I write primarily non-fiction, everything from video scripts, to social media and web content, magazine articles, collateral materials, handbooks and more. I also read non-fiction primarily, including a number of book on writing, including Elements of Style and others by Stephen King, Elizabeth Berg, John Gardner and more.
I also have a habit of browsing the stack and the local library or running whatever searches on-line to find something to read that might interest me, something unexpected.Last week I’m roaming the stacks and select a book entitled Just Write. Here’s How!
It’s written by Walter Dean Myers and it’s geared towards young adult readers — and writers. But if you are doing or want to do any type of writing be it fiction or nonfiction, I highly recommend this book. First, because it’s written for young readers, it’s easy to read. Second, although I’m not a big fan of outlining, Mr. Myers may have changed my way of thinking. Here’s how. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, Myers first does extensive pre-writing. Then he create an outline, not is the usual numbers manner, but using boxes. Here are the boxes for a fiction outline.
The simple sentences within each box can serve as a thesis for that section and provide a writer with direction. Note, this doesn’t mean a work has only six chapters, but the plot and character are assigned different conditions that have to be present to tell a story. Similarly, he has an approach for non-fiction. Here.
I read a copy I borrowed from the library but hard copies and an e-book are available on-line. Here’s a review of the book on-line.