This year, I’m taking a close look at what I call the Nonfiction Triumvirate—nonfiction categories, writing styles, and text structures. So far, I’ve defined each of these three elements and provided lists of sample books. If you missed the discussion, you can scroll down or use the search box to see past posts.
Today I’m going to look at the interplay among nonfiction categories, writing styles, and text structures. As you are thinking about a manuscript from a big-picture point of view, it helps to understand how you can mix and match these three elements.
If you’re writing a Life Story . . .
- Probably chronological sequence
- Narrative writing style
If you’re writing a Survey Book . . .
sequence, or Q & A structure
- Expository writing style
If you’re writing Specialized Nonfiction . . .
- Probably sequence or compare &
- Narrative or expository writing style
If you’re writing a Concept Book . . .
compare & contrast, Q & A, cause & effect, problem—solution,
or invent your own structure
- Probably expository writing style
Next week, I’ll describe how I put this into practice.