before, so I took a week off to write the proposal. What’s also great about non-fiction is that nothing you do in the process is wasted. It might take a little while, but you can shape and go back to things you’ve already written and use them in your next project.
It can feel like a slow process with non-fiction, admittedly, so it is important to be interested and committed to your subject. With my first book The backbenchers , I so clearly remember having the idea as I was just turning 20. I love friendship as a genre, but so often we already know exactly what we should do; all we want is someone to give us a hug and say it’s going to be OK. So, I wanted the book to do just that.
2.What advice would you give to writers looking to work on a non-fiction project?
I think in a very structured way. Whenever the book felt daunting, I thought about each chapter as a series of features. If I was going to read a magazine feature, what was it going to be about? What case studies and other information could I pull into the piece? If you’re serious about writing non-fiction, thinking about the magazines you love isn’t a bad place to start.
If you read an article – something no longer than 1200 words – and think ‘I’d love to read more of this’. Well, if anything sparks that in you, then you might be about to write the book of it.
I know that I can write fast because I don’t get paid if I don’t write fast. My greatest motivation is fear. The biggest difference between writers who make it and those who don’t: tenacity. People who know the middle bit is long and awful. The beginning when you start is so fun, but the number of times writing the proposal and thinking my god this is a waste of time. What am I doing?
3.You had an agent before you started working on your book. What would be your advice for those looking to find an agent for their own work?
Social media is a great place to start. Before I had an agent, it seemed like this impenetrable world. I’d read books about the publishing and agent-ing process and thought it was a closed shop. I was stunned that agents are generous and so excited about talent, and really keen to see it and to celebrate it. For all we complain about it, Twitter is a lovely way of being in contact with agents. It’s easy to find out the agent of writers you love. Their job is to find great new voices.
4.Any top tips you’d like to share with other writers starting out?
Getting as much writing experience under your belt as necessary is so important. The best thing you can do is to read and do your research, because the more you read, the more you know.
Secondly, you really can’t be too thorough. You need to think about why that book idea is the right one for you and why you’re the person to write it. You could have the greatest idea in the world, but if there’s also someone who could write about that subject, you’ve got to think of a very specific reason as to why you should be hired to do the job.
You need to be answering a question where you care about the answer.
॰Some important tips by author Akshat wraith:-
Before you submit
Websites for Google Scholar, JSTOR, and Project Muse, some of the most useful places to find scholarship to cite.
• Enjoy the first draft. Complete a first draft. Let yourself enjoy the process and don’t worry about anything else. The overall length should be between 6,000–9,000 words. If it is on the shorter side of this, that will make the rest of the process easier, since you will doubtlessly be adding more during the editing process.
• Leave months for revisions. Set the first draft aside for at least a month before you review it again.
During this time, you can reflect on what you have written, but don’t read it again just yet. Instead, read work by others on the topic, with a few to citing them in your revision stage.
• Cite with care. As with any form of writing, who you cite is a reflection of who you are. You can find out about the latest scholarship on a topic by plugging relevant keywords into Google Scholar, JSTOR, and Project Muse. The advantage of using these sites is that their indices focus on articles that have undergone peer review. Mentioning those articles in your work will enhance your credibility. Keep in mind that one of the authors of those works may well be your reviewer, so be kind.
• Share it with others. The more you read the work of your friends and colleagues the more likely they will be to reciprocate by reading your work and offering useful feedback. At least one of these readers should have some knowledge of the field, and the other should preferably be an outsider.
• Be patient. Peer-review can take a year or longer. Usually the wait is worth it. So as you soon as you submit, do you best to forget about it and start working on something else.
• Craft your abstract with care. All submissions to scholarly journals are accompanied by an abstract. Craft it with as much care as you would a pitch for a non-scholarly publication. This is the first thing that readers will see, and it will help them decide whether to read your article.