What Should A Writer Choose; Fiction & Nonfiction Writing?

Today’s post is about writing fiction, nonfiction, or both, as the case may be. It’s about the advantages of creative fiction and nonfiction writing. It’s about what are the core differences between fiction and nonfiction writing. It’s about asking yourself hard questions about what you want to write about, and lastly, we will provide you with an example as well.

The Advantages of Writing Creative Non-Fiction

Some of the best writers either got their start writing journalism or memoir. George Orwell’s first book was called Down and Out in Paris and London, a memoir about living in poverty in two of the world’s most famous cities.

  • Publishing Non-fiction is Easier

More people read short, nonfiction stories than short fiction stories, and newspapers, magazines, and public radio all purchase stories like these regularly. On the other hand, getting short fiction published is incredibly difficult (you’re ten times more likely to get into Harvard than to get published in a top literary magazine).

  • Nonfiction Often Pays Better

Not only are there very few publications that pay for short fiction (most pay with copies of the magazine), the ones who often pay less for short fiction.

  • Non-fiction Teaches You Discipline

When writing for magazines and newspapers, you have deadlines, and there’s nothing like a deadline to make you more creative and focused.

The Advantages of Writing Fiction

At the same time, rather than writing directly about their personal experiences, many best fiction authors channel those experiences into their novels.

  • Fiction is Enduring

While nonfiction might pay better initially, fiction writers are the ones who go down in history. We don’t remember George Orwell for Down and Out in London and Paris. We remember him for his novels 1984 and Animal Farm. We don’t know Twain for his travel writing. We remember him for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

  • Bestselling Fiction Pays Better than Bestselling Non-Fiction

In the end, top-tier fiction authors make more than top-tier nonfiction authors. (Not that I’ll likely experience this first hand. You might, though!) J.K. Rowling was the first billionaire author, not Tina Fey, and James Patterson sells more copies of his books than Tim Ferriss does (about 200 times more).

  • You Can Channel Your Imagination

Creative nonfiction is still nonfiction, and nonfiction requires strict adherence to the facts, which means hours of research, interviews, and careful remembering. I wouldn’t say fiction is lazier. Instead, it’s more dependent on the author’s imagination. You don’t have to stress about whether something happened. You can write.

The Basic Difference Between Fiction & Nonfiction Writing is Described Below:

What Is Fiction?

An easy way to remember this is with alliteration in the phrase “fiction is fabricated.” While fiction can contain true or real elements, like a real town, most of the work needs to be made up.

What Is Nonfiction?

An easy way to remember this is with alliteration in the phrase “nonfiction is newsworthy.” Anything presented in the news is supposed to be as factual as possible.

One writer has worked in both arenas of writing; fiction and nonfiction. Not just worked in both but has grasped a huge audience by portraying stories in those writings. Lorenzo DeStefano is a writer who has worked on many projects that have become a massive hit and gotten appreciation from many across the globe. 

A professional introduction of DeStefano can be given something like this: born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, Lorenzo DeStefano is a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director, and photographer. A member of the Directors Guild of America and past member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, DeStefano has worked in the U.S. and U.K. Theater, written fiction & nonfiction, original screenplays, and adaptations, and produced and directed documentary and narrative films.

His works related to writing include:

FICTION: includes the novel “House Boy” and the short story collection “The Shakespearean.”

NONFICTION: includes the essay “On Knowing Daniel Aaron,” the short story “Hitchhike,” the memoir “Visitations–Finding A Secret Relative In Modern-Day Hawai’i,” “Callé Cero–An Encounter with Cuban Film Director Tomas Gutierrez Alea” (Cuba Update), “Diary of a Nobody” (The Guardian), and the photographic memoir “Cubanos – Island Portraits.”