There are many non-fiction genres but people don’t give it too much thought at first. I guess it’s because the genre breakdowns aren’t as exciting as fiction. Even still, I think they’re pretty cool!
Whether or not it’s nonfiction or non-fiction (can someone help me? I really don’t know), if you want to publish a not fiction book it’s important to understand at least the basic breakdown of the genre.
Let’s start with a big list of common non-fiction genres. Ones you’ve probably already thought of.
- Opinion (also called op-ed)
You still with me? Straightforward, ish.
But maybe you’re wondering why genre matters, why we’re talking about it at all.
If you want to be a freelance writer, knowing the difference between non-fiction genres will be a great asset!
First reason: you will know what type of writing you do (I write bios or I write history, for example).
Second reason: you will know what types of publications to pitch your writing to. If you write op-eds, for example, you’ll go to publications that publish op-eds. Not everyone does so it pays to know this before you pitch!
Third reason: if you’re thinking of writing a book one day, word count changes based on your genre. Yes, in non-fiction genres too! Understanding what you’re writing will make all the difference.
Don’t worry, we can go deeper
Once you dive into the wonderful world of non-fiction writing you can get into the nuance of the craft.
Going deeper and refining your writing style by genre makes you a stronger all-around writer. It also allows you to offer more specialized services to your clients.
And, thus, charge more for your expertise.
Here are a few more examples to get your wheels turning. For the complete list head on over to Wikipedia.
- Creative nonfiction
- Literary criticism
Yes these are all legitimate genres and ways you can write for money. So think big, think outside the standardized package and lean into your natural strengths.
Extra reading: What is Prescriptive Non-Fiction?
You may also like
- How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal
- How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing
- What If My Book Idea Isn’t a Book?
- 8 Literary Podcasts for Book Lovers
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