Have you ever dreamed of a writing career? The dreaming will never be enough to reach your goal. If you want to write nonfiction professionally, you need to start working on your writing skills now. Of course, you will never learn how to write until you start to practice your skill. So if you want to give a try at writing, keep in mind that the main thing that you should do is to write.
In this article, we are going to tell you 9 important steps that you need to make to learn how to write nonfiction and turn writing into your career.
What’s nonfiction writing and what particular features does it have?
Many think that nonfiction is far easier than writing fiction and stories, but in fact, nonfiction has too many particularities and points that make it rather hard.
First, let’s compare fiction and nonfiction. The main difference is the goal they serve. For example, fiction is predominantly used to entertain the reader and enrich his or her experience with vivid languages and images. We all write fiction at some point. For example, if we check cause and effect essay topic, we will notice that they have much to do with fiction. However, this is not a true fiction as it has many traces that are common to non-fiction.
The main aim of non-fiction literature is to educate readers. If we think about essays from this point of view, we will notice that they do serve this goal, so they are a kind of nonfiction. At the same time, we cannot tell that nonfiction lacks vividness of language. However, you will hardly find here some images, unless they are compared, described, or analyzed.
So how do you write nonfiction that will really educate the readers? Let’s check it out!
1. Define Your Reader
Before you proceed to next steps, you need to clearly understand who will read your writing. This is a crucial point as if you skip it, you will never know how to talk to your audience. For example, your readers are students, aged 22-23, who are interested in sports and nutrition. This audience will be perfect for such topics as healthy lifestyle. However, if your readers are workaholics, aged 40+ who spend events in bars and pubs, they will hardly be interested in topic.
2. Find the Most Working Ideas
There are tons of information over the internet, and many of us have already come across the articles that repeat the same ideas in slightly different words. You definitely got tired from that, and you always pay attention to the ideas that you never met before. Your readers are the same, so don’t hesitate to brainstorm to develop topics that no one has covered before.
3. Make the Topic Very Precise
No one is interested in all-in-one content. Your readers are looking for some particular ideas that deal with certain problems. Some think that narrowing down the topic just leads to the decrease in the number of readers, but in reality, the quality of your audience grows as they find information they are interested in.
4. Tell Stories
No matter what ideas and topics you have created for your nonfiction writing, you should always remember about storytelling. This is one of the most effective ways to attract attention to your writing, as people do love stories, and they would rather read the story than just a technical description. This rules works for nonfiction as well.
Moreover, your reader will remember your writing better if you won’t use abstract images but connect them to real people or situations. For instance, if you are writing about benefits of sports, it will be better not just to enumerate them, but to show how exactly they improve the quality of life if different people.
5. Try Different Styles of Writing
Today, only bad nonfiction is written in informative style. More authors pay their attention to other styles that helps them to reach audience better and distinguish from other writers, the number of which is enormous. You can even try poetry, as this is not what your readers expect to find in nonfictions. The experiments are allowed, but do remember to make them wisely.
6. Be Emotional
One of the biggest mistakes connected with writing nonfiction is that it is unemotional and boring. New publications prove that the quality of nonfiction never suffers if the writer becomes a little bit more emotional than the reader expects. Use more verbs, find the words which covey more precise and strong meaning, and do use some phrases and information language.
7. Write in simple words
Many writers believe that nonfiction is only researches and studies that must be written in a complicated industry language that everyone will understand. If you write about some complicated topics, never use complicated language. Your readers will never keep reading you if they don’t understand what exactly you telling them. In case you still need to use some complicated lingo or abbreviations, never forget to add the explanation of them.
8. Surprise With Facts
Nonfiction literature frequently uses facts to prove some ideas or show them to the readers. If you decided that you need to use facts, figures, and dates, it will be better to use something that your readers cannot come across in Wikipedia or some other popular websites. But to remember that the source should be reliable! For that, it will be better to read the researches of popular scientists and famous industry opinion leaders.
9. Don’t Mess up the Ideas
If you want to write good nonfiction and become a professional writer, stick to the golden rules of writing. One of them is never mess up your ideas. This writing habit will kill any fiction paper, and it will make nonfiction piece an unreadable one. Your writing should always be coherent and cohesive, the ideas should be connected, and you need to present them in the form of blocks, so that the reader could easily switch from one idea to another.
Do remember to divide your writing into paragraphs, to use bullet lists, and present different ideas in different chapters.
None of the professional writers will tell you that writing nonfiction is easy. It requires the same professionalism and responsible attitude as writing fiction. You need to be creative, to use words properly, and to find approaches to your readers to keep them interested and motivated to keep you reading. If you are ready to give nonfiction writing a try – always follow the steps that we have mentioned in this article, and you won’t fail!
Richard Nolan is a professional writer and team building coach, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students. Richard works as a general blog editor for EliteEssayWriters Follow him on Facebook.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit with templates, worksheets and checklists for writing nonfiction. Check it out!