Steve Edward Farley


When I think of nonfiction, I think of works of art like Art of War, something that can be referenced and looked to for information. nonfiction is a huge part of the industry. I watch this show Veep. It follows a dysfunctional and fictional Vice President; in the episode I am referencing she is dating a personal trainer and she took him on a trip to England. This personal trainer meets with a member of the British government at a mixer. He mentions that he is an author. The government official asks him for one of his titles he begins rattling off his books. The titles are like fifteen days to swell, get ripped quick all silly names. If you are a health professional or a trainer, I am not trying to pick a fight just pointing out funny instance.  

                But in the world, mainly the self-published world you will find these kinds of books. Similarly, you will find my most hated nonfiction and paper wasters. That item that I hate is the political non-fiction. There is something in the world of writing called ghost writing. I have done it, twice and both times I felt small pieces of my soul ripped from my body. I got off easy writing a memoir and a biography. But ghost writing a political nonfiction I could imagine would be unbearable. The only thing worse than a ghost-written political nonfiction, are the books written by the politicians themselves. Everyone of them thinks they are the next Churchill. Chances are you are not going to read a World in Crisis; it will be something closer to Green Eggs and Ham.

                When reading a book written by a politician don’t start at the first page, those are lies, go to the back to the sources and cliff notes, there some half-truths might be found. I am surprised that the middle of the books isn’t filled with blank pages, because I never actually see someone on a plane or in a park reading one of these.

                Another kind of nonfiction novel can be educational, perhaps you are an expert on dog breeds, and you want to write about breeding techniques, keep in mind you will have competition. A fact about nonfiction is that there are other experts in your field, what happens if someone discredits what you say. nonfiction is one end of the spectrum of writing the other is fiction.

                It is like my best friend Phil said to me during an argument. I told him that is why I write fiction. He replied to me that is good because I am not very good at reality. That is a true statement if I ever heard one. I love writing fiction. I can make the characters do anything, say anything and be anywhere. I can create a world set 800 years in the future with our technology, eliminate fossil fuels because you can’t find them, force the characters to live in smaller kingdoms in what was formally the United States. This series does exist and is called the Fallen Continent, there are three books on Amazon. The point is this writing is possible only in fiction. On the same token within the realm of fiction I can keep a book in the present reality. A lot of my latest books seem to feature characters with masks one of the perks to writing during the COVID-19 Era. It will be exciting to see what aspects of the Corona virus pandemic will find their way into fiction. A writer has the freedom to poke fun at it. Where in a nonfiction you can get labeled as spreading misinformation.

                I follow several YouTube Personalities. One of them had a book that was banned on Amazon for a title infringement involving the word Hollywood. Then again you run the risk with nonfiction of being discredited and removed. For a fictional story to violate amazon polices it would need to be promoting hate or sexualizing something grotesque. Or in the case of the aforementioned YouTube Personality a legal challenge for copyright infringement.

                I am not a total hater of nonfiction. If you are an academic or a professional you can go into massive detail without constraints of length, a magazine can’t publish a hundred pages, but the individual can. Being able to lay out an argument at such length will allow the writer to be unrestricted and the results become excellent tools for others to reference.

                Lastly there is self-help nonfiction, which is a huge percent of this industry. Books that help people to better themselves or learn things. I am sure you have seen a Mathematics for Dummies, I have seen all kinds Learning Spanish for Dummies, I bet there is even Heart Surgery for Dummies, actually I hope that doesn’t exist. Like many of you I listen to audiobooks, I listened to Mindset by Carol Dweck recently and it details perspective, and it opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the world. Self-help is a topic that requires experts and lots of research but when successful the results can be profound.

                If as a writer you choose to lean towards nonfiction you can find success, just keep to your writing routine. Take your time, go chapter by chapter and before you know it your new book will be ready for an editor. On the other end of the spectrum if you lean toward fiction follow the same advice. Books take time to write, you are not going to write the next Codex Gigas in a single night. By taking it week to week you will complete one to two chapters per week within three months your first draft will be complete.

                Whatever path you choose, I hope you all find success completing your books. Please check back for the next blog article, where I will discuss writing routines and how to get started.