What is non-fiction and why don't we consider it as exciting as fiction?
The world is a strange and wonderful place that needs to be written about, so that kids may learn about it.
THERE IS A NEED FOR NON-FICTION.
LIBRARIANS, TEACHERS AND PARENTS are looking for new and interesting educational titles,
NOT TO MENTION PUBLISHERS.
The Hollywood Writer's Schmooze met in October to discuss Non-Fiction --
This is the LINK here:
SCBWI SCHMOOZE BLOG
And some useful RESEARCH GUIDLINES:
2. Get two references for every fact you state.
3. Keep track of all your sources. Note the page number, date and place of publication. Not to mention the author and title of the work.
4. Use primary sources wherever possible. These are letters or journals or newspaper articles from the time the events occurred. As opposed to secondary sources, which are already researched pieces.
5. When using primary material, read between the lines. Try to get a feeling for the tone and point of view of the writing itself, Is it an advertisement, a folksy letter or an official document? Does the author have an agenda? What is it?
4. Always seek to verify and keep in mind how reliable your source is. What is the agenda or purpose?
A flier designed to recruit people into the army has a specific purpose and portrays the army in a certain light.
Most writers of FICTION already know about POV (Point of View).
In non-fiction writing...you don't create, so much as discover your point of view.
5. Every piece of information you get may have a different point of view, but eventually you may be able to start classifying your information in some useful way that will enable you to start writing and showing the various sides of your story.
5. If you are researching a person, try to get a feeling for who the person was. What was their personality? How do their actions illustrate their beliefs?
Non-fiction writer research works in a reverse way to fiction writing. We try to not see how the person's life SHOWS what we want to TELL.
When you touch on the theme of a person's life, you will find a thread to connect to audiences today...
6. Do not be afraid to revise dramatically.
As you research, you may be surprised and find information you never anticipated finding. Let the facts guide you. Chose to highlight certain aspects over others, but do not change or alter the truth.
If you do, you have crossed over into fiction or historical fiction.
There are many great non-fiction stories out there just waiting to be written.
I am working on a project of my own, which I will divulge soon.
Hope you found this article useful.
Please forward it to those you know writing non-fiction, or interested.
What kind of non-fiction do you think needs to be written?
Are you writing non-fiction?
Let me know about it, please . . . thanks!
And happy writing!!!