Spicing the genres – evoking emotions

I have long thought that there is no real difference between the requirement of fiction and non fiction to evoke an emotion in the reader.

That emotion may be as simple as the satisfaction of knowing something. Or it may be so complex a form of emotional response that the book leaves a hole in your life when it’s finished. Non-fiction – properly written – can do that as much as fiction. Think Dava Sobel.

A lot of the writing techniques authors have to apply are the same irrespective of genre. The need for tautness, pace and structure apply to all forms of writing.

And funnily enough, the need for accuracy to authentic source is also true for fiction and non-fiction. Novelists, indeed, often do more research than non-fiction writers. Part of that is because the nature of minutiae required for authentic story telling differs from the broader brush required of, say, interpretative social history. But the key word – authentication – is true for both.

Do others see it the same way? Let me know.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2011

2 thoughts on “Spicing the genres – evoking emotions

  1. I absolutely agree with you on everything you’ve said here, Matthew. Nothing will have me throwing a book against the wall faster than blatant inaccuracies, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

    Almost all of my writing, up until seven years ago, was non-fiction. As you say, tautness, pace, and structure definitely carry over. In fact, I’ve found the only thing that does not carry over into fiction is the mantra I was taught in college, “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.” That’s great for teaching and conveying information, but it destroys any suspense whatsoever in a novel.

    I love your blog. Adding you to my blog roll.


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