What is non-fiction?
Non-fiction is a narrative or representation of a topic that is understood to be factual. The narrative may be correct or not because it can relay information that is either a true or false account of a particular subject; however, it is assumed that the writer believes the information to be factual.
Sometimes an author may write about a particular belief prevalent in a society such as religion, ghosts or politics but the writer may not necessarily believe them to be true. The writer is only stating what exists within a particular culture.
The term semi-fiction is not to be confused with non-fiction. Semi-fiction is really considered fiction but is peppered with lots of actual details so that it appears to be non-fiction. Stories that carry the slogan “based on a true story” fall into this category.
Non-fiction also includes non-written text such as pictures and film but for the purposes of this writing we will cover mostly written text in the form of books. Non-fiction includes such works as biographies, memoirs, philosophy, science books, research papers, guides and manuals, textbooks, history books, travelogues, journalism, self-help books, etc. Non-fiction work represents the currently accepted truths of a particular period in time. Many technical books quickly become outdated due to the development of new information; thus making some textbooks and perennial books obsolete.
Writing non-fiction is all about disseminating information that is factual or thought to be factual by an author. Note: Just because something is in the non-fiction genre does not always make the reader believe the information. It is still up to the author to persuade the reader that the information is true and this is where the writer’s skill is necessary.
General Background of Non-fiction
For much of history, non-fiction has usually been associated with mundane material such as everyday statistical records or legal documents that were only seen by historians and experts in a particular field. Today, however, because of our global society and available technology, the category of non-fiction has quickly come to the forefront and is giving fiction a run for its money. The non-fiction that has withstood the test of time is that which has been written exceptionally well and readers and publishers are well aware of its impact to society. Non-fiction has taken a life of its own and in many cases it is even more popular than fiction. Just look at all the self-help books that are popular in bookstores.
Non-fiction books can be contradictory at times but this is due to the continual update of information and explanations that require updates. This is especially occurring with textbooks, scientific books and other technical information.
Sure it takes a lot of work but what doesn’t. Non-fiction writing is about getting the right angles, leads, research or interviewing techniques to gather the appropriate data. It is about using the appropriate techniques to develop a good non-fiction work.