Finding Your Aha! in Non-Fiction Writing

Welcome to November – it’s non-fiction month!

Writing stories – that’s what we do, most certainly! Then there are those non-fiction things that we’re forced to write to sell the creative. Back jacket book blurb, synopsis, query letter – which is the most frustrating one for you? Or, are they all understandably so? We’ll get some tips on those as well as cool information on things like ghost writing, blogging, writing grants and understanding those pesky editorial mark ups. Just to make it all easier and to make more sense, Adria Laycraft, our guest on Tuesday November 4th, will talk about the difference between fiction and technical writing.

No matter what we write, there is story to be found, even in non-fiction and our November 16th guest, Billie Milholland will tell us about that. There is even money to be made with nonfiction, as Guy Anthony De Marco, Colette Black and guest Tereasa Maille will show us.

I must confide that sometimes I find it very difficult to switch from writing pure fiction to writing the technical stuff especially when it comes to promoting my own work. But I’ve come to realize that I’m quite comfortable translating the technical/scientific to people. I see stories in whatever I write. As a speaker, on business planning, agricultural marketing and food safety/food science, that’s a great skill to have. I always can find the stories in the science and business to translate into easily accessible information. When I understood the story, understood my audience and what they needed, and how they needed to hear it, magic happened. The aha! moments abounded, faces furrowed with confusion would grin and light up. People became excited about the possibilities for they could now see themselves as part of the story.

That makes non-fiction writing much the same as fiction writing – there is a story to tell, there is information, ideas, feelings to communicate. The language and the rules may be slightly different but it always comes down to story.

So, I’m looking forward to November. Anything, any hint or aha! that helps me convey the non-fiction better is awesome. I hope you have fun with it too!

And as a special treat, Fictorian Greg Little will be launching his new book Unwilling Souls. Watch for that blog – it promises to be good!

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