I love narrative nonfiction books. How about you? There is something intriguing about this genre. I have found personally that as I read the true events I'm pulled into the book as if it were a good fiction novel. Ah, it's a grand combination.
Peter Rubie, the author of Elements of Narrative Nonfiction, explores the intricacies of writing narrative nonfiction in this enlightening and engaging book. Rubie takes on the biggest challenge of writing narrative nonfiction as he discusses and teaches some of the major points.
First major point to this genre is: How true do narrative nonfiction books need to be? Does the amount of truth weaved into the characters of the book matter? Great questions like these are answered inside this guide. It's not enough to write a good story here. You need to write a true story with characters that take you by the hand and bring you deep into the controversy and adventure while disclosing interesting secrets.
A large order to say the least. However, I believe that Peter Rubie has brought the intricacies of this genre to light in an easy to use fashion. Rubie shares a bit about one of his scavenger hunts into numerous bookstores while on a trip with his wife who has turned shopping into an art form. During this one particular excursion, on a whim he sought out narrative nonfiction books from all types and sizes of bookstores. This led him to write this inspiring guide.
Rubie states: “The writer of a piece of narrative nonfiction has to be an investigative journalist, adept researcher, interviewer, and skilled novelist.” A tall order for writers today. No worries though, this book brings you through all these essential skills.
Inside this guide you will find out the true traits of narrative nonfiction and the essential elements that must reside inside your prose. You will learn about dramatic license and how to follow it correctly. For example, you must be clear to your readers and the publisher what is “true” in your book and what has been embellished. This will steer you clear of repeating a scandal we have seen in the recent past to some books touted as narrative nonfiction that turned out to be all fiction.
Rubie then takes you by the hand walking you through the journey of finding a subject and making sure it is a good one. Next you will dive into how to do research correctly, followed by good ways to turn the chaos of the research into the skeleton of your book.
Next you are taken through how to write your book. How to find an agent, as well as marketing tips and help. And if this was not enough to get your book safely into a publishers hands, you also have a wonderful bonus of how to write your book proposals with the added plus of real book proposal examples.
This book cleared the mystique cloud of this genre for me. Though I love to read this genre I was shy about trying to write in it. After reading this book I have a plan of action to follow.
Rubie engages you from the very beginning of this book through his wonderful writing style. Don't miss the opportunity to learn how to write narrative nonfiction through the great content in this book and the excellent example from his writing style. It is not often you can learn by reading the “How-To” and by watching the author's example in his own writing.
Don't miss this book if you are writing a true adventure, biography, history, memoir, military, travel or true crime book. These and many others fit under the heading of narrative nonfiction.
The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction: How to Write and Sell the Novel of True Events
Note: I requested and received a review copy of this book from the publisher to review.