Researching, Outlining, and Writing Your Non-Fiction Creation
Writing a book is an exciting endeavor, but you need to know what you’re doing. You need to do the research and for some people, writing an outline before you do the actual writing helps them go from start to finish.
First, you need to know where to go to research your book. Even if you’re an expert, go to other experts. What you want to do is get viable quotes form other experts – the more popular, the better.
Think it’s difficult to get an expert onboard – especially if you’re a relative unknown? It isn’t. Getting a quote from an expert you admire requires one thing. Asking. Will everyone you ask say yes? No, but some will and that’s all you need.
You simply send a brief email and ask if you can quote them. You can handle a quote one of two ways. You can either ask if you can interview them via email – you want the questions responded to in writing – or you can ask if you can include a quote of something they’ve already said in a written, audio, or video format.
You can also do phone interviews, but if you’re not used to doing this, it can be a little nerve-wracking. You’ll need to tape the conversation if you do this. Unless your state is a one party state for recording conversations, you’ll need to get the expert to clearly acknowledge in the beginning of the tape that he or she is aware the conversation is being taped.
You can research through professional or government agencies that deal with the topics covered in your book, you can use case studies, newspaper archives and the local library. You want to invest an many resources to educate yourself (not so you can plagiarize) and fill up on knowledge before you begin writing.
Outlining a non-fiction creation is important because you have to know where you’re going. An outline is like a map of the path you’re going to take from the first chapter to the final one. You want an outline because you can later use it as a basis for your table of contents page.
When writing an outline, you just need to write down your key points and any sub-points. You may also want to summarize your book in a sentence or two. This will help keep you on track.
Once you’ve done your research and written the outline, you’re ready to write your non-fiction creation. When you’re writing, remember to stay on topic, because it’s easy to wander.
Keep your audience in mind as you write. Use your voice and not someone else’s voice. You weren’t meant to be a carbon copy of someone else. Don’t be afraid to tell it like is and don’t box yourself in as you write. Write with emotion.