Every writer needs a companion or two along for the ride. Having a fresh printing of the MLA, Chicago Manual, or AP Stylebook on hand is a given. Many a student has sworn by college writers’ reference manuals for the confidence it gives them to submit those first novice masterpieces they labored over, written with all the eager expectation of Ralphie Parker’s letter to Santa, just knowing it will get them the professorial attention they so deserve. Enough of them, in fact, that Macmillian put out edition number ten last year.
But a single source to reference the most frequently asked questions in writing; a quick way to confirm your understanding or tap into something new, all laid out in a super-simple Q&A format? This might actually be a first.
Why Every Writer Needs an FAQ Reference Companion
Imagine with us, if you will, a house in the countryside. It’s got a wrap around porch fit for summer nights and fireflies, enough rocking chairs for a host of family and friends. During the holiday season, jack-o-lanterns line the walkway for tiny goblins with sticky fingers and a delayed bedtime. The anticipation of bare branches bowed beneath the weight of fresh fallen snow hangs thick in the air. Each room inside is aglow, welcoming passersby with an inviting warmth. It’s idyllic.
But then it starts to sink. Its foundation is weak. What once appeared able to withstand the challenge of everyday life can no longer bear the pressure of standing on its own. It crumbles, seemingly piece by piece and then all at once. Oak planks turned out to be particle board, each corner stuck together with wads of chewing gum. The idea was nice. The execution was faulty. Time to build again, this time with informed decisions and without haste.
Writing is like building a house. It takes a firm foundation to get the entire piece to stand up and provide a structure that can stand the test of time. All of the big fancy words can be there, the audience could be waiting for your next blog/essay/social media post, but if you don’t know what you’re doing with your words, it’ll all be for naught.
Just like anything of quality, good storytelling needs a foundation of knowledge to build upon. These FAQ guides help provide the essential foundational elements needed to write and write well.