Metaphors, Memoirs, and Manuals (oh my!): Bringing Your Nonfiction to Life with Fiction Writing Techniques

People love their stories—a phenomenon that writers may understand and count on to a greater extent than the average joe. Well, fiction writers anyway. But are you, as a nonfiction author, giving your reader enough story? Typically the art of spinning a good yarn is deemed the domain of fiction writers, but storytelling can brighten up and bring together your work of nonfiction as well. This applies not only to memoirs, historical accounts, tales of true crime, etc., but also to self-help manuals, dissertations, and even instructional manuals and textbooks.

Whether you’ve come up with a dynamic system for organizing toys in a multi-child home or a complex philosophical theory told over seven volumes, you can use storytelling techniques to bring your material out of the abstract and ground it in the sort of concrete detail that will make it seem personally applicable to your reader.

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