Is Writing Non-Fiction Boring? Part 15 of 15
Did you have fun with yesterday’s questions? Glad you did.
Now, I’ve been writing a lot about non-fiction and fiction, but I haven’t wrote about something that all writers want to learn. Literary Agents and Publishers. I’m in limbo since I want o get into the publishing industry and am working with a literary agent as their gatekeeper.
So guess what my next series is about? Literary Agents and what they do and need from us as writers. I’ll also get into publishing as well since they help with it.
Writing non-fiction is important. In many ways i feel it is more important than fiction, because non-fiction can be the foundation of writing. Okay raise your hands, when we all were in school was there a time when you wrote “What I did on my Summer Vacation”?
That’s non-fiction, but some displayed a talent for it and could add temperatures and restaurants and people they saw. I simply put the dates and times. Okay history major int eh works?
Still you could always tell the ones who had a flair for writing. I don’t know what happened to many of them, but the ones who really enjoyed it that I still keep in contact with are int eh arts and other similar industries. We do get together for lunches and talk, and it is funny how they always comment I’m a late bloomer, but some expected me to go into Drama.
Why me a Flair for the drama? Little Miss Rebecca? The Flair for the dramatic oh posh! I never! ( Okay I’m done!)
I think my writing is infused with that, once I got over the fear that dates and numbers and events are great. People want as readers to be entertained and to learn at the same time. Okay name at least three authors who did the jump between non-fiction and fiction: Stephen King, Terry Brooks and C.S.Lewis.
I could go on, but for these three, I can say that their writing improved when they wrote in non-fiction, and then in fiction. Of course passion and knowledge never hurt either.
So onwards for tomorrow, but one more thing…
My Question to You today is this: Can you become a better writer by branching out?
Interesting that you say writing non fiction improves fiction writing. I suppose I have had an experience of that.
When I was in my twenties I wrote a novel, I thought it was pretty good but never did anything with it.
Fifteen + years later I had a bit of time on my hands and thought I'd bring it out and have another look at it (luckily I found a copy on an old floppy disk, finding a computer with a floppy drive was another whole story).
It was awful! The writing was really bad! In short it sucked!
But I still liked the underlying story. So I rewrote it from the start. That rewrite forms the basis of the novel I am trying to get published now. It is now a good piece of work (not just my opinion).
What made the difference?
In the intervening years I had done a lot of writing, all non fiction: undergraduate papers, a thesis, press releases, funding submissions and reports for work. All adding up to hundreds of thousands of words.
It was a case of writing any writing, improved my ability to play with language for the purposes of fiction. I think it is ongoing development though; my prose flows much more easily as I write my second novel.
So absolutely the more varied the writing you do, the more your skill is likely to increase.
Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA
Lets not forget the little naked truth, too…. a lot of successful FICTION writers got startedby writing non-fiction because that's how they could feed themselves at first. They practiced their art doing articles for magazines and freelance work– non-fiction teaches you how to be a better researcher, and all good fiction is researched well.