Savvy Freelance Writer

The Craft of Narrative Nonfiction


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Series: Writing Nonfiction

I’m beginning a series of posts that will cover writing nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and long form narrative; finding a topic; uncovering the story in your notes; the craft of nonfiction; and topics related to writing nonfiction.

The posts will be based upon my study and experience in this exciting – yes, exciting! – area of writing. It will also be based upon the feedback and questions I’ve received from my students in the workshops I teach at The Writer’s Center, as well as in the writing classes and webinars I offer online.

I’ll make the post titles descriptive, as well as the tags, so you’ll be able to tell and find the posts that interest you. If you have any questions, or comments, or just want to weigh in, please use this form. Thanks! ~Gina

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Productivity

Questioning_xlWhile it’s true that the single most important aspect of productivity is to actually sit down and get to work, I wish it were that simple. I find writing nonfiction is a journey with several steps that do not necessarily proceed in a linear fashion. More distressing is the fact that some steps loop around and may repeat. It’s easy to feel frantic as the days pass and the deadline looms larger. To make it all work? I try to relax into my process.

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“The Book” is Due Monday

No more time.  No more, one more thing.  No more, I just remembered.

My book is due to my editor on Monday.  With endnotes and bibliography.  With illustrations and diagrams.

It’s terrifying and exhilarating.  Terrifying because this was my first book and there are sooooooo many things I’d do differently that it leaves me hoping I got it all right this time.  Exhilarating because on Tuesday I will awaken to a schedule with no long-term project waiting for attention.

In the process of writing this book, I have fallen utterly in love with the history of technology as it played out at the start of the twentieth century.  Who could have known?  I certainly had no idea how thrilling it would be to discover words written so long ago and to find them full of emotion that I have the privilege of putting in context and bringing forward to a new generation.

As a mother I know I touch the future.  As a writer I choose to touch the past.  Introducing the latter to the former is the greatest reason for being a writer that I can articulate.

How about you?  What do you write?  Why do you write?