When it comes to deciding what to write, there is a vast array of options. Some writers are diehard fiction fanatics, and other enjoy the practicality and structure of nonfiction. Me? I like both, personally. I love exploring different realities and the creative outlet of fiction, but I love researching and organizing ideas with nonfiction.
So how do you decide what to write?
What is Fiction?
Fiction is what we often think about when we think about writing. It includes novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, fan fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, etc.
It doesn’t matter what you write, if you make it up, it’s fiction. This gives you so much freedom as a writer and allows you to experiment in different genres of literature and writing as well as different styles. Fiction writing usually contains two parts of the story: dialogue- spoken words; and narrative- descriptive action.
It’s a story, regardless of length, and has a beginning, middle, and end. It has characters who grow, develop, and change over the course of the story. If you want to create worlds and characters, fiction is the writing you should try.
What is Nonfiction?
Nonfiction is factual writing. This includes, biographies, memoirs, essays, articles, journals, self-help, the list is long.
Nonfiction is fact and usually requires a hefty amount of research. (Not all of it does, but most.) However, most nonfiction today is far from dry and boring. Nonfiction writers share their expertise in a particular field or relay information like a storyteller. (Check out anything that Malcolm Gladwell writes and you’ll see.)
If you find a particular subject fascinating and think others would as well, and you enjoy research and the organization of ideas, you might find that nonfiction writing suits you.
Ultimately it is up to you which you’d rather pursue. I think both can be creative outlets and allow for self expression. So experiment. Find what works for you and which one you like best.