When it comes to writing a book in the genre of fiction writers have the creative freedom to be as verbose, descriptive and lyrical as their style demands. They have a lot more license to embellish and make things as long and short as they please. Not so much with non fiction. When to writing and publishing a book in the non fiction genre, or even advertising copy, marketing material, website copy and more, a clean and crisp writing style is one that most writers have to inculcate.
Non fiction reading material, whether in an entire book format or not, is one that readers are looking toward for information and even guidance on a certain subject. You are selling an idea or concept that you want your readers to buy into. Overly lengthy prose and never ending descriptions and sentence structures will definitely do you more harm than good, when it comes to capturing and then holding their attention.
Before you begin writing, here are a few pointers to consider to crisper and cleaner writing –
Identify your audience – In order to write clearly and coherently and to be understood by your readers, you first need to know who these readers are. Hone in on your target audience in order to learn what they want and need from what you are writing and how your words and the subject matter will be of consequence to them. Unless you do so it becomes nearly impossible to do away with the additional frills and fancies that serve no purpose. Effective non fiction content or copy requires a firm understanding of what engages your readers as well as what is of value to them, and how you can do your best to do exactly that.
Make sure there is clarity – Few things are as messy as not having a clear point of view and just spewing on and on. Random and rambling prose does not a crisp reading matter make. Whether you are delivering a story or selling an idea or service, make sure you have an element of simplicity and clarity to make it something your readers will understand and appreciate. The end consumer to your work is taking the time to read your work in order to gain something, absorb a certain kind of knowledge if you will; so make it worth their time by being concise and helpful. Highlight certain details and information that you know will be useful, rather than constantly beating around the bush in order to hit a certain word count. Avoid being too vague with your choice of words.
Have a grabbing headline / title – When it comes to writing and publishing a book in non fiction, your title or chapter headline can make a huge difference in grabbing the reader’s attention. Make sure it is eyeball grabbing yet shows a slice of what is to come. Readers often skim over titles to gauge what they will find useful and helpful.
Do away with unnecessarily fancy words – Flowery and fanciful word usage has little to no value in a crisp work of non fiction. Avoid using overly complicated and long words that writers often do in the efforts to sound ‘fancy’. While you sometimes may have to use industry jargon, don’t unnecessarily cram in too much just for the sake of it, as that often ends up confusing or annoying many a reader. Writing that is simple yet impactful always works and is strong.
Writing strong and clear non fiction requires some serious dedication to the art of making your words count. Even the simplest of texts can be extremely powerful!
Bio- David Meister works for a publishing house and is well versed in what it takes when it comes to writing and publishing a book. He has himself penned a novel and is working on his second. He regularly contributes to literary websites and blogs.