The fiction about non-fiction

At this point in the blog I thought it may be helpful to some aspiring non-fiction writers to give you my take on non-fiction writing.

Personally, I find most non-fiction writing very stale, boring and matter of fact. Of course, that’s just my own personal, subjective view, and I may well be in a minority for all I know.

However, when I started writing the book I did wonder if I should write in a typical matter of fact non-fiction style. After all, it only takes less skills and ability, but it’s much quicker and easier to do that, than to write in a more engaging style.

The easy way out would have been to just write my CV book in the same stuffy manner as other non-fiction writers, and given my already busy schedule, I did consider doing just that. However, the more I reflected on the matter, the more I thought it right and proper that I made my book more entertaining.

One of the considerations which crossed my mind was ‘why do most non-fiction writers write in a very boring/matter-of-fact manner?’

And I can’t speak for others, but as mentioned, I do think that it certainly takes more skill and natural writing talent to be able to write in a clever, more humorous manner. I reiterate, I can’t speak for others, but for my own part, I do back myself when it comes to writing – even when the writing is more intricate, demanding and challenging.

Additionally, I did also remind myself that one of my main goals was to entertain the reader, and whilst it is no easy task when you have 250 blank pages in front of you, I nevertheless still had confidence in my ability to entertain the reader over 60,000+ words.

Either way, there was only one way to find out, so I effectively just started writing in a manner which I hoped to be able to continue. Ultimately, the readers will be the judge of whether or not I pulled it off, but I’m pleased to say that the publishers liked it, and at the very least no one can say that it isn’t different!

Paul Hichens (182 Posts)

Paul Hichens, top UK CV specialist, head of leading firm CV Succeed, and author of the most pioneering CV book in decades, The One Page CV (published by top career sector publishers Pearson Education).


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