Post: Writers must choose fiction or non-fiction

fiction or non-fiction

Perhaps you’ve always felt that you “have it in you” to be a writer. Maybe you’re one of those people who actually enjoyed English class in high school. Then again, you might not be a grammar enthusiast as much as you are a creative thinker. You’ve been seriously considering giving it a go—writing professionally, that is. Before you start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you must decide whether to write fiction or non-fiction books. 

Before we go any further, let’s be clear—writers are not required to choose between fiction and non-fiction. You can write both.  Some people do. However, if you prefer to focus on one category over the other, then this blog post may help you determine which is the best fit for your skills, writing style and professional writing goals. 

Your target audience can help you decide between fiction or non-fiction

One of the first issues to consider when determining whether you want to be a fiction or non-fiction writer, is to think about your target audience. Who are they? If, for example, the first readers who came to mind when you read that are toddlers or teenagers, then you’ll undoubtedly want to choose fiction over non-fiction. If you feel compelled to write for intellectuals or scholars, then non-fiction might be a better choice.

Perhaps you enjoy teaching people how to do things, like start a garden, organize a closet or make a fantastic meal on a shoestring budget. These are great topics for a non-fiction how-to series of books. If you love to create stories about romance or past eras, etc., there might be a best-selling fiction author inside of you just waiting to come out. 

What is the story you want to tell the world?

Another way to determine whether you want to write fiction or non-fiction is to think about the story you want to share with the world. Does it exist in your mind in a world of make believe or is it an actual experience you or someone you know has had in life? Biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are examples of non-fiction stories that stem from experiences.

Great writers are usually avid readers

Be sure to read as many fiction and non-fiction books as you can to help determine which style of writing is the best option for you. Write a few short fiction stories, as well as several non-fiction essays to check whether you feel a stronger affinity toward one or the other. 

If you hope to earn an income as a writer, it’s a good idea to conduct some research. Try to discover more about the current market. Which style of books, fiction or non-fiction, are selling better at this time? Either way, there’s always room for new writers, so give it some thought, make a choice, and go for it.