Top Tips for Transitioning from Fiction to Non-Fiction Writing

Many aspiring authors have a passion for writing from an early age, reading books and writing fiction stories, maintaining their desire to write professionally for many years. However, fiction writing can be difficult to make a living from, with most opportunities to do freelance writing focussing on non-fiction articles and content pieces for marketing purposes. In comparison the majority of fiction writing opportunities involve either entering competitions or submitting longer pieces to publications where the competition is so high that if you do potentially hear back, it won’t be for a good few months to a year! It is therefore an invaluable skill for fiction writers to be able to transition in to non-fiction writing, and ultimately be able to explore the different avenues their writing can take.

Sales & Advertising  

Writing for a retail or sales website is a great opportunity for budding writers to expand on their writing repertoire whilst making a living as a freelance writer. The main thing to consider here is who the website is aimed at, for example voucher code website such as My Favourite Voucher Codes is primarily aimed at frugal online shoppers, who tend to be women around 18-35. Taking this into consideration, the point of the content is to sell a product/service and inform the customer of why they should use the money saving vouchers. This focus is of course very different from fiction writing, and keeping the audience in mind at all times is key to writing successful content. Be sure to keep the content engaging and relatable for the audience.

Articles

From magazines to online newspapers, pursuing writing articles as a career is an interesting way to write about something that you are genuinely interested in and finding your own voice. Of course, there are a variety of publications and articles to choose from, including perspective pieces, political, opinion, review and research work, so the first step is to choose the type of  articles you prefer to write moving forward and do further research into the writing style and structure other writers within your field tend to use. 

Creative Non-Fiction

As the word “creative” implies, this is probably as near to writing fiction as you can get in the non fiction writing industry. The writing style covers personal essays, blog posts, memoirs and autobiographies. Being a more personal style of writing means you can bring more of yourself into the piece, using your own unique voice to discuss your opinions, experiences and thoughts. This line of work is more similar to fiction in that they give way to a first-person narrative, using an engaging narrator to guide the audience through the story of your experience or using a relatable character voice to discuss a topic. Many of these also read as stories, but just rooted in fact.

The transition between fiction and non-fiction writing can be a challenge for some writers, as is the transition between the different non-fiction styles themselves. However, through using these many styles of writing it not only means you open up opportunities for a career in writing but also build your portfolio and mix up your writing so you are less likely to be stuck with writers block or n a rut with no idea how to get your fiction writing published. Use both styles to compliment each other and build yourself up as a writer.

By: Emily Atkinson Dalton 

Emily has been a content writer and charities executive at the voucher code company My Favourite Voucher Codes for the past year. She began writing fiction in 2015 with short stories and poetry, some of which she has had published both online and in print. She is passionate about all things creative, and also enjoys drawing, playing keyboards and playing badminton.

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