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Welcome to my blog. Here you will find tips that will help you write books and articles that establish you as the expert in your market.
                   --Lee Pound

February 2020
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Five Mistakes Fiction Writers Make

The best non-fiction writers use fictional techniques to make their writing more powerful and emotional. This is why it is important to master these techniques even if you will never write a work of fiction.

Each of the mistakes fiction writers make apply to non-fiction writers, who in most cases make a worse hash of them than fiction writers.

The five most common mistakes I see in my clients are:

  1. No character development. Characters are not just important in fiction, they are everything. If your characters are boring, your reader will close the book. In all fiction, the character must grow and develop. He or she is a different person at the end than at the beginning. In non-fiction, you the character know more at the end than at the beginning and that’s the message you share with your reader.
  2. The character doesn’t want anything. This is a common and very bad mistake. If a character just exists without desires, he or she will take no action and there will be no story. A character with no ambition is boring indeed.
  3. The book starts too early. Many fiction writers try to give you mountains of back story before we ever get to the story. Begin as late in the story as you can and feed in the back story as needed. In non-fiction, start with what your reader knows now. Don’t start at the very beginning unless your reader is a rank beginner.
  4. The middle become a muddle. Many fiction writers get off to a good start, then fail to keep the story moving. It becomes a string of events with no real building toward a climax. Raise the stakes as you proceed through the story and you will keep the reader’s interest. In non-fiction, keep adding better and better material until you bring it all together at the end.
  5. The antagonist is a caricature. Many writers develop their main character well, then make the antagonist or opponent into a cliched bad guy (or gal). When this happens, we cannot believe in the opponent and therefore cannot believe in the story. In non-fiction, the problem faced by your reader must be real. Don’t just invent a cliched problem and expect that to suffice.

If you correct just these five items, your story will be far stronger and so will your non-fiction book.

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