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Should I Write Nonfiction?

Here’s a question: should I write nonfiction? It’s a simple question but it raises a lot of additional questions that you might be wise to answer.

Question #1, I write fiction, what is needful to be done differently to write nonfiction?

Surprisingly, I have discovered that writing nonfiction is not a whole lot different than writing fiction as far as my work output is concerned. The biggest difference has been to make dry facts enjoyable to read.

In fiction, I employ my imagination to a high degree and have the freedom to create new characters, dialogs, etc. In nonfiction, I have to be fact oriented. It is not just a story; it is a document that relates facts in a manner that instructs and possibly entertains the readers. Like any writing, the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Question #2, If I write nonfiction do I need to stop writing fiction?

That is a personal question that only you can answer. There are authors who write both. Recently I have joined those ranks. I would recommend you try it before you arrive at a final conclusion.

You just might discover that you are good at it!

We will explore these and more on the other side of the break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Question #3, Do I have the skill level?

This is another question that requires effort on your own to discover the answer. I would say that many of the skills needed for fiction are needful for nonfiction.

You still need to do research, check your spelling and grammar, and perform other writing basics. One helpful thought might be to read nonfiction books, particularly on your chosen topic. This is not required, but it might help you see what skills you may need.

Question #4, What topics would I write about?

One of the rules I have followed in writing fiction is to ‘write what you know about’. That can change over time. In my case I love history so it was natural that I would write historical fiction. I also love the Bible, so it was natural to write about historical people, places, and events in the Bible.

Later, I developed an interest in science and exploration of space. I have read several science fiction books and didn’t care for the requisite alien life that dots the landscape. But when I started writing speculative fiction, which is science fiction from a more Christian point of view, I found I enjoyed it.

The same is true about nonfiction. Write what you know or what you are interested in. I am not talking about reporting. We live in an age where the average reporter simply echoes what someone else has said.

For examples of this, simply look at the Covid-19 coverage. Whether you are reading the New York Times, an Associated Press article, or most major television news, you get almost identical information. Not because those news sources are reporting the truth, but because they are either too lazy to the digging to verify the facts or because the ‘facts’ reported simply fall in line with their political agenda. In fact, sometimes you feel like you are reading an article written by the Democratic National Committee.

If you are going to write nonfiction, you should be willing to rock the boat a little. Dig down and find out what is true. Don’t accept so-called ‘fact checkers’ as, in my opinion. they are of little use. In general, report as old-time reporters use to report by digging deep for the truth.

Question #5, Does this require a lot more research?

Generally, my answer would be yes. For the simple reason that your entire book, article, or document is fact based. But that only means you include more of your research material.

If you’ve been following my blog for any time, then you know I believe in doing research. Fiction is more believable if soundly based on facts, and nonfiction literally requires facts. Basically, you still do the research and perhaps more depending on the subject.

Question #6, Am I willing to put the extra work in?

Again, this is a personal choice. I do not know how much time and effort you normally put into your work. If you invest hours and hours of time and effort in writing fiction, then the increase in work is probably minimal.

But if you toss off fiction with little work, then you can expect a dramatic increase in your work load.

Question #7, What’s my motive?

Motive is always important. I recently wrote about your motive for writing. That covers both fiction and nonfiction. You might want to review it. However, that primarily covered writing in general.

Writing nonfiction can be just as exciting as writing fiction. Most fiction has some truth involved and often requires research into people, places, and events. In science fiction and speculative fiction, you need research into tools, inventions, discoveries, and more. Nonfiction almost always involves research. Plus, in nonfiction you need to have references so your reader can check them out for accuracy and additional information.

In conclusion, take a look at what you know about yourself. You will likely discover that you have more skills than you thought, and that you know more than you think. Don’t let the unknown stop you. Give nonfiction a try and discover if that is a worthwhile writing career choice.

If you would like to comment on this article, please do.

If there is the slightest chance that you might write a book, whether many or just one, visit us and take advantage of our knowledge. The information is free and helpful, and our plans are designed for your budget. Periodically, I will either upgrade the videos or add additional ones for your perusal.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Oh, and if you email us inquiring about our services, we will provide you a free copy of our book on writing plus a brochure about our business.

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What’s Your Motive for Writing?

Why is it important to know what’s your motive for writing?

There are at least 3 reasons:

1 – Direction of Writing Career.

Your motive for writing provides you with the direction, like a weathervane, of your writing career.

2 – Inspiration for your books.

This is where your motive can and often does influence or inspire your writing. Initially it would be the genre, such as historical fiction, but eventually it can inspire who and what you are writing about to a much greater degree.

3 – Duration of your career.

Here, motive plays a major role in helping you survive or be sustained when your writing career runs into buffeting winds of adversity or road bumps that threaten to derail you.

We will explore these and more on the other side of the break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Let’s break these motives down further.

Direction of Your Writing Career

This overlaps to some degree the Inspiration for your books. However, whatever your motive is, it will play a major role in choices you make early on. For example, your motive could be a desire to make a lot of money.

If I was rating motives, money would come in as the least effective, and virtually the weakest. It is not bad to want to make money; all of us do. But I contend that if making money is your only motive, you will have a hard time.

Why, you might ask.

Because money is not durable. You might fall out of favor with your leaders, or you might lose readership. Whatever the cause, you do suddenly twice as much work for less than you were paid to do.

On the other hand, desiring to make money can lead to writing for magazines, copy writing, and other financially beneficial jobs. These are all good results. In fact, you can earn a lot of money writing stories for magazines.

So, if your motive is to make a lot of money, go for it. But remember that if and when you hit a wall or the money ceases for a time, the motive of making money is on shaky ground. You will need another motive to sustain you.

Inspiration for Your Writing

Inspiration is the lifeblood of writing. Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction you need inspiration. I write in multiple genres, and I have multiple motives. One is making money, but another is to write stories that entertain and point people to Christ.

For example, I have one series, The World That Was that includes novels about creation, our forefathers such as Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and others. This series is based on factual people, places, and events, but like any historical novel, it fills the gaps with enough fictional narrative to bring the facts alive. In this way, readers are transported back (or forward) to the events the book is based upon.

Inspiration can also lead you to write stories about children, thus children’s fiction. My books, for example, tend to explore adult themes. My goal is to write stories that demonstrate the depravity of man and the grace of God. This sometimes requires me being on a balancing beam between being too explicit and being too bland. That is one reason I like people to review my books because it gives me an inkling of how I am doing and if I need to edit or not.

In short, inspiration covers almost every aspect of writing. It is also helpful in helping me when roadblocks, etc. get in my way. Before I got saved when I asked Jesus into my heart, I would attempt to write a book. Sometimes I would get about five chapters in and suddenly hit a roadblock. And I couldn’t get around it.

But after I got saved this changed; albeit 30 years later. I got inspiration direct from God while reading about Noah and the Ark in Genesis chapter 6. I saw that while God told us enough to display the depravity of man and the grace of God, it was still mostly skeleton. I realized that as a writer I could clothe the skeleton in fiction and bring the characters and events alive!

In addition, the Holy Spirit gave me Psalm 71:18: ‘Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shown thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

He not only gave me a major boost in my writing, but He also gave me a motive: to show His strength unto this generation!

That is my number one motive for writing and it sustains me no matter what.

Duration of your career

At the beginning of this blog I said, motive plays a major role in helping you survive or be sustained when your writing career runs into buffeting winds of adversity or road bumps that threaten to derail you.

In previous blogs I have discussed a variety of motives, such as:

  • Money
  • Fame
  • Call of God

These are all excellent motives, but as a Christian the best is Call of God. At our physical birth we receive talents. It could be one or multiple talents. I believe I received the talent called imagination, which is crucial to fictional and, for that matter, nonfictional writing.

I don’t regard my writing skill as a talent. Rather, it is a result of hard work and study! But when I got saved, He gave me another gift which is the ability to tell a story that glorifies God.

Even so, it took another 30 years for the talent (my imagination) and the storytelling ability to unite. And that happened because God showed it to me as I described earlier. But all of that would not have taken place without my first getting saved and then allowing God to chip away the dead skin of sin in my life. He keeps purifying me and providing me insights into how we humans think and, more importantly, how He thinks.

I am not saying that you must have the same experiences I had. But if you are a Christian and you want to serve God through your writing, then we have something in common. More importantly, in Christ you have the most important motivation there can be. Nothing is more powerful than knowing that you are doing what He wants you to do.

Motives can change over time and thus it is always wise to reexamine your motives and how you are applying them. But God’s plan for your life while it may seem to change from your perspective, it remains unchanged. Your understanding of it can change, but God is fully aware of everything that you will experience and has already incorporated it into His plan for you. That is exciting!

In conclusion, being motivated is absolutely important. You can have multiple motivations, but I believe that one will dominate. Whichever one that is, it will influence how you write and whether to overcome obstacles or not. I encourage you to reexamine your motives. It might result in adding or subtracting, or reordering, but it will certainly result in you having a more balanced approach to your writing and the wherewithal to overcome the obstacles that will come.

If you would like to comment on this article, please do.

If there is the slightest chance that you might write a book, whether many or just one, visit us and take advantage of our knowledge. The information is free and helpful, and our plans are designed for your budget. Periodically, I will either upgrade the videos or add additional ones for your perusal.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Oh, and if you email us inquiring about our services, we will provide you a free copy of our book on writing plus a brochure about our business.