The brave new world of nonfiction

Book buyers like true stores, but they want them to be as thoroughly entertaining as a novel.

Narrative non-fiction has opened up a whole new world for those who have always wanted to write novels but feel more comfortable dealing with facts and hard truths.

Fiction has these basic elements:

  1. A hook to grab the reader’s attention.
  2. A lot of research about the story, the setting, the time, the place, the characters, and the events that, when woven together, make an engaging story.
  3. A story told with feeling and emotion.
  4. A believable story.
  5. A memorable setting.
  6. Unforgettable characters.
  7. Great, hard-hitting passages of dialogue.
  8. A strong plot.
  9. Numerous plot twists.
  • A satisfying conclusion.

Well, guess what? Here is what a narrative non-fiction book requires.

  1. A hook to grab the reader’ attention.
  2. A lot of research about the story, the setting, the time, the place, the characters, and the events that, when woven together, make an engaging story.
  3. A story told with feeling and emotion.
  4. A believable story.
  5. A memorable setting.
  6. Unforgettable characters.
  7. Great, hard-hitting passage of dialogue.
  8. A strong plot.
  9. Numerous plot twists.
  10. A satisfying conclusion.

The difference is imagination runs wild.

With fiction, you can back yourself into an impossible corner, let your imagination come up with a brilliant and plausible way to dig yourself out of the predicament and keep right on going. Maybe all it takes is an extra sip of coffee.

In non-fiction, you need to stick to the facts. Don’t ever stray too far from the truth. You will get yourself in trouble if you do. If you have backed yourself into an impossible corner, you must stop and begin more research, a deeper investigation into the events that occurred in order to dig yourself out of the predicament.

There may be no difference, however, in the writing style

Good narrative non-fiction should read like a novel, and it has the advantage of being true. Book buyers like true stores. But today’s book buyers want them to be as thoroughly entertaining as a novel.

My Confessions from the Road is a series of short stories based on characters I’ve stumbled across during my many years as a travel editor.

They’re true.

At least, they were told to me as truth.

But they read like fiction.

Why?

Readers want to know the good and the bad side of characters.

They hang on to crisp passages of dialogue. They prefer descriptions that make them feel as though they are trapped within the scene.

They demand a story that takes their emotions on a wild and unpredictable thrill ride.

Gone are the old, traditional days of turning out dry and boring non-fiction prose in order to get the facts straight, regurgitated, and down on paper simply for the sake of preserving a historical perspective.

Please click HERE to find Confessions from the Road on Amazon.

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