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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Overview Nonfiction: Introduction Trust

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“Surely a kind of fascination or a deep desire to learn more about a subject must be there from the start.” Jane Yolen

Nonfiction easily warrants a workshop all to itself but as most fiction techniques also apply to this genre in this section we’ll look at the aspects that are assigned to it more specifically.

The well-known guidelines for solid nonfiction are still the basic who, what, when, where, and how, but the undergirding purpose is why.


These elements are the main criteria regardless of age. Both for the reader and from the author if the material is to have any impact beyond straight factual information. Think of how many times your thoughts have glazed over during a boring meeting that is solely fact based, even when you know it is information you need.

As babies move into understanding language they often point constantly to people and objects even before they can shape words in a desire to know. Toddlers have the capacity to drive the most patient adults to exhaustion with their why questions.

Nonfiction sings when curiosity begins a dialogue of interest. When an author has a connection with their topic and a desire to share, then trust is built.

So what do you do when assigned a topic of no interest to you or you feel is already boring. Think of someone hearing the topic or word or definition for the very first time and perhaps the only time they will ever hear any information on this subject. Then look for the spark of communicating truth in a voice that shares. Maybe with humor, or your own reluctance, or a surprise you discovered, but share one-to-one.

And it must be accurate so as an author you need to do the digging. If this is the only information on this topic they will ever hear, it must be the truth. Otherwise trust disappears and boredom replaces interest not only in this particular subject but possibly in others as well.

To paraphrase a comment by Jane Yolen, beautifully written information books have changed lives because though they are informational in the broadest sense the authors have written them out of the deepest commitment and passion.

I think that magazine articles and blog posts can meet this standard as well if the authors are sharing from their hearts.

Action Steps:
1.Make a list of all the subjects that have been of interest to you growing up?

2.Which ones did you discard and why?

3.Which ones do you still find fascinating? Why?


Share: What main passion do you want to share?

Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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