Most aspiring writers dream of becoming fiction writers, thinking that non-fiction writing is boring and unrewarding when compared to the creative freedom that fiction promises. However, it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation – writing fiction won’t always pay the bills, and there are skills and techniques you can learn from writing non-fiction that will be useful. Besides, as a writer, you owe it to yourself to learn how to be well rounded and multi-disciplinary. Here are 5 tips for non-fiction writing:
1. Learn How to Cite Sources
When writing non-fiction books or articles, you will be dealing with facts. But the problem is that most of the time, you are not the original or only source of these facts – so unless you’re doling out statements that are considered common knowledge, you should be prepared to present facts the proper way instead of expecting people to take everything you say at face value.
2. Try to Find New Angles to Your Topic
One of the disadvantages of non-fiction writing is that there is a great chance that other people have already covered the topic you are writing about. In order to ensure that your work is still relevant and useful, you should try to find a new angle on the topic, or simply present it in a better – more in depth – way.
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3. Do Your Research
Technically, research is an important part of writing in general, but when you are writing non-fiction, it becomes doubly important. Readers will expect factual accuracy out of your writing, and your writing can actually be harmful if you don’t do your research. And by research, it is important to be thorough. Don’t depend on a single source. Verify to the best of your abilities if your sources are credible and updated – this is the tricky part. Your source might be credible, but it could also be updated. Many of the facts today will no longer apply in the future. For example, hundreds of years ago the statement “man cannot reach the moon” is fact.
4. Build a Structure
When writing non-fiction, it is important to build a structure beforehand just so you have a clear goal and a framework to work within. This doesn’t mean you can’t deviate once in a while, but it will make your work easier (and will help you meet the deadline) if you have a basic outline of the things you need to accomplish. One of the easiest ways to do this is by building an index or table of contents first before starting on the draft.
5. Last But Not the Least: Engage Your Readers
Nobody said that non-fiction should be boring or uncreative. It needs to deal in facts, yes – but you can present it in entertaining ways, using your own voice or by tackling the topic in a meaningful and creative way. The people who will read your book are already interested in the topic you are writing about, so you already have your work cut out for you. All that you need is present it in a way that will make your writing stand out from other authors’ works.
Image credit: miss_millions on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]