FROM NON-FICTION TO FICTION

Written by Linda Stratmann

The first thing I ever wrote was non-fiction. I was six and a television documentary about the Battle of Britain so impressed me that I wrote a poem about it. Later I started writing fiction, and for a long time I was a writer in search of a genre, but it wasn’t until I wrote my first non-fiction book that I was published and several more followed. A few years ago I joined a local writers’ group and was inspired to try fiction again.

Many people see fiction and non-fiction writing as very different. Someone said to me recently that non-fiction is often thought of as ‘justlooking stuff up and writing it down’ – it is perceived as something very easy that anyone could do! Of course it is so much more than that.   I need to make sense of what is often a confusing and contradictory jumble of information, research all relevant background detail, analyse witness statements to look for clues as to which person is truthful, lying or mistaken.  I must propose sensible solutions to any mysteries that remain, both practical and psychological, and finally I write the whole thing in a style that not only makes the events clear, but hopefully engages and entertains the reader. None of this is so very far from what the fiction writer does.

The years of researching and writing nonfiction have fed into and informed my fiction. I love the Victorian period, I am fascinated by its beliefs and attitudes, the way that people are so like us and yet so unlike at the same time. With so much of my writing based on recreating the past it was natural for me to want my fiction to do the same, to give readers the feeling that they have arrived in Victorian London in a time machine and are seeing it as it is, with believable people having to cope with all the problems of daily life. 

Years of immersing myself in Victorian newspapers, trial transcripts and inquest proceedings have given me afeel for how Victorian people spoke and felt about and reacted to things – a good court reporter was the 19th century equivalent of audiotape! With the events in my novel seen through the eyes of a girl born in 1860, it felt natural to write the narrative in Victorian style.

My experience of nonfiction research has been invaluable when acquiring material for my fiction. I also believe that the detailed analysis of facts and how they fit together logically and the examination of the psychology and motivation of individuals which I applied to my nonfiction work are very similar to the thought processes involved in devising a fiction plot. 
I enjoy weaving references to real events, people and places into my fiction, because that is what adds to t

he richness and believability of the picture. Often I discover an event contemporary to the incidents I am writing about which supplies me not only with local colour but the motivation for some of my characters and a driving force for the plot.  The little everyday details that I scatter through my fiction are like the highlights a painter puts on a canvas which bring the picture to life. I tend to work with a large cast of characters interacting due to circumstances, chance and the rules of society because life is that complex, so it feels right to me.

My non-fiction will only ever state as fact something I know with good evidence to be true, but this does not mean that fiction gives me licence to do whatever I like. I would not for example have someone enter a public building in 1880 that was not built until later, or use an invention that didn’t exist at that time. It is reasonable however for my fiction to create a place or an organisation where I know that similar ones did exist.

Nonfiction and fiction both have their own supreme pleasures. With factual research there is almost nothing as wonderful as the thrill of unearthing an archived paper which solves an age-old mystery.  Fiction, however, enables me to create characters I can take on adventures.  Both kinds of writing can involve twisty plots, high drama and springing surprises on the reader! 


[Linda Stratmann is the author of eleven non-fiction books. Her first novel, The Poisonous Seed set in 1880 Bayswater and featuring young sleuth Frances Doughty was published by The Mystery Press in April 2011. She is currently writing the second Frances Doughty novel, The Daughters of Gentlemen, to be published in 2012, and a biography of the infamous Marquess of Queensberry for Yale University Press.  www.lindastratmann.com]


abortion pills abortion pill abortion pill buy online
where can i get the abortion pill online abortion pill buy abortion pills online
read go which is better chalis or viagra
dating a married man my girl friend cheated on me redirect
unfaithful wives all wives cheat go
i cheated on my husband and got pregnant sigridw.com should i cheat on my husband
my wife cheated on me now what do i do read your wife cheated on you
why do people cheat open i dreamed my wife cheated on me
tween girls tribb sex stories astrobix.com interacial sex stories 1950 s
wife adult stories go adult stories choose your own adventure
discount coupons for cialis mba-institutes.com cialis discounts coupons
abortion pill costs partial birth abortion walk in abortion clinics
coupon for bystolic coupons for bystolic generic bystolic
discount coupons for cialis go prescription coupon card
augmentin pret site augmentin 375
how many abortions can a woman have abortion center abortion clinic in atlanta
pill for abortion open costs of abortion
amoxicillin nedir alexebeauty.com amoxicillin 500 mg
cialis.com coupons achrom.be cialis discount coupons online
cialis discount cialis coupon cheap cialis
motilium cena motilium cena motilium
viagra recenze viagra recenze viagra
valtrex alkohol williamgonzalez.me valtrex 1000
vacuum aspiration abortion angkortaxidriver.com how to end pregnancy
discount coupons for prescriptions activeslo.com cialis manufacturer coupon 2016
cheap abortion pill albayraq-uae.com how much is an abortion pill
cialis 5 mg allindiasweetsrestaurant.com cialis nedir
neurontin 400 neurontin cena neurontin
abortion centers side effects of abortion pill consequences of abortion
abortion clinic atlanta abortion clinics in colorado springs abortions nyc
naltrexone implant australia open who can prescribe naltrexone
cefuroxim kinder cefuroxim und milch cefuroxim alkohol

Linda Stratmann



Home
Book Reviews
Features
Interviews
News
Columns
Authors
Competitions
Blog
Shop
About Us
Contact Us

Privacy Policy | Contact Shots Editor

THIS WEBSITE IS © SHOTS COLLECTIVE. NOT TO BE REPRODUCED ELECTRONICALLY EITHER WHOLLY OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION OF THE EDITOR.