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 ...

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62 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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5answers
77 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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1answer
24 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 ...
4
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3answers
435 views

Do I need permission from people I am writing about if I am writing about a true story that was reported in the media?

I am writing a factual book, that will [hopefully] primarily detail real events that have happened in the past, that are related to the subject of the book. The real events have all been reported in ...
2
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3answers
93 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
101 views

What concrete steps do you take to write for a specific reading level?

People throw around reading levels when it comes to writing: "5th grade level," "10th grade level," "college level," etc. What concrete steps do you take to write for a specific reading level? Is ...
2
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2answers
271 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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2answers
87 views

Writing non-fiction in three perspectives?

I've been writing a work of non-fiction, specifically a motivational/psychology piece. It's my first book. The book is written primarily in second and third person, but also first when I feel the ...
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1answer
67 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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3answers
2k views

How can I write anonymously (based on true experiences)?

I want to use an experience I had which is pretty unbelievable but true. The majority of the story will be completely true. It's not over yet so I want to use an ending which is NOT true yet works ...
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3answers
106 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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2answers
10k 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
89 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
523 views

Where can I find examples of nonfiction book proposals?

I am looking for complete examples of nonfiction book proposals. Preferably, these would be proposals that resulted in actual published works. I've already read Larsen's book, and it does have some ...
6
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2answers
169 views

Is there a legitimate step by step guide to getting your book published?

I want to write on a computer topic which isn't covered by many existing books out there. What is the process of getting your book published?
2
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1answer
76 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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1answer
97 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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6answers
2k views

Writing first programming book

I was recently asked if I was interested in writing a book for a pretty reputable publisher, which of course I accepted. I am not a writer by trade, I am a software developer with some technical ...
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5answers
80 views

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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8answers
2k views

Good Outlining Solutions For OSX?

I write technical non-fiction and find that I cannot write well without first constructing a detailed (10-20 page) outline. Are there any good outlining solutions for OSX? Apps? Templates in Microsoft ...
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2answers
175 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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3answers
131 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
2k 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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1answer
2k views

Permission requirements from people in my memoir

I am writing a memoir about my abusive childhood. Do I need permission from everyone I write about? My abuser is deceased, but my brothers are part of the story and I don't know where one of them is ...
0
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1answer
94 views

Is it possible my book could be taken off-line for sale if there is a cease and desist letter?

I have written a true story on my experience with some individuals and major corporations. The book has factual proof throughout story. I am afraid that they may get angry and send cease and desist ...
5
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2answers
597 views

How do I find good interview subjects?

I have an idea for a series of science articles, but I don't have a strong background in the particular field. What's a good way to identify experts who I could interview to shore up the details and ...
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votes
1answer
470 views

How are citations formatted in serious non-fiction (proposals)?

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about scholarly work of the sort that might be published by a university press. I'm talking about work by people like Goodwin, McCullough, or Larson. These kinds of ...
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2answers
521 views

My Ex husband's wife self published a non fiction book naming my kids in the story

My ex husband's wife self published a non fiction book and put my kids in the story as well. She did not change their names. Neither she nor my ex husband told me about this or asked me (or the ...
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2answers
739 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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1answer
71 views

Critique of this short text about inequality and contempt

I understand it is possible to ask for critiques here and ask that you guide me to adapt this question if needed. Now, I feel the need every now and then to get a thought down on paper. However, I am ...
14
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6answers
727 views

What are some ingredients of really engaging non-fiction?

Some of the best non-fiction writers, in terms of sales at least, seem to be able to write in a really engaging and easy to read style that makes their work hard to put down. For example, ...
4
votes
3answers
142 views

How can I express this fragment more clearly and concisely?

For the 'who is this application for' section of an application user guide, I have the following alternatives, I'm not happy with either one. How can I convey both elements more clearly and ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Are TOC and appendix part of total word count for books?

Do table of contents, appendix, and chapter titles count toward the total word count for a book? For example, if a book is 50,000 words, what is not included in the count? This is for a nonfiction ...
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5answers
284 views

Using uncommon abbreviations

Something which I see all the time in (popular) science writing is the use of abbreviations to indicate concepts. For (a made up) example: So when we're dealing with Anachronistic Meta Mechanics ...
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3answers
142 views

How can people doing technical, archane work be portrayed interestingly?

I'd like to write the biography of an important, underrated scientist who performed a really important experiment. He persevered for many years, became ill (and recovered) along the way, and ...
2
votes
1answer
425 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 ...
8
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1answer
194 views

Tools for exploring and analysing document structure?

I'm currently writing a thesis. Just the introduction is 25 pages/8000 words. The whole document will probably be 70 pages or so. With a document this large, and on such a complex topic, it can be ...
5
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6answers
464 views

Does this feel like natural English?

Although I'm pretty confident in my English, I'm not a native English speaker. I need to write a short introduction for a symposium; I'd like to know if you think this paragraph feels like 'natural' ...
9
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13answers
1k views
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2answers
717 views

What permissions do I need to write a non-fiction book based on personal interviews?

I am writing a non-fiction book based on recorded interviews with several people. I have recorded verbal consent to be interviewed for the book from each person. One of the interviewees has since ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

What permissions do I need for nonfiction travelogue?

I am writing (and self publishing) a non-fiction travelogue about a cross country roadtrip. I have already obtained permission from the person I traveled with, and there are no other main characters ...
5
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2answers
257 views

How can I get book my non-fiction book reviewed by professional reviewers?

I had my book reviewed by people who are interested in the topic of the book. Now interested in reviews by professional book reviewers. What is the appropriate way - directly approaching potential ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I avoid legal repercussions for writing a story based on events in my life?

How do I avoid legal repercussions for writing a story based on events in my life? Mainly, I have experienced events that I would like to share with the world. These events are somewhat disturbing ...
4
votes
5answers
513 views

Paragraph flow, verb inversion and last sentence tone

The paragraph below is a conclusion for an essay. I have three problems with the paragraph that I would like to review with you. This experience showed me that ignoring an interpersonal conflict ...
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1answer
90 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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votes
10answers
534 views

How can one make technical issues more accessible to a non-technical audience?

Most of what I write is non-fiction -- technical books, blog posts on open source topics, political stuff, etc. Lately, I find that some of the topics I am trying to present are much more technical ...
3
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
292 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 ...
10
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3answers
694 views

Do you need to get author's permission to quote him in a non-fiction book?

I have a non-fiction book idea that would frequently use quotes/reviews from a specific author. Would I need to get that author's permission to quote him/her, and to base the entire book on these ...
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2answers
402 views

Citing speech and interviews in biographies

I am currently writing a biography of a band, and have a question regarding citing quotes, such as from interviews. Is it necessary to cite everything a person (for example a band member or manager) ...