This Writer's Life · Writing

Writing: Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Stop signIn a recent blog post by Anne R Allen, guest blogger, Nina Badzin discusses how she realised she enjoyed writing non-fiction more than fiction. Her idea of being a writer turned out differently to the one she had originally envisioned. Since reading that post, I was beginning to wonder the same about my own writing.

Despite coming up with new ideas for fiction stories, strengthening plots within the drafts of two novellas and working on character development, I feel there is something missing. Lately I have taken to writing more blog posts, which I have enjoyed so that, ultimately, my fiction writing has taken second place. It has stopped me in my tracks and left me wondering what kind of writer I really am.

During my studies, I had grown accustomed to writing non-fiction, yet in the back of my mind the fiction always demanded attention; now the two have decided to go ‘head to head’, so to speak. My husband told me that only I know what kind of writing I want to do, and now my instincts are telling me I have a foot in both the fiction and non-fictional worlds.

When it comes to non-fiction, over the years I had often dabbled with the idea of writing personal essays. It was after all, a personal essay I had to write for an assignment once, where I received a distinction and my lecturer wanted to know if I was going on to do my Master’s degree. That’s when I realised I just might be on to something.

At the moment, I feel I clearly need to express myself more through writing non-fiction than through my fiction. I have every hope that by doing so, this will ultimately lead me to continue with my fictional projects. I now find myself taking a different path with my writing journey – after all, every writer’s journey is different.

Do you prefer to write fiction or non-fiction? Do you also find yourself in both camps? Have you found yourself writing differently to what you had originally intended?

Image by Debbie Johansson.

* As a side note, I will now be returning to Slow Blogging. I will blog on an intermittent basis.

Advertisements
Up Close & Personal · Writing

Writing from Experience: Bringing it Home.

2011 is shaping up to be a personal year for me.  Events have taken place that I feel compelled to write about them and others throughout my childhood.  Writing personal essays has now become a part of my writing agenda.

I have been reading books on essays, including Writing from Personal Experience by Nancy Davidoff Kelton and Writing Articles from the Heart by Marjorie Homes.  I have found them both helpful and motivating and I have since compiled a list of possibilities to write about.  Reading these books have also helped with my novels.

My first novel begins with a hit and run accident.  I was left wondering if my writing sounded convincing enough when revealing the emotions of my characters.  It was not until I was going over my personal experiences that I discovered I must have had some kind of repressed memory.  I was in primary school when my grandfather was hit by a truck.  He died instantly.  Images and emotions of the days that followed flashed through my mind.  I did know about such an event; I know how that feels.  I feel I can now do my re-writes with more confidence.

It’s also funny how timing comes into our lives.  Through my husband’s work, he forwarded on a link to a Victorian Roads commercial.  This video is both graphic and confronting, yet it brings the message home.  It, too, has allowed me to focus on the emotions and the people who are left behind.  Since watching this video, I have discovered that looking outside the box is a helpful tool.

As Nancy Davidoff Kelton writes in her book:  ‘Writing isn’t about going far.  It’s about going far within’.

How far are you willing to travel?

Writing

On Writing: Finding the Right Path.

I think I have a pretty clear idea of where I’m headed; I know which genres I prefer to write in and in what form, yet, once in a while, I go off the track.  I want to experiment with something different.

Experimenting with different styles of writing is not self-doubt; it is quite simply spreading your wings.  How will you know if you are any good at freelance writing  or personal essays, for example, if you don’t try?  Recently I have taken writing poetry seriously, which was once something I put off as it never really interested me.  Now, I’m quite happy to keep trying.

Getting off track occasionally is good for a writer; it can be refreshing and less rigid – even cure writer’s block.  By using different forms of writing you begin to multi-task and therefore you’re not ‘putting all your eggs in the one basket’.  You begin to work out what you like and don’t like, and where your strengths and weaknesses are.  Above all, you become a better writer.

Unfortunately, I have overlooked one important fact when concentrating on my goal to publication.  Writing should be fun!

Image by Debbie Johansson.