Non-Fiction

finding truths to share

Non-Fiction in Several Forms

attempting to remain true to the facts

While academic publications and conferences are important, writing non-fiction for the “mass market” can influence large numbers of people.

This page is under construction. I will scan clips when I have some free time.

Newspapers and Magazines

I stumbled into journalism during my sophomore year of high school. The school newspaper, The Pathfinder was a broadsheet weekly during my junior year, winning numerous awards for writing, design, and artwork. We shifted to twice-monthly my senior year, but with more pages. During my junior and senior years, I wrote most of the unsigned editorials for The Pathfinder as the “Opinion Page Editor.”

Staff members went on to become reporters, editors, and photographers at the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Fresno Bee, Torrance Daily Breeze, and other publications. I admire what the alumni have accomplished. We all owe Mr. T for his quiet, dedicated mentorship.

Daily Trojan Clips

In college, I worked at the USC Daily Trojan for two years. Once again, I found myself writing unsigned editorials and occasional columns during the regular school year. My only stint as a general assignment reporter was during the summer of 1989.

My intention was to be a journalism and yearbook instructor after graduating from USC, but life took me in a different direction.

Freelance Columns

I currently write a column for Visalia Direct, a regional magazine. “Virtual Valley” addresses issues of technology and life. I have written guest columns for the Fresno Bee and Visalia-Times Delta, as well.

Technical Writing

As the manager of EveryBit, I prepared newsletters and various documents. These technical documents reminded me that working with words can be fun, even when the topic might seem dry. You can definitely make technical writing interesting.

Some consider technical writing a lesser form of writing. I would not argue that most technical writing is entertaining or well-written — it is not. However, not all documentation is boring and the current trend is towards greater creativity in non-fiction of all forms. For this trend, I thank the IDG Dummies series of books. I have always tried to write with a touch of humor and in “plain English.” I appreciate that the Dummies series has made this an acceptable and even prized talent within technical writing. While the series began with a computer focus, Dummies books on every imaginable topic now exist, along with a myriad of imitators.

My hope is that companies consider this approach for documentation of various natures. I write technical documentation, multimedia reference books, and advertising materials. If the writer of a technical document makes it a challenge to digest the material, he or she fails as a writer. Amazingly, I do earn some money as a non-fiction writer and editor. While manuals and columns do not make one famous, they pay (some) bills.

Links

Writing to Educate

The best non-fiction writers educate and entertain. Our bookcases house numerous works on history and science.

Some people argue that reporters and writers are two different groups. I disagree. A good news story has a narrative; the best reporters are gifted writers and dedicated researchers.