The art of writing non-fiction
Literature transcends borders and connects minds. It allows readers to travel through the different eras and regions of the world that the authors explore and discuss in their books.
Whether fiction or non-fiction, books highlight the realities of life. In fiction, it is the authors’ fictional world – inspired by the real world or present in their minds – that creates a society with which readers can identify. These societies can belong to the past or to the future, they can be dystopian or utopian, they can be futuristic, fantastic or ancient. Similarly, the characters also reflect on the imagination, life events, or inspiration of the writers who, through storytelling, connect readers to the characters’ intent and journey.
Writing non-fiction is not an easy task. These books can be a biography, explore an incident or era in world history, and discuss geopolitics, economics, industries, technology, and media, among others. Authors need to undertake extensive planning before they can start writing. They do research and confirm the facts. The facts must be credible and up to date. They should be added to the book with the sources. A non-fiction book should be a nice combination of the author’s thoughts and ideas, opinions and experiences, mixed with facts and figures. They should include quotes from professionals, industry experts, government officials, and academics relevant to the subject covered in the book.
Writing a book is not an easy task. The authors spend weeks or even months collecting information and data. They understand information by reading and cross-referencing facts. They then begin to develop their content. While the facts remain the same for all writers, they must develop original content – one that is integrated into their signature writing style. This is called the authors writing style. Any non-fiction book must be carefully edited. It should be free from errors related to spelling, facts, grammar, syntax, and tenses. As for editing, some authors edit the manuscript after writing it. Some like to write a chapter and edit it, before moving on to writing the next chapter.
Authors should write for themselves but edit it for readers. They should write from their heart, write without hesitation, and write as if casually conversing with readers. This will help them write without any hesitation. However, when editing, they must put aside their self-image and edit it as if they were the one reading the published book. Authors should sympathize with readers and should edit the manuscript by adding statements, sentences, examples, and references that readers can relate to. This helps authors establish a psychological connection with readers. Authors should hire an editor who organizes and simplifies the content. An author must also show the final manuscript to certain beta readers to receive their criticisms and suggestions. These beta readers should be trusted contacts who should not share the contents of the manuscript with anyone until the book is published. Indeed, the process of writing a book is tedious and requires careful planning, but the result in the form of a published manuscript is every writer’s dream.
The author is an independent researcher, author and columnist. He can be reached at [email protected] and Tweets at @omariftikhar