Short non-fiction stories can either informational such as academic and self-help books. It may also be creative writing such as essays, memoirs, autobiographies, and biographies.
You can certainly make use of story techniques if you want to hook your audience when writing your nonfiction book.
But you should make a decision on the type of nonfiction you intend to write. However, you can make use of this guide to get started in writing your short non-fiction stories.
Here is a simple 5-step checklist on how you can go about it;
Step 1: Focus on a specific subject
If I had to narrow it down to 2 ways to decide on a subject you can focus on, they would be;
- Certain areas of your life either from childhood or from your adult years
- Places where you have visited
Before you devote your time and energy to writing about a topic, you should be convinced that you can write a complete book on that topic.
Step 2: Decide on a format
Though the subject of your book largely determines the format you choose, here are 2 examples from which you can draw inspiration;
- If you are writing about nature, you should write using your personal experience with nature
- You can organize your personal essays into a book if you have a series of related ones.
Step 3: Create an outline
A simple and effective way of creating an outline is not just to create the titles for each chapter, you should create sub-titles for each chapter as well.
This is effective because you won’t leave out any details you might have wanted to include.
For example, a memoir should adequately cover specific periods and places in your life. Hence, you would need to organize your thoughts in a logical order when creating your outline.
Step 4: Research
Research can be as simple as an interview with another person.
For example, you might need to read textbooks and biographies, if you are writing a biography.
And if the information you have is not enough, you might as well have to visit the museum or the historical society.
Similarly, knowing the names of places, animals, plants and their history can be an important part of a research when writing about nature.
Step 5: Develop a plan of writing, start writing and stick to the plan
When you are writing a book, not only do you need to develop a plan and start writing your short non-fiction stories. Also, you need to stick to the plan so that you can complete your first draft before life gets in the way.
Pro tip: Always use an outline to measure the time you use to write.