Questions tagged [non-fiction]

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-fiction.

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179
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9answers
18k views

“Dear Stack Exchange, I am very disappointed in you” - How to construct a strong opening line in a letter?

In light of recent events, I intended to write a simple letter of complaint to StackExchange. The obvious thing to do would be to write an opening with the fact such as It came to my knowledge that ...
3
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2answers
50 views

Correct way of Citing References in a writing a Non-Fiction book?

I am trying to write a non-fiction book about summarizing core computer science concepts. I plan to self publish this book through the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing program. My target audience ...
3
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2answers
95 views

Can I include personal experiences in nonfiction?

I am writing a book mostly about the history of my local airport. This will include the changes from the earliest airlines and airports til today. What I want to know, for example, I write about the ...
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4answers
73 views

How to write a non-fiction book? [closed]

I've heard that in order to write a non-fiction book I need to write notes and then put them together to make a book, but I'm writing notes from possible 4 completely different books, so when should I ...
1
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1answer
60 views

How to maintain sentence variety when writing a self description?

When I write to a "describe yourself" type prompt, I find myself wildly overusing "I am ..." type sentences. What are good ways to vary prose in this situation? (Preferably with examples)
4
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2answers
83 views

Using my blog comments from other people in my book

I’m writing a non-fiction book. The book is based around a blog I wrote. There were comments on the blog from family and friends, do I need to get their permission to use these comments or can I ...
37
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5answers
2k views

How to write a nice frame challenge?

When answering questions on Stack Exchange, some of us challenge the assumptions of the author. These frame challenges can often be quite popular answers. This popularity, however, can simply be a ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Past vs. present tense when referring to a fictional character

What would you write when referring to a fictional character in a non-fiction work? e.g. Tom Sawyer is a boy, he has no parents, he goes on adventures or Tom Sawyer was a boy, he had no parents, he ...
2
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1answer
82 views

How to write a good moderator nomination post?

Another stack site I use is currently having an election and I am considering nominating. There are two parts to the nomination process; the nomination itself and the questionnaire to candidates. This ...
48
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9answers
8k views

The art of clickbait captions

We all have seen at least one of these clickbaits (or some variation thereof): "single mom discovers the meaning of life with a simple trick" or "billionaires don't want you to know this ...
0
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2answers
62 views

How to find the right publisher in the USA besides contacting literary agents?

Is it possible to contact USA publishers directly? If so, can I find publishers by genre, like I can find literary agents by genre? Or do publishers have no interest in genre? If so, what's the best ...
8
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3answers
462 views

How to find the right literary agent in the USA?

I want to publish an English language book in the USA as a foreigner. Someone told me that the USA is mainly interested in American subjects, so anything else is quite hard to sell. Besides the fact ...
6
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4answers
126 views

Writing about oneself objectively

I was recently updating some of my Stack Exchange profiles and I remembered how much I hate writing about myself. It isn't just Stack Exchange profiles either. It's resume cover letters. It's college ...
31
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7answers
4k views

When blogging recipes, how can I support both readers who want the narrative/journey and ones who want the printer-friendly recipe?

Increasingly often, if you Google for a recipe your search results will be full of long, image-rich blog posts that, somewhere in there, have the actual recipe you were looking for. Many of these ...
8
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1answer
281 views

Plain language with long required phrases

I am trying to create documentation for an application, and it's for end users who use keyboard (not mouse) and a screen reader. Some of our conventions require us to always use the full phrase as ...
9
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5answers
161 views

Making science for toddlers easy to remember

I have been intending to create a book for toddlers with basic scientific notions in it. Most books for this target readership that I have seen present whatever content in the form of a story, quite ...
9
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5answers
1k views

How do I keep an essay about “feeling flat” from feeling flat?

I was invited to participate in an anthology of essays about a tv show. I chose an episode based on the Wikipedia summary (since it had been so long since I had watched it), but after I watched it, I ...
4
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1answer
40 views

Organizing categories and tags for a writing blog

I've started a writing blog (specifically for research and other information about my novel in progress) with Wordpress and am having a very difficult time with categorization. In other blogs I've ...
8
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4answers
135 views

How can I trim my word count and still be proud of what I've written?

I am a new writer. My work is focused on real people. I ask a series of questions and go from there. Its all about their personal journeys with health. I like to capture the feeling of what people ...
8
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3answers
162 views

What challenges are there in writing a fantasy cookbook?

I ask mostly out of curiosity. Obviously, a proper cookbook would involve real ingredients and not fantasy creatures. There's such a cookbook for Skyrim and Lord of the Rings. What I am curious about ...
0
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3answers
99 views

Using words from another book

So, I thankfully own a video-game history book which I anticipate using to write, rather, a Christian, family-friendly account of this subject. To be clear, I'm not going to be rephrasing from the ...
6
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1answer
49 views

Self-publishing Nonfiction Help Guides on Amazon?

This is inspired by this question, but taking it in a non-fiction direction: Is there a benefit to publishing non-fiction ebooks on Amazon as opposed to just putting them on your blog? Let's assume ...
5
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1answer
52 views

Examples & humor in educational podcast

I know Technical Writing is not supposed to have our personalities in it, but when I taught, I sought out educational videos/resources that had a bit of personality in them. Example: The Oatmeal's ...
5
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1answer
39 views

Podcast Script - Recurring Elements

I'm finally starting to get my educational podcast together, which will focus on specific writing/editing topics, in small chunks (so they can be played in a class if the teacher wants to). The goal ...
4
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3answers
178 views

Is my work fiction or non-fiction?

I am currently working on a story. I would like to publish this on a literary magazine website, and this website has only three categories - fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. My story is probably ...
13
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1answer
1k views

How to respond to overenthusiastic copy-editing

I was approached by a science magazine to write a long-form critical essay, and I gave them a 6000-word piece with extensive endnotes. After two months of being with the editorial team it comes back ...
4
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2answers
105 views

Do I need to get people to sign a waiver to include their content in my book?

I am working on a book that will be based on the results of ten interview questions that I am asking of multiple well-known-in-their-field people. Do I need to get these folks to sign a waiver or ...
3
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4answers
101 views

How to write a memorial plaque?

I've been tasked with drafting the text for a memorial plaque dedicated to group X. Group X was big, diverse, and had several hundred years of rich history. Amount of space I have is 2-3 sentences. I ...
0
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1answer
94 views

how many copies of Hitchhiking with an Angel [closed]

My brother wrote and it was published in 2003. Not a novel but it was published and can find even in amazon.He has never recieved 1 penny. he asked me many times to find out what I could His name as ...
6
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3answers
320 views

David Foster Wallace's technique in “Consider the Lobster”

After reading the essay "Consider the Lobster" by the famous writer David Foster Wallace, I realized that Wallace had employed a rather sly technique. If you're interested in answering this question, ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Do I need to provide in-text citations in a news article for school?

So, for my Senior English Class, I need to write a news article about technology. However, I'm unsure as to whether or not I need in-text citations for said paper. Do I need in-text citations for a "...
6
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4answers
379 views

Writing a book that involves an ex husband

I'm new to the writing world (other than writing a lot as a child). I want to write my story to help empower women in similar situations but it involves writing about my ex. How does one tell their ...
6
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1answer
100 views

Mentioning famous person in autobiography

I've been writing an autobiography about sexual abuse that happened to me throughout my childhood. The abuser was the dad of a famous singer. Once I was old enough (18) to leave home and file charges (...
1
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1answer
107 views

In a book about political activism, can the author recommend illegal acts--or is that a crime, too? [closed]

We are writing a short book on how activists can fight against destructive governance...something like Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. But this book does recommend some specific illegal acts, ...
7
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2answers
89 views

Is a parenthetical reference to a later part of the text redundant in non-fiction writing?

The response will either be an evasion (we will come to that later), or it will be . . . Is the above (or similar) parenthetical redundant? (I couldn't find a suitable tag for this question, ...
8
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2answers
158 views

Do I need permission to name organizations in a non-fiction book?

I am self-publishing a dog photography book. I have obtained permissions for all subjects in the book. One of the pictures I am using has the American Kennel Club (AKC) logo in it. I'm assuming I need ...
5
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1answer
55 views

Release for book of interviews

I would like to write an ebook in which I ask people to share their experiences in a specific topic. Where can I find a good release for these people to sign? Do I have to pay the interviewee? ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Creative Non-Fiction - Writing without Plot, Story, Characters, or Ending

I've just started reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and it strikes me, when reading about his obsession with Arsenal that I too have an obsession - with words. I would like to write a creative non-...
4
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4answers
183 views

Alternative publishers like Dover

I have a manuscript that is a derivative of a mathematical work in the public domain. It is a diamond in the rough which was unpalatable due to its prose. The new manuscript is a modernized and ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

What are the copyright laws and permission requirements for a teacher using a student's work as an example?

If a teacher makes a writing assignment for students (some would be minors), can the teacher use those writings as examples in the future? The teacher would examine the writings and provide analysis ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

The genre of a book based on author's real life [closed]

I want to start writing, but it would be about myself - my life. And all the 'characters' are real people that are still alive. Therefore, before I start writing, I need information about what other ...
3
votes
4answers
264 views

What is the most effective way to transition from one paragraph to the next?

I desire to know how to transition smoothly from one paragraph to another in the body text, but there are a number of ways to do it and I don't know which is best. For instance, I could place the ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

How do experienced writers introduce the topic sentence halfway or near the end of the paragraph?

I have repeatedly come across the comment that experienced writers are able to put their topic sentence anywhere in a paragraph, but I wonder what that looks like and how they are able to do this. How ...
2
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2answers
207 views

How much can the supporting sentences deviate from the topic sentence before introducing a second paragraph becomes a better option?

My question is: How much can one deviate from the topic sentence before transitioning to a second paragraph becomes a better idea? For example, if a topic sentence consists of an assertion, then the ...
5
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2answers
364 views

How do I make a concluding sentence flow from the previous sentence?

This question was flagged as being similar to another question of mine, so I have to clarify that this question pertains to how I should introduce the concluding sentence, whereas the other one ...
2
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1answer
247 views

In which cases do paragraphs require a concluding sentence?

I'm writing an argumentative non-fiction book but I often wonder if I'll bore the reader if every paragraph follows the pattern of topic sentence > supporting sentences > concluding sentence. I read a ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

How are suspected persons referred to in news articles?

In the Netherlands, convicts and persons of interest in relations to a crime have their last names truncated in published news articles – for example "John D." – but I know that this is not the case ...
3
votes
3answers
134 views

Finding a cause when you already have the effect?

In the story for a graphic novel Im working on my protagonist is cursed by a witch (or other magic wielding person) to wake up in a new place/time every day due to a wrongdoing on his part. I want ...
1
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0answers
69 views

I am writing about examples of contemporary stereotyping of Native Americans, but what are more contemporary examples in movies and shows? [closed]

I am currently researching how stereotypes of Native Americans are still propagated in films today in the 21st century, just as they are in things like sports mascots and food brands, but I am having ...
8
votes
2answers
289 views

Moving away from a gender-based analysis

I'm writing a short essay on gender undercurrents of conversations, i.e. how do different people approach communication and problem-solving in their relationships. One way to phrase this is in terms ...