Guide to Successful Non-Fictional Writing

Guide to Successful Non-Fictional Writing

This guide to successful non-fictional writing will provide you with an easy strategy for researching, creating, editing, and self-publishing your first non-fiction writing or book.

Writing is an art that can be learned, mastered, and improved on. Yet a lot of people fumble around this not knowing where and how to build their writing skill.

Our context here is on non-fictional writing. This genre informs, teaches, tells, or explains real situations but with tones or styles that would interest a reader. Examples of non-fictional writing include; documentaries, biographies, history, travel guide, self-help books, etc. 

While some writers consider non-fiction writing to be simple, because it involves writing of factual events or stories. Others prefer the imaginative freedom in fiction writing.

How to Write Non-Fiction

Guide to successful non-fictional writing

1. Decide What You Want to Write About

Find your story. Decide what sub-genre you want to write about; a biography or autobiography, a documentary, a journalism report, or a self-help book.

2. Why Do You Want to Write? 

What message do you want to communicate? Have your mind on the message you want to communicate to your target audience. It could be a secret you want to share, a lesson you want people to learn, a guide, or information that you want to pass across. Ensure to have it articulate to enable you ensure you actually achieve it.

3. Who Are You Writing For?

Your target audience is a key consideration to factor in before you start writing your non-fiction. This will guide you in the choice of words, tone, and structure.  

4. Research Properly on the Topic, Person, or Event.

Ensure all details you put in your non-fiction writing are factual and accurate. Because non-fiction writings are involve actual events, you need to be sure that every detail captured is accurate; dates, time, and place. Make deep inquiries to confirm or nullify initial information before you conclude on it.

5. Assemble the Puzzle of Information Gathered.

Gather all the pieces of information you have gotten through your research and put them together piece by piece to make sense. 

6. Choose Your Writing Plot Structure

You have the freedom to choose the writing plot structure you prefer. You can either start the story from the middle, end or beginning.

7. Draft an Outline of the Writing to be Expanded

Draft an outline chapter by chapter, and sub-sections of each chapter. Indicate the topic headings and write what happens in each section. 

8. Choose Your Writing Tone & Style

Decide on the style to use, whether a narrative voice, first-person narrative, expository, or explanatory… this will also be dependent on what you are writing about and the genre of non-fiction. A memoir would certainly sound different from an autobiography. 

9. Write Chapter by Chapter

Gradually develop your writing from the initial outline, one chapter at a time. You may set a goal to help you achieve a certain word count per day. Say 500 to 1000 words per day. Before you know it, your book will be completed. Don’t overwhelm yourself by attempting to write so many chapters in a day. Your creativity needs rest to be boosted. 

10. Review

Review all you have written, to be sure you communicated your intended message, applied a good plot structure, and captured accurate data. 

11. Proofread & Edit

Proofread for errors, punctuation, and grammar, and make edits. Share a copy with a second eye to read through and give you feedback. Compare the feedback and adopt the necessary ones. Bear in mind that not all feedback would be in line with what your writing needs.


Don’t panic at the mention of non-fictional writing. Just like the rest, it still obeys the rules of writing. A knowledge on how to hone your writing skills would surely help you in this genre. Always bear in mind that non-fictional writing requires your to tap into your creativity in order to tailor the writing in a compelling style.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *