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?
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.
My book Trains, Tunnels, Bridges: Icons of Our New Zealand Rail History is No. 3 on the Whitcoulls New Zealand non-fiction top seller list this month. Cool. It’s one of two books of mine released in the last six weeks. Bee Dawson’s book The New Zealand Woman is No. 1 on the same list, and good … More I got to No. 3 on the best seller list
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
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?