How to research a Nonfiction BookInvestigating a non-fiction book
Advice for your non-fiction research
Recently I relocated to a new home and business and was confronted with decade-long paperwork. The simple part was reading a book, an album, a box of photographs, tapes. Each nonfiction book research is a great voyage that I almost as much enjoy as literature.
Non-fiction authors are on the border between artist and archivist. St. Martin's Press, among other publications. While I was educated as an Oral History student, not as a reporter, I learnt early on that the development of a finely coordinated research methodology is essential to every one.
I wrote all kinds of non-fiction literature, essays, radio dramas and dialogues. The majority of my work is in the field of non-fiction; I have authored travelling literature, memoirs, culture and literature as well as detective journalists. I have found that the research policies I use in one gender are the same for others.
I believe in all authors who go beyond the threshold of their experiences, who go out into the countryside, listen to other people' s voice and tales and struggles, learn the name of the road sign and the name of the plant and food in order to relate them.
This kind of endurance and perseverance - and a taste for ends - is useful in all non-fiction books. Classing reinforces the idea that we must not work in a void; especially our experience in non-fiction reminds us not to research in a void - that we must go into the fields and beyond the archive.
"Losing a pass was the least of my worries: losing a ledger was a disaster," writes traveller Bruce Chatwin in his classical Songlines. I' never go anywhere without a ledger in my back pocket or my purse. If you are a travelling author, a memoirist, a reporter or someone who writes a life story of an 18th c. author, it is important to have the instruments to immediately write down your thoughts and findings.
Sit on the jetty of the cove, spend an evenings in an lrish pub with your mates, stumble along a street in Sardinia with a shepherd, or even at that instant in the Library of Congress piles when you see a line or a cover or picture that refers to your book.
Be it travelling to a new goal, exploring a history of the environment, or exploring the lives of an American revolutionary guide, I never suppose I am the first individual to overstep that line. All of us have the ability to put our own framework on incidents or histories; but in the non-fiction book business that deals with facts and numbers, it is important to examine the work of authors who have done much heavier raising and doing much deeper research.
On-line research machines such as GoogleScholar and accessing source files, as well as old newsletters and papers, have accelerated our research. I' m often stumbling across little-known resources and ledgers when I'm tracking certain tracks. Special tip: This pre-game read also contains many unreleased scripts, brochures, web sites, regional papers and correspondents from non-professional authors - not just the big ones on the bookshelves.
There' s a treasure trove of history and materials in some of the most unlikely places. Also, there are many untold guardians of tales who have devoted their life to understand the undertones. There' s also someone somewhere who is the fortune teller of the city, the mad genealogical co-worker, the craftsman who has spent his whole life researching.
Listening to their tales and the motifs behind their tales, how they relate to your own projects, often helps to collect and open new door. Language, voice, accents, description - these are the pillars of our histories. In my historiography, I even find it important to go to the places where I do research - even if it is 200 years later.
The nonfiction section divides the fundamental needs of fiction: While you are haunting the archive, it is important to keep an eye on these items in your book. Organisation is the buzzword to write, especially if you are planning to keep to your book's deadlines. It is important to do the same with our print research. It may sound old-fashioned, but I go to my retailer and buy a few piles of files before I get into a book.
I' m making two piles - one with the topics, thoughts, characters, stories, etc. that I know I need to explore; the maintenance of these files also serves to remember where I could overlook certain parts of the history or saturate my research in another area. When one file is ten time larger than another, it means I have to re-evaluate the priority and emphasis of my book.
It comes into being later, as part of the magical of research and write-the notions, topics, human beings, etc. - which I have never thought of. Six specimens of an articel published in different papers, five leaflets on a small archeological site. However, whether I have cited this material or not is not the point - all this research is important to make the big whole possible, to discover little tales that have been concealed for years, to find the voices that propel your story.
To write a non-fiction book, I would say, thanks to the research processes, is also a intriguing, funny and often life-changing one. So if you are an editor who would like to keep your information up to date, or an editor interested in submitting to the GLA blogs or the next issue of the book, please email Writer's Digest to firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com.