Writing Nonfiction, My Means to Explore


Fiction is my Ultimate Creative Outlet

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I write historical Christian fiction because that is what I personally want to read. The Locket Saga allows me to discover what happened to the family who carried the locket through history. It is a much a discovery for me the writer as it is for my readers to discover what happens. Fiction is my ultimate creative outlet.

But Nonfiction is My Means to Explore

While I am working on my fiction, I am also doing a lot of research and in the process of my research, I find nonfiction topics that I would like to write about. When I write nonfiction, however, I see a need that I believe I have some idea of what needs to be said on the subject that has not already been said. Often I know a good idea when someone tells me that they wish a book was written about a specific subject or say that they would buy if that book existed.  I have several ideas for nonfiction books that people have told me that they would love to read or that they said needed to be written.  I have always tried to look at things differently than the average person.

I think a lot of that stems from the fact that when I was a kid, my Dad would always have me questioning what was being said, particularly on television commercials. Never take things at face value, he always said. Look for the underlying motive. Look at how things might be different than what the average person sees. Be curious. Question everything, When I look at all the misinformation that is offered on Facebook, I realize that what I have to share has value.

Nonfiction Book Template

Although I like to explore ideas and subjects, when it comes to actually writing my nonfiction (and fiction for that matter), I find that working within a structure or outline helps me stay on track.  If you notice most nonfiction books, most nonfiction books follow this basic format.

A Table of contents

(Hopefully) endorsement by experts

An opening chapter

A number of main body chapters

Each chapter includes:

A few sentences or paragraphs to hook a person in

The main points of the chapter

A chapter summary

In addition, it is important to determine how long other similar published books are as well as the cost of those books therefore it is important to closely estimate your book to be of a similar length.   Another consideration is in deciding how long each chapter must be. If one chapter ends up longer than the rest, you probably should figure a way shorten the chapter or divide it into two separate chapters.

Writing nonfiction can be easy to write especially with topics that you are well versed in. I have a lot of experience in gardening so writing books, particularly short books regarding gardening is easy for me. A few years ago i wrote my first gardening book: Simply Vegetable Gardening based on a number of articles I wrote for Hubpages.  December 2015 I wrote two short booklets about two substances that I use all the time. My book kelp and my book about diatomaceous earth only took me one month to write both books and get them edited. I had them available for sale at the Sustainable Living University in January 2016. I am certain that I could do that again when I am ready to write my next nonfiction book.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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2 comments
  1. It’s always interesting to hear what motivates other writers…thank you for sharing.

    • 1authorcygnetbrown said:

      My pleasure! I hope you’re having a great week!

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