Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Behind the Books: What an Informational Book ISN’T

In last week’s post, I outlined the origin and meanings of the three contradictory definitions for “informational book” that are currently is use. There is also a fourth use floating around out there, but it is without foundation.

Let’s face it. Writing engaging nonfiction isn’t easy. Because you can’t make anything up, you have to rely on the information that’s available, and sometimes the information a writer would like to include simply doesn’t exist.

It can be tempting to invent dialog or rearrange chronology a bit to improve a story arc. So tempting that some writers would love a term that justifies doing so. That’s why it’s no surprise that some people misuse the term “informational book,” thinking it is a kind of nonfiction that is based on true information but takes occasional liberties with the verifiable facts.

But this is NOT a legitimate use of the term “informational book”. NONE of the three accepted definitions make room for made-up material with the goal of strengthening a story. NONE.

If you make up anything, anything at all, you are writing fiction. Period.

So why does this mis-definition persist? There are a couple of reasons. I’ll discuss the first of them next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment