Fiction vs Non-Fiction

As a writer, it’s my job to know what to write about.  As an author, it’s also my job to entertain my readers through the gates of their hungry eyes.  As a wordsmith, I’m supposed to make it my specialty to paint the best image by calling upon the resources of only 26 letters in the English alphabet.

It can be a benefit or a mistake for someone like me to put both feet in two distinctively different realms where those exact same skills get utilized.  Non-Fiction and Fiction.  They have two separate voices, two separate reading spheres.  Some people only read non-fiction and others are only focused on reading fiction.  Go into any bookstore, you won’t see the same people crossing the isles from non-fiction to fiction.  Some do, but not as many as you think.

Over the last four years, I’ve experienced the clash between them.  Early on, when I wrote two non-fiction books and there they sat in the market, largely untouched, it was discouraging.  Maybe a sale here, a month later I would get another copy sold.  Then again, I owned very little presence, and there wasn’t a large market for the non-fiction departments I wrote in.

That changed when I crossed the isle and started to write fiction, and worked to get it published, and then get it marketed.  The sales improved dramatically, though still not enough to make any type of living from.  The unthinkable happened one fine day.  I got an email.  One of the people who bought my non-fiction told me to stick with non-fiction.  That the message could get misunderstood if I produce fiction.  That I might not be believable since I invent stories.  That was countered with another email from somebody else, who told me that my non-fiction was flavoring the tone of my fiction, and that I should unpublish it before too many readers got angry.  Top that off with another email calling me a right-wing nut, and if they knew my political views before hand, they would have never bought my fiction.

These are the people who crossed the isle, from one side to the other.  They explored who I am in both departments, and found themselves clashing.  This doesn’t happen often.  I’ve only gotten six emails about this issue over 2 of those 4 years.  Am I concerned?  No, not really.  Should I be concerned?  Perhaps.

If one cook bakes ten cakes, lines them up for taste testing, the people will judge each cake type for its merits.  Some will be judged better than others.  If the same cook makes an eleventh dish in the realm of breakfast… say a vegetable omelette… will those cake taste testers have the same discerning tongue for the breakfast item?  Of course not.  Both could be absolutely delicious, but after so much frosting in the mouth, no non-sweet bite will taste very good.  You can test this with a bottle of Pepsi and a three musketeer candy bar.  Take a sip of Pepsi.  Eat the whole candy bar.  Then take another sip of the Pepsi.  Suddenly, the Pepsi tastes sour, and you know it wasn’t sour before hand!

The mind does the same thing with fiction vs non-fiction.  Your mind is saturated with one reading style, and if not enough time has passed for adjustment, to cross over to non-fiction too quickly will feel mentally sour.

I’ve written and published my non-fiction book on Low Functioning Autism.  It’s here, in this clicky link line to Smashwords, though it’s already on most other retailer sites, if you have a favored ebook vendor elsewhere.  It’s not a comedy.  There’s no humor.  It’s a very serious piece of work.  It’s also 100% true.  If you do get a copy for yourself, please allow time to adjust for the writing type.  It’s non-fiction.

Next week, when I post again, it’ll be the shortest month of the year.  I’ll have more of an update on Darya Rising for everyone.  Until then, think positive and be safe.

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About Daniel A. Roberts

I'm an Independent Author. I've written both fiction and non-fiction.
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One Response to Fiction vs Non-Fiction

  1. It is of lesser importance what people think of you.
    Stay who you are, be honest to yourself.
    Never change ‘you’ to make others to like you more.
    For every person who want to go right, there is always one that wants to go left.
    and to make things worse, there are people like me:
    I don’t want to go left nor right: I want to to go straight ahead, just for the fun of it ^_^

    Don’t change, stay yourself,
    Fiction can become Non-Fiction.
    If you are honest to yourself, you are honest to your readers, that is fact.

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