I’m a member of the NONFICTION NINJAS – seven authors who specialize in writing nonfiction for children. We post writing tips on our blog every Tuesday. There you can also find posts from our annual NF Fest, held in February. I encourage you to read them all! Here are links to my posts:
TABLES OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
See how I organize my research notes to facilitate my thinking and writing.
TIMELINES AS RESEARCH TOOLS
See how the humble timeline can be a mighty research and writing tool.
Revising can be agonizing, exhilarating, or anything in between! However it feels, it’s a huge part of making our work ready for publication. I share tips on revision from nonfiction mentors. (Click here for a pdf with links.)
PONDER, WRESTLE, AND RUMINATE
Keep your research from being overwhelming by reflecting on smaller chunks along the way. How? Take notes, re-process, ask questions, transcribe, and discuss with others.
Make your nonfiction project powerful by finding the human element and connecting the topic to readers’ lives.
Sidebars can be fun–and challenging to write. I share tips on making the most of sidebars.
ENDINGS THAT IMPACT
Wondering how to craft an ending for your work-in-progress? This blog post offers some ideas to consider.
EXPERIMENTING WITH MULTIPLE OPENINGS
I experiment with writing multiple openings to figure out how to approach a chapter, article, or story. As an example, I give five openings I brainstormed for a work-in-progress.
OUTLINES – WHAT ELSE ARE THEY GOOD FOR?
I describe four ways that outlines help me after a manuscript is written:
- revising a manuscript
- critiquing others’ manuscripts
- studying mentor texts
- restructuring a text
Find out what ten authors say were challenges they faced in creating their books.
WHAT’S THE QUESTION?
This blogpost explains how nonfiction books benefit from an overall driving question.
ON WRITING STRENGTHS
How does considering our writing strengths help us choose projects we really enjoy?
INSPIRATION FROM MUSEUMS
Find out why visiting museums can spark great ideas for writing nonfiction.
Short periods of writing time can be productive when you focus on small, specific tasks. What kinds of tasks work well for short bursts of writing energy?
Here are some of my earlier blogposts:
NONFICTION WRITING AS ANSWERING QUESTIONS
Anticipating readers’ questions helps me in writing nonfiction. I give an example of questions for Chapter 2 of the book that I thought readers would want answered.
A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME (“Author’s Note” from the book)
An insatiable curiosity led me to search for everything I could find related to Mawangdui. But how could I shape what I’d discovered into a book? Aha – as a time capsule . . .
LESSONS FROM WRITING MY FIRST BOOK
I share four lessons I learned during the 14-year process of writing the book:
- choose a topic big enough to sustain your interest
- do your homework
- know why you’re writing the book
- be tenacious
Writing the book involved a personal journey of becoming connected to my Chinese ancestors. I describe how performing rituals to honor my ancestors at their graves helped me understand why Lady Dai’s family constructed such an elaborate tomb for her (and vice versa).
THE NEXT BIG THING WELCOMES CHRISTINE LIU-PERKINS
A Q&A for the Next Big Thing author blog tour, posted by fabulous writer friend Sean McCollum. I give brief answers to such questions as how long it took to write the first draft and what inspired me to write the book.