How do you improve your writing as a nonfiction writer?

Discussion in 'Nonfiction Writing' started by petitnousnous, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. petitnousnous

    petitnousnous New Member

    I love to read and have always loved to write, but I find myself more drawn to reading and writing in the nonfiction genre. As with any skill, I believe you must practice (and practice, and practice) in order to do well, but any time I look up writing exercises or prompts, they all seem to be fiction based: "You wake up and find that all the people in the world have turned into ducks..." or "One of your characters has found themselves trapped in an oil painting...". I find it difficult to feel motivated to practice my writing skills using fiction examples and was wondering if I'm missing something. Is it better to simply use fiction-based writing prompts anyway? Should journaling be a major part of nonfiction writing practice? Are there prompts or exercises out there that I'm simply not finding? What is your experience?
     
  2. Cmg5034

    Cmg5034 New Member

    One of the most common manifestations of bad writing is overuse of the passive voice. In English, the most basic sentence structure is S-V-O: Subject-Verb-Object. “The zombie bit the man” is an example of this sentence structure. The passive voice can cause confusion by putting the object first: “The man was bitten by the zombie.” It usually requires more words and use of a “to be” verb form, which can suck the energy out of your writing. Learn to avoid these constructions as much as you can.[
     
  3. Hrshy_snchz

    Hrshy_snchz New Member

    One of the best way to improve your writing as a non fiction writer is to read critically whether the works of a great authors or co writers; Good writing is simply not possible without reading. Because if you read more, you will learn more effective writing techniques, to appriciate the nuances of words and to get an inspiration as well. Also, believe in your skills because that is what really matters most.
     
  4. racethebar

    racethebar New Member

    As a nonfiction writer, the best way to improve your writing is to read! Be it novels, academic books, magazines, newspapers, tabloids, or even promo materials, reading will definitely help a writer expand his vocabulary and enhance his way of expressing his/her thoughts through words.
     
  5. Melancholy

    Melancholy New Member

    To echo the other replies - read! Take note of a non-fiction authour's techniques, and try and use them in your own work. Note what works, and what doesn't, then see if you can see those in your works. Do your best to listen to critisism and advice too! That's the best way to improve on all skills, and it's spefific to you.

    Be critical of your own work; is it concise, clear and readable? Is it interesting? How can you improve it? I've found writing groups to be great for improving both yourself and other's writing, since you're exposed to other works, and their way of writing.
     
  6. Vimtuous

    Vimtuous New Member

    Write about your personal life. Write about the things that have been formative for you or left a lasting impact or that have stuck with you in some way. I tend to write fiction, but I also really like nature writing when the mood strikes. Being outside has always been something I enjoyed and it's fun to write about the world around you.
    One of the practices that I've done is to go sit outside, and write about everything you can hear. You'll be surprised at how many sounds you can actually hear once you stop and trying and pin them all down.
     

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