“There's nothing more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it”
– Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones
People love stories, there is no space for any argument. But what if you’re dying to tell something to the world that necessarily isn’t a story. This is the greatest challenge any non-fiction writer come across. Non-fiction is a vast spectrum, from web content to educational essays, everything falls under non-fiction, to be precise it’s what is real, and real things at times can be boring, that’s were a great writer comes in, to turn around anything that’s boring to something interesting. There are somethings we must keep in mind while doing this, some tools that will enhance the journey of writing nonfiction.
#1 WRITE YOUR HEART OUT
Let’s get this straight, are you passionate about what you want to write? If yes continue reading, if no, find something that fascinates you. Passion is really important be it fiction, nonfiction, script, or poetry, but it’s more important for non-fiction as information presentation can be boring, this applies even if you’re writing memoirs or biography. Good fiction is always driven by passion, characters, and rising action, the passion and research of a nonfiction writer should overcome the two very catchy elements of fiction.
#2 KNOW YOUR READERS
As the spectrum of nonfiction widens, so does the category of readers. If you’re planning in writing generalized stuff, be real genius at it. There is often a misconception that it is generalized writing that pleases the audience but niche writing can help you to create a passionate reader base, be it your blog or book.
Once you know what you’re about to do, the next step is to research the hell out of it. Research is the most daring part of nonfiction writing. It is important that you read almost every book and essay. Research may take years, this is where your passion becomes the fuel of your research. Research gives you great insights, ideas, and perspective.
Good content will always be well structured, this applies for every form of writing from blogs to books. It’s very important to organize facts and fascination in a perfect proportion. This is the stage where your research will be categorized, divided into chapters, topics, and subtopics. It’s very important for a nonfiction writer to read and re-read a ton of nonfiction works and while re-reading it’s important to look through the text to find out the structure, presentation, narrative style, tone, etc.
Editing is inevitable to any form of text. After the first draft, it is important to read, take notes, correct, check, and re-read for at least 50 times, especially if the text is big.
#6 INFORMATION OVERLOAD
This is a mistake that most of the new writers make, it is very important to realize that your reader is not as passionate as you in the subject you choose, so it’s really important not to bore them with an enormous amount of information that is unable to perceive. If you’re writing a text for doctors it’s okay to use medical terms but for a general audience that might be too much. It is important to find the balance so that audience invests their time in reading your piece.
Like any art, the art of mastering nonfiction is similar. Investing time and work with an equal amount of passion is the key to any locked door in writing.
This article was written by Irin Anna Cherian.