Do fiction and nonfiction writing have anything in common?
These exercises offer fresh ideas for every facet of creative nonfiction writing, from pushing through writers block to organizing a story, capturing character to fine-tuning dialogue, injecting new life into a finished piece to starting a new work from scratch.
In the fall of 2006, The Expository Writing Program changed its title to The Nonfiction Writing Program in the English Department at Brown. The content of the program remains nonfiction in all its many sub-genres -- the academic essay, journalism, and creative nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, lyric essay, historical narrative, travel essay, science writing, and cultural critique).
It means that the content here will focus primarily on the nonfiction writing you do at school and work. This covers 99% of the nonfiction spectrum. The human thirst for more up-to-date information is constantly growing, which means the need for good nonfiction writers is equally huge. If you are looking for ways to earn a living as a professional writer, it would be a mistake to overlook the market for nonfiction.
You may not have considered writing nonfiction professionally, especially if your career goal has always been "novelist." But nonfiction writing has a lot to offer, including both satisfaction and opportunities to earn a living. Here are some points to consider...
Nonetheless, I personally believe that, while not every nonfiction writer can become a novelist, any good fiction writer can learn to write good nonfiction.
I'm not trying to devalue nonfiction writers. Both fiction and nonfiction writers require strong language skills and creativity. Both require the ability to connect with a reader. And both require the ability to take a reader on an intellectual and emotional journey that will lead them to new ways of understanding the world or even change the decisions they make in their lives.
The Nonfiction Writing Program attracts students from all disciplines by offering courses ranging from critical reading and writing to real world writing. We are as concerned with the discourse of university intellectual life as with writing for non-academic audiences. To that end, the Nonfiction Writing Program brings together three forms of writing: academic essay, journalism, and creative nonfiction. The factual precision of journalism, the narrative and essayistic latitudes of creative nonfiction, and the intellectual rigor of academic discourse offer perspectives from which we can critique and rethink the conventional boundaries of each form of writing. We seek to redefine practices of reading and writing and thereby to gain a new perspective on our experiences with language. All classes are conducted in small seminar settings.Lots of people freelance as nonfiction writers while holding down a day job or working on their fiction. It's another way to use a skill you already possess.
This series of nonfiction writing lessons was developed by Stuart Miller, a professional writer from the Teachers and Writers Collaborative. For best results, follow the activities in order, from 1 to 4.