Genre Guide — Nonfiction
Genre Guide — Nonfiction

History Study Materials

Online Resources Erik Larson’s blog — He doesn’t seem to be updating it any longer, but it has a ton of posts about his process when writing history books. Books to Read Examples Devil in the White City—Erik Larson Erik Larson is one of my favorite history authors. In his best (in my opinion) book, Devil in the White City, he uses the lives of two men of very different “occupations” to tell the story of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It is a brilliant way to impose a narrative on what could have been a very dull topic. The...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

History Guide

With the entire history of humankind to draw from, history is obviously a gigantic genre. And it’s not just the different time periods. Histories can be military, political, biographical. They can be focused on a single subject, sometimes even a single object. Or they can tell the story of an entire people from their appearance in the annals to modern day. There is no end to subjects you can tell the history. However, the best (and best-selling) histories tend to have some things in common that you should consider before diving into this rich genre. 1. Something People Want to...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Should I Write Nonfiction?

Back to Nonfiction Deciding whether you’re right for nonfiction is fairly easy. Do you have expertise in a subject that you wish to disseminate to the masses? Then nonfiction is for you. Whether you can do it profitably is another question altogether. Before you decide to dive into nonfiction, you should definitely do some research. First of all, is anyone interested in the subject you’re planning to write on? Check Google and Amazon searches to see if there’s interest in the subject. Is it overserved? i.e. Are there already a ton of books out there on your chosen subject? If...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Nonfiction Study Materials

Back to Nonfiction Online Resources Master Class on Creative Nonfiction Books to Read We’ll start with some general books for writing nonfiction, then list some of the best for some notable subgenres. The subgenres are too numerous and divergent to cover them all here, but we also list them within their subgenre, either in the Subgenre section of the main guide, or the study materials section of their own guide for the bigger subgenres like history or memoir. Instructional: Examples: History : Devil in the White City—Erik Larson Erik Larson is a master of teasing a storyline out of history....

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Nonfiction Blueprint

Back to Nonfiction These are broken down into the main categories of informational and instructional, plus a few more of the subcategories that differ in some particular. Instructional Blueprint Typical instructional books: self-help, crafts, cookbooks, how-to Intro Introduce yourself with an eye toward establishing your expertise in the subject. Be authoritative but brief; people came to learn how to do a thing, not how you got to be an expert. For instance, do you skip the three pages of blog before the recipe you looked up online? You’re not alone. Don’t bother writing all that if people are only coming...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Historical Fiction Study Materials

Online Resources The first question for historical fiction writers is “What era and area will I write in?” Along with the books in the Informational section below, here are some online options for helping you pick: Khan Academy’s World History Course — Khan Academy is a non-profit organization aiming to provide free, quality education to everyone. A lot of the material is aimed toward children, but there’s plenty of stuff for adults as well. Check out their world history courses and see what jumps out at you. If you’re getting enough online learning from this site and want some other...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Nonfiction Guide

For those who don’t want to make stuff up, nonfiction beckons. It’s obviously a research-heavy genre, so only the studious need apply. However, most people who write nonfiction choose a subject they already know well, which cuts down on the time needed for study. It’s one of the few genres where you can make money on stand-alone books. This is because one of the most common types of non-fiction book is the problem-solving book. You identify a problem readers have and you tell them how to solve it. If you hit on a problem a lot of readers have and...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now