Do adjectives and adverbs have a place in non-fiction writing?

Do adjectives and adverbs have a place in non-fiction writing? Maybe. Used properly, adjectives and their annoying relations, adverbs, render the mundane into something extraordinary – specifically because, if controlled, they evoke emotions in readers. Control is essential: use the wrong adjectives and you reduce the work to ‘telling’, whereas what you’re trying to do … More Do adjectives and adverbs have a place in non-fiction writing?

Experience the past. See the journey. Understand the now.

I don’t often blog directly about the books I write – but I have some auspicious news. My publishers, David Bateman Ltd, have released my Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand as an e-book. My first major e-release, after 30 years of trad book publishing and 50-odd titles. The print edition has sold very well – and … More Experience the past. See the journey. Understand the now.

Write it now, part 29: the fictions of history

I posted last week on the need for accurate research in both fiction and non-fiction writing. That’s particularly true for any historical novel where the research has to be not just accurate, but also the right sort of research. A detail that isn’t authentic blows the suspension of disbelief, and the details needed for fiction – … More Write it now, part 29: the fictions of history

Write it now, part 28: how much does research count?

Although I had my original training as a writer in fiction, the bulk of my published output over the years has been non-fiction, reflecting my qualifications in history. Needless to say, accurate research is pivotal to non-fiction.  Not just an ability to accurately make notes in research, but an ability to write the results down … More Write it now, part 28: how much does research count?