Friday, April 5, 2013

Writing Non Fiction

I always think I don't have any more books in me.
But, it never fails, when the one I am  working on is finished and has been sent out, another idea comes to me.

I have had two inspirations since finishing my last MG. One is an idea for another MG story, the other is writing a non-fiction children's book.

I have been doing a little research on how to make non-fiction interesting, fun and publishable.

Here are a few things I have discovered:

Make it as exciting as fiction. How?
Find subjects that grab a reader's attention.
Ask yourself - Is it a good story? Will it interest your readers?
Find a hook! Choose a theme and develop it.
Narrow your topic. Focus on your subject.
Unearth new information about a topic.
Find unusual details and quirky facts.

Ask questions that haven't been asked before.
Give specific details.

Every word should be true.  Find trusted sources, such as a diary, a letter, oral history, interviews, old newspapers, photographs and catalogs.
If you don't know exactly what they did or said, let your readers know that by using words such as perhaps, maybe or I think.

Do extensive  research.

Bring your readers into the story.


What can you add to my list?

If we brainstorm, we could help each other come up with some great ideas!

Posted byJanet Smart   on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.


  1. Your list looks great to me! I would add including pictures that are eye-catching. I know a lot of kids pick out non-fiction books that are appealing visually.

    Best of luck with your ideas!

    1. Thanks, Jess. And thank you for adding to my list.

  2. Good post! And I love how the next idea comes along just when you need it.

    1. Marcia, isn't it great when the ideas keep coming.

  3. My grandson is eleven and really into reading. I admire anyone who writes fiction. I am amazed how the ideas flow for you.

    1. Thanks Linda. I wish I had all the published stories that you have had. You are amazing.

  4. Good luck on your new project, Janet!

  5. I've often wanted to try nonfiction, but with deadlines and story ideas going on I can't seem to find the time. Best of luck to you. It's nice to meet you.

    1. Thanks you for your comment. It is nice to meet you, too. We all seem to have many ideas and not enough time to write about them all.

  6. Janet,
    These are great tips on writing nonfiction. I'm so glad you shared these with us. Research and getting the facts correctly are great tips. I've never written nonfiction for children, but it sounds interesting. Best wishes with your writing.


Thank you for your comments. I love comments!