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Writing Non-Fiction  «
because I say so
Thursday, 12 June 2014
Let's Get Serious
Topic: Writing Non-Fiction


A few weeks back, I talked about planning to write about non-fiction writing.

Really, it was my plan to talk about a new writing project that has a number of unique elements to it, at least unique to me.

For starters, this is a project I am writing with not just one but two writing partners. This is something that is virtually unheard of for me, at least in the last twenty years or so. More about that in a subsequent post.

The other significant element is that it's a non-fiction work, something a bit out of the norm for writing I've done I the last number of years. Since the publication of Deadly Lessons my focus has been understandably, if not terribly swiftly, on the writing of more fiction, including Last Dance and most recently W3.doc.

With the exception of a few forays into op-ed freelancing, my written work - at least that not directly required by the day job - has been in the fiction domain, really since graduating from university, which most recently was in 2001. At least the graduate writing wasn't awful, even if it wasn't always terribly interesting. Not so long ago I came across some papers I had written in my undergraduate days. I'm not sure what was more surprising: that I actually produced some of that schlock or that professors and TA's saw sufficient merit in it to give me the good marks I got.

Two years ago, I wrote a paper for publication in a professional journal. It was nerve wracking. I found myself, despite having had published two books and numerous articles and columns, wondering if the work would be accepted (it was), whether I could still write with at least some semblance of academic credibility (turns out I could), and whether I would have anything meaningful to say (I think I did, though it was so gently couched so as to be able to offend absolutely no one).

But other than that…fiction.

While I'm not quite ready to release the details of the upcoming non-fiction project, suffice to say that while it isn't academic in nature (I have PhD friends who promise to physically assault me should I contemplate undertaking doctoral work), it is intended to be informative - probably not terribly entertaining and God knows whether or not it will sell, though one of my co-writers is convinced of the demand.

On the one hand, I'm excited about the project. It's a good premise, important subject matter that I see a use for (says every non-fiction project writer who's ever pitched). But it's daunting, not the least of which because our timeline is for completion through the summer months, a deadline that meshes with a certain fiction project to which I'm committed to finishing right around the same time.


Next week: Movie making or how I should learn to stop worrying and love the concept of crowd sourcing.

Posted by davidrussellbc at 12:01 AM PDT
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