Non-fiction or nonfiction is created, where the author assumes responsibility for the truth or accuracy of the events, people, or information presented within it. The subject of the book, either objectively or subjectively, deals with information, events, and people in a realistic way.
Although the narrative may or may not be accurate, the specific factual assertions and descriptions can give either a true or a false account of the subject in question. However, the author will genuinely believe or claim the narrative’s content to be truthful at the time of their composition or, they convince their audience it is historically or empirically factual.
Nonfiction can also be literary criticism giving information and analysis on other works. And also informational text that deals with an actual, real-life subjects. This offers opinions or conjectures on facts and reality. This genre includes biographies, history, essays, speech, and narrative non fiction.
Common examples are expository, argumentative, functional and opinion pieces, essays on art or literature, memoirs, and journalism as well as historical, scientific, technical or economical narratives.
As a writer my favorite non-fiction book is On Writing by Stephen King. (No surprise there as he is my literary hero!)
The definition of a graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. However, the term is not strictly defined, though Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition is “a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book”, while its simplest definition is given as “cartoon drawings that tell a story and are published as a book”
Obviously, some will say these are not ‘novels’ in the traditional sense at all. One such author, Alan Moore believed: “It’s a marketing term…that I never had any sympathy with. The term ‘comic’ does just as well for me…The problem is that ‘graphic novel’ just came to mean ‘expensive comic book’ and so what you’d get is people like DC Comics or Marvel Comics – because ‘graphic novels’ were getting some attention, they’d stick six issues under a glossy cover and called it graphic novel under the action hero’s name.
However, the term ‘graphic novel’ is broadly applied to include non-fiction, anthologized and fiction works and is distinguished from the term ‘comic book’, as this refers to comic periodicals.
Richard Kyle, a fan historian coined the term ‘graphic novel’ in 1964 and the term gained popularity in the comic community from 1978 and especially with the start of the Marvel graphic novel line in 1982. The book industry began using ‘graphic novel’ as a book shelf category in 2001. Most comics historians agree that the first real ‘graphic novel’ was Will Eisner’s A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories published in 1978. Decidedly adult in its images, themes, and language, Eisner’s book spoke to the generation that had first grown up with superhero comics in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
I found a fascinating link regarding the history of graphic novels. Take a look: http://libguides.marymede.vic.edu.au/graphic_novels/history
A biography, commonly known as a bio, is defined as a detailed description of a person’s life. Rather than dealing with the basic facts of the subject’s life like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience with life events, presenting a subject’s life story, with highlights of various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may even include an analysis of the subject’s personality.
Biography’s are usually non-fiction in nature but fiction can sometimes be used to portray the subject’s life. One form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing that deals with in-depth research.
At first, biographical writings were merely a subsection of history focusing on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography began emerging in the 18th century reaching its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Biographical research as defined by Miller is a research method of collecting and analyzing a person’s whole life, or on occasion a portion of their life. This is accomplished through the in-depth and unstructured interviews, or even by semi-structured interview or personal documents. In short the research can come from “oral history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography” or “diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials.
There are two types of biography:
Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
An autobiography which is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.
The idea of writing our own biography is a daunting one for most of us and knowing where and how to start can be the main stumbling block for many. What to put in and what to leave out!
With other members of my writing group, I helped produce a memoir writing guide, which gives pointers on how to collect and compile artifacts, photos, letters etc. into a themed collection enabling you to format and theme your memoir/biography.
The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook.
As many of you know I love prompts, as they inspire and refresh the Muse. At my last writing meeting our prompt was: you find a box underneath your seat on a train. This was my response.
Box of Resource
My ankle struck a sharp edge and I let out a cry. Rubbing my bruised skin I noticed the brass hinge of a box wedged underneath the train carriage seat. After a couple of tugs to free the object, it was revealed as an old wooden box with elaborate brass hinges and decoration on all sides as well as the top. It was a woodland scene with an inset of silver representing the moon through an arch of gnarly trees. I tried the clasp but it was locked. I looked under the seat again hoping to find a key but only found a discarded piece of chewing gum and several wrappers sticky with candy.
I place the box on the tabletop and turned it this way and that admiring the workmanship. When I lifted it and shook it there was a gentle knocking sound. Something heavy was inside, but what? The guard came walking towards me and asked for my ticket, I produced it and he clipped a hole into it.
“That’s a beautiful box; a lot of work went into that I’m sure.”
“Yes it is lovely isn’t it?”
Once he left I wondered why I hadn’t revealed that the box was not actually mine. Pushing the box to one side I organized my space, backpack beside me, a novel on the table with a bottle of juice and a sandwich. Traveling at night is much more relaxed and not so crowded.
I read for a while and must have dozed off because a gentle shaking of my shoulder woke me.
“You have the box.”
I looked at the man confused at his words as my sleepy mind tried to become fully awake.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“The box of resource, there in front of you, I was not expecting a messenger.”
The man’s words did not make sense but he smiled kindly at me. He lifted the box and put it into a large canvas bag. As he turned away I asked
“What is the box of resource? I found it underneath this seat. I’m not a messenger.”
“Ah, I see that explains your confusion. It contains an ancient scroll that must be returned to the Vatican. It holds the…well I must not delay you.”
He looked up alarmed, turned and exited the train at a run along the platform. I so wanted to follow him but by the time I had packed my backpack he was nowhere in sight. My only clue -he was going to the Vatican. Well Rome is the city I will be living in for the next four years so maybe I will find him again and he will tell me what the box contains.
Why not write a short story using this prompt and share in the comments?
Books: I am enjoying this narrative as it is set in two time periods, like my novel, The Twesome Loop. The characters are well rounded and the ‘discoveries’ are intriguing.
Break writing rules with intention.
As Pablo Picasso so wisely said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break the rules like an artist.”
There are times to stick to the rules, and there’s those times to think beyond them … in any kind of writing.
I did manage to increase the word count on my new YA novella to just over 18,000 and will further increase it tonight as I have a couple of hours in the library prior to a Board meeting. The story took a surprising turn so I am following it, wondering where it will end. I am toying with the idea of a new title – Bubble the Gruggle – is good but maybe too childish for a YA. We will see.
With two events coming in the next couple of weeks I need to be prepared for displays and readings. Choosing excerpts of a book can be problematic but I have found that if you gauge them to your known audience at the event it is slightly easier.
How do you choose an excerpt to read?
One event – Word on the Street is in Lethbridge which will entail a road trip – always a favorite past time and will allow more writing time, never a bad thing.
My review: I had to finish this book last night so into the midnight hour I went… Jamie has created a world of intrigue, mystery and suspense in this novel. The relationship between Moira and Keenan had me guessing and hoping. A world of empaths and blockers, and strict social distinctions is beautifully weaved within and around the story. Great world building by Jamie. This is a novel I highly recommend and can’t wait to read to next installment.
I’m already entranced by this novel’s story set in two time periods.
Always get an outside edit.
Whether it’s a novel or a blog post, sometimes we get trapped in our own ideas, and the grand vision clouds our ability to see the actual words on the page.
So work your vision and polish it up as much as you can … but then, get feedback from someone else whose editorial judgment you respect.