Writing Nonfiction With Ambient Noise [NaNoWriMo]

Writing NonFiction
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NaNoWriMo, which takes place in November, as well as the Camp sessions in April and July, are all about writing.

The “No” in NaNoWriMo usually stands for “Novel“, however, you can write whatever you want. Short stories are your thing? Then you can write in NaNoWriMo as well. Today, however, we want to look at something else: NonFiction.

Take this article as your inspirational push in the non-fictiony direction for the next NaNoWriMo or any writing you want to do.


Personal Nonfiction Writing

As this headline might suggest, this is not about writing nonfiction on a scientific basis. Not all non-fiction requires years of studying, research, and training. Some of these include:

  • Self-Help Books
  • Biographies
  • Memoirs
  • Magical Books
  • Travel Books
  • Food Books
  • Tutorials

Thus, below, we have a look at some nonfiction genres for ambitious writers. These are, by far, not all possible genres to choose from, but certainly, enough to get your writing inspiration


Travel Writing

Books about travel usually require exactly this: travel. However, you can also write a travel book about an area you are very familiar with, namely the town or region you live in.

This form of writing can be made up of many different aspects:

  • local stories
  • explaining customs
  • suggestions for trips, restaurants, sights, and more
  • information about the place’s history

These aspects could be combined into one single publication, or split up thematically in several writings. Whatever works for you. Some aspects may require some more in-depth research into places, customs, and history.


Food Writing

One might think that the food writing genre is very narrow. But it doesn’t have to be. There are even books that can be described as culinary thrillers. The topic here is nonfiction though, but this includes different styles of food writing as well.

Next to the obvious being creating a book filled with own recipes, food writing also includes food critiques and even the history and development of different food, usages of ingredients, and dishes as well as their cultural importance.


Creative Nonfiction

Per definition, creative nonfiction is all factually accurate writing that still adheres to literary style and technique. This broad definition combines several types of writing, such as:

  • Biography: a detailed re-telling of a person’s life
  • Autobiography: a detailed re-telling of your own life
  • Diary: a record of daily occurrences and happenings
  • Memoir: a collection of memories written in a short-story style

Especially the latter three allow you, as the writer, some creative liberty. After all, you are writing about your own life, feelings, and thoughts. The biography, on the other hand, requires in-depth research or the close working together with the person you are writing a biography about.


Nonfiction Novels

So-called nonfictional novels depict a historical figure and events that are more or less well documented. These recorded facts are then enriched with fictional conversations and threads that tie the whole setting together to give a partly historically accurate, but even more so entertaining look into the past.

While this genre requires some knowledge of history to get events into a correct timeline, writing is still very free and creative.


“Magical” Writing

The strong belief in the supernatural goes way back to the beginnings of mankind. At least we can be certain about this as far back as the first written records of such beliefs. Part of this is so-called oracular literature. It was supposed to be the written records of the writer’s or poet’s contact to another, supernatural world. A collection of magical recipes or tutorials, which could be compared to a handiwork or cookbook, is called a grimoire, however.

There is a debate whether such books are nonfiction, however, but if you feel spiritually inspired, why not spend some time writing something like this?


Self-Help Books & Tutorials

You are somewhat of an expert in a certain field or have an extensive knowledge of specific things? If you combine this with an urge to help other people, even if it’s just in small ways, you can turn this into a self-help book, manual or tutorial. Collections of sewing tutorials, how to deal personally with a relative with Altzheimer’s, or instructions on how to repair and “pimp” an old Honda Accord – the possibilities are endless and certainly not limited.


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