Tricks to Writing Great Non-Fiction
One of the most understated types of literary works, especially for an African American author, is non-fiction. If you take a look at the books that are most often purchased, you’ll quickly find that it’s the fiction that gets all the glory, while most of the non-fiction stories are relegated to the back shelves. But that doesn’t have to be. There have been a number of non-fiction works that have become highly thought of and that have become best-sellers. So how do you keep a non-fiction tale from becoming a dust collector in a small book store?
First, and foremost, if you’re going to create a non-fiction story, you need to write about something interesting. It’s the story that’s important. You also have to think about your audience when you’re writing. If you write a story about a housewife who struggled with depression, for instance, you’ll likely find that the buyers of your story will be women who are going through similar situations. If, however, you write about something that speaks to more than one demographic of people, you’ll find that your tale will be much more widely accepted.
The Point of View
One huge thing that all African American writers need to think about when you’re writing a non-fiction novel is the point of view. When you’re writing a work of fiction you also need to think about the point of view, but when you’re writing a work of non-fiction the point of view is even more important because you have to decide how you want a person to see your main characters. Do you want to see them through a specific person’s eyes, or do you want the reader to jump into another person’s point of view every once in awhile? What the point of view is will turn out to be very important and will help your reader to connect with the characters, so make sure you think about it strongly before you decide how to write it. And if you get a few chapters done and it doesn’t feel correct, experiment by writing it in another style and see how it feels then.
African American writers can make amazing works of non-fiction that are popular and sell-out at bookstores. It has been done before. The trick is in making sure that you know your audience, that you have a good story, and that you get the right point of view.