#005 - The world of writing non-fiction


There may well be a point in your writing career when you need to move on to non-fiction or 'factual' writing. A non-fiction writer is no less of a story teller that a fiction writer but the real difference is the story being told is about people who have really lived and events that have actually happened. So, there is accuracy on one side and poetic license on the other, and veering too far in one particular direction may affect the success of your finished work. You may also alienate any possible relationship you have nurtured with characters or relatives of characters described in the book who may well still be living.

A typical work of this kind could be a Biography and although you may have a particular slant on the life and lifestyle of the subject under scrutiny, it is important to ensure that you get your facts straight.!! There are many categories of non-fiction with Biographies and Autobiographies probably being the largest single category, along with say cookbooks, gardening & horticulture and health & fitness.

Non-Fiction and Ghost Writing - So, you have someone living that you want desperately to write about. You may call that a Biography, but if you take the time and trouble to contact that particular someone, you may find that that he, she or they would be very happy to co-operate with you, perhaps turning your work into an Autobiography with you employed as a Ghost-writer. The role of a Ghost-writer can vary from project to project, the highest level of involvement being a trap-to-line authorship of the complete, finished work and the lowest being some sort of editing role before the manuscript is rushed off to the publishers.

Either way, you should earn some money from the work and some sort of book credit, even at the lowest end of involvement. The 'money' part could range from a full authoring deal with a publisher to maybe a once off payment for services rendered. If you are authoring a biography, you will need to ensure you have kept a watchful eye on the legalities of the undertaking BEFORE you actually start the manuscript.