Non-fiction is a form of prose writing that factually describes real events and people, sometimes offering additional commentary. This tag should be used for any questions relating to non-fiction, including non-fiction formatting and technique, non-fiction critiques, and the publishing of non-...

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Pulling an idea through in spite of the need to correct details

First, this question is not quite about writer's block or dealing with self-criticism. I find myself often in the following situation: I want to write a short piece of non-fiction and have plenty of ...
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1answer
192 views

How much should I reveal about my book idea to a publishing house representative?

I am a faculty member at a small liberal arts college and a colleague and I are working on a textbook that is still basically in outline stage. The idea is not completely novel but there are not a ...
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525 views

Can I use “We” to refer to me and the reader?

I am writing my thesis and in many cases I want to take the reader through an example. For example: Besides the advanced composition rules, it is also important to have a set of basic rules to ...
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2answers
2k views

How should I format a non fiction book with Scrivener?

I have written mainly novels in Scrivener, and am now thinking of writing a small non-fiction work (which I will self publish). When writing a novel, you just keep typing til you reach the end, but ...
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171 views

Should I use different pen names for different audiences (non-fiction)?

I am working on three separate works for three different audiences. All are non-fiction. One is for children ages eight to twelve, another is for teens ages fourteen to twenty, and the third is for ...
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329 views

Software for instructional book

I saw this question on software for fiction writers. I'm wondering if there is software out there for non-fiction/instructional/research writing? Seems like yWriter and Scrivener focus on organizing ...
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164 views

All persons fictitious - where to place it?

I've got an all persons fictitious disclaimer similar to the one mentioned at All persons fictitious disclaimer — ideas regarding modification? but where should I place it? Bear in mind, this is a ...
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3answers
26k views

Minimum (realistic) word count of non-fiction book

What is a reasonable estimate for the minimum length, in word count, for a non-fiction book? I'd guesstimate that non-fiction books "generally" (yes, this is very rough) run perhaps 150-450 pages, ...
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4answers
106 views

Using emails in an autobiography

I am writing about my life experiences and I want to use email correspondence between myself and another to tell part of the story. I have not used real names in my work and have altered the emails ...
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1answer
225 views

What is the process for publishing academic papers?

While studying in my first term as EPIR student I had to prepare several papers. I gave those to my family and friends, to read and comment upon. I was surprised when they advised me to publish them. ...
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56 views

Two perspectives in a non-fiction book

My daughter and I thought it was a good idea to write a book about our experiences throughout her casting for a movie that she did. Her view on the journey and My view as her mother. Not sure how to ...
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60 views

Writing nonfiction for mass audience

A friend of mine has spent many years developing several treatment methods for certain psychological disorders. She believes individuals with these disorders would benefit if she could write a ...
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1answer
29 views

What is the Normal Process for Gathering Permissions for Quotation Collections

I am contemplating gathering a collection of quotations from a single writer, similar to The Quotable [C.S.] Lewis by Wayne Martindale [Tyndale]. Most of the writers works remain under copyright, ...
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125 views

Nonfiction: Need signed releases and/or pay subjects I am interviewing?

I am interested in writing a nonfiction book on social media. The book will be primarily practical advice based on my experience. However, I'm planning to personally interview some industry ...
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336 views

Please help me polish this paragraph.

I'm learning English as a foreign language. In one of my writings, one paragraph goes: But it's not saying we just indulge ourselves and turn into wild beasts. We train our brain hard so that we ...
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5answers
394 views

Are 'how-to write fiction' books full of it?

I built and sold a business during my first decade of adulthood. During that period, I read a lot of business books published by the popular press. Typically, these books propound a particular method ...
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3answers
189 views

What are the ethics of using real-world house addresses in historical fiction?

I am editing a novel manuscript for a client of mine. It's a historical fiction set in 1948, so not that long ago. The main character lives in a house above a cafe that I believe is fictional within ...
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3answers
116 views

Presenting Fiction as Non-Fiction

I am toying writing a book involving layered stories: There is Manuscript A, written by a character, which is an ostensibly real account/diary of an incident she experienced. In the fictional ...
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2answers
151 views

Books on writing successful non-fiction [closed]

I am interested in getting acquainted with how to write a good non-fiction book, and thus am asking for credible, high-quality books on what you might call "writing successful non-fiction as a first-...
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1answer
80 views

Novelizing non-fiction, is it worth it?

There are a few lifestyle subjects where I feel I need to write non-fiction books. The problem is that in these fields, most of what is published is 101 intro manuals, while my takes to the field ...
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2answers
511 views

Is there a typical structure for non-fiction popular science books? If so, what is it?

Is there an accepted or suggested structure for writing non-fiction (specifically, popular science) books? As an example of the type of book I mean, there's Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational: a ...
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1answer
167 views

Should I use contractions on a non-fiction work? [duplicate]

It is many things, as we’ll see in Chapter TBD, but at its heart, it is just software. I heard it was bad to use contractions, but it seems a bit wordy to say: as we will see.
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286 views

Essay writing contests

I can't seem to find any essay contests out there. Is there a list of essay contests somewhere? Does anyone have suggestions for contests?
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91 views

Why do page headers seldom include chapter/section numbers?

In many of my course books, the header of each page includes a page number, and the name of the current chapter and section. Only in a few of the books the headers include the chapter and section ...
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839 views

How short is “short monograph”?

I've seen several references to some "short monograph on subject X". But how short is that? Is there a standard length to use as a reference? I realize that this depends on page size and font, so I ...
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122 views

technical subjects - non-fiction vs fiction

This is a question I tried to ask in Novelizing non-fiction, is it worth it? But was un-clear and maybe too generic. Let’s say I am a scuba diving expert and I could write a non-fiction book about ...
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92 views

Is it plagiarism to use something from a nonfiction work and put it into fiction?

I was reading about this Japanese dance style written by a man who taught it. He said that the style was uniquely Japanese and few outsiders could really dance in the style properly. He said that he ...
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100 views

How to make travel stories interesting?

I have some good, true travel stories. Things that involve guns, explosions, and all kinds of other good stuff. I want to write them down, but I'm having trouble envisioning how to present the ...
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127 views

Non-fictional ideology in a fictional culture

One of the themes in my book is Good vs Evil. I have chosen to portray the south African Idealogy of Ubuntu in a fictional culture in my book. Actual text from my book: Ubuntu literally means '...
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108 views

Does this convey that I recommend the anthology I'm reviewing?

Here's a snipped-up version of a review of an anthology I wrote a while back (full original review here). Most of the stories were pretty good, a few were superb, and there were a few poor ones. For ...
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40 views

Is it necessary for an article about a problem to address solutions as well?

I am writing an article which deals with some of the problems of the city. Since I have a word limit, is it necessary that I have to include the solutions of the problems too? Is it advisable? Or can ...
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1answer
110 views

How do you determine whether you know enough to write on a topic?

I guess that title sounds very abstract and "meta." But it points to a real issue that has interfered with my desire to get published and paid as a writer. For background, I have been a writer in ...
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1answer
4k views

Writing a newspaper article summary

First of all, I'd like to apologize in advance for my horrible English, but it's not my primary language and I still can't help but make some blunders. I have been assigned to write a newspaper ...
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220 views

How does one involve people in writing non-fiction?

I haven't written anything serious in a while, but I would like to get back into writing non-fiction. In particular, I want to write about "big ideas" that interest me; however, I realize that ...
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60 views

New CreateSpace books appearing on Amazon from book resellers?

Here's the general question: How does a book published via CreateSpace end up being sold blindingly fast by other booksellers? I edited two self-help books, one targeted to small businesses and the ...
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195 views

What does one call author blurbs at the bottom of journalistic articles?

Sometimes journalistic articles have a brief about-the-author sort of blurb at the end, frequently italicized, of a general form resembling: J. Random Hacker is a dog groomer for the United States ...
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136 views

Critique: Make excerpt more visual/flow better

I have this excerpt I'm not sure is fluid and visual enough: Peter came out of the café rubbing his tummy. The chipmunk had a smile on the face and seemed content. Not too far behind him ...
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1answer
99 views

Advice on choice of epigram

I am writing a paper on Internet censorship in China and was considering starting it with a thought provoking epigram to draw the reader. The title of the paper in question is: China's Internet ...
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52 views

What are appropriate uses of rhetorical questions?

When I speak or teach, I often use rhetorical questions to prompt people to think. I find it helps frame my arguments and clarify how I am setting up the points I am making. I recently tried this in ...
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1answer
33 views

A fair deal for purchasing a true story

My cousin is an extraordinary little girl from an extraordinary family. She was featured last Christmas on NBC Nightly News. I have discussed with her about writing a book about their story because ...
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53 views

Structuring and audience in non-fiction

I wrote a first draft of a non-fiction, and an established professional writer and editor in my subject area gave me a good review, but said I should edit for structure and flow. Given this great ...
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1answer
55 views

How do I write an article about the negative effects of a topic and my experiences with that topic?

Ok let's pretend I'm writing about abuse (or bullying or another topic( and my experience with it (I don't want to state the real topic here). I want to write a psychological and scientific article/...
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198 views

Where can I find exercises to help me develop fictional writing techniques useful in narrative nonfiction?

I usually write explanatory nonfiction, but now I am interested in something more narrative--think Erik Larson or Rebecca Skloot, for example. I write clearly, and understand basic ideas about ...
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1answer
59 views

Stories about people who went from rags-to-riches-to-rags and stayed there? [closed]

I need suggestions for stories I can read to get inspiration on how to tackle a nonfiction rags-to-riches-to-rags story with an uplifting ending. It's easy to find rags-to-riches stories, but I'm ...
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1answer
56 views

Strategy, tactics, and resources to refine the niche and title for a self-help book

Am trying to do due diligence to find the niche for a self-help book. I "get" the general idea of whether to piggyback or avoid popular titles, being exquisitely specific about your reader, and ...
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2answers
22 views

Which year to cite reference as?

In a nonfiction snippet I'm writing about metrology, specifically the term micron being used in reference to the unit multiple micrometre (AmE: micrometer) I need to cite Resolution 7 of the 13th ...
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203 views

Where are the six honest serving men?

A lifetime ago I learned about Rudyard Kipling's 5W1H framework: I have six honest serving men They taught me all I knew I call them What and Where and When And How and Why and Who (...
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1answer
106 views

[Words in brackets in print and online]

Unfortunately I can't find a reference now, but many times I'll read an article either in print or online, and I'll see a certain word or phrase in brackets []. Here's a bad ex. The man walked up the ...
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34 views

What is the “acid test” for a nonfiction anthology?

I'm asking this on Writers because I'm doing a short presentation on "What is an anthology," and I'm not sure how to answer the question "Why is X an anthology and Y is not?" Merriam Webster defines "...
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32 views

Getting started writing non-fiction

My cousin is an inspirational little girl whose overcoming physical handicaps to help others. She was just featured on NBC Nightly News a couple of weeks ago. It just occurred to me that a book about ...