We've all ran across them in our journeys through the land of Internet. We've all taken a turn secretly reading or watching them with the tiny glimmer of hope that valuable information is indeed hidden somewhere, surely, in the depth of their bowels. I would be referring to Home Grown Tutorials that leave us saying, "SERIOUSLY?!?!"
In honor of our fellow helpful friends out there I have put together a little tidbit of my own. So sit up, take notes and be ready to learn, well, maybe...
How To Write Non Fiction Well
There is one thing a nonfiction author must be vigilant about - human privacy. Over the many years I have been writing I have honed this skill of mine to a razor sharp edge. With my eyes closed I can change names, places and social security numbers to protect the privacy of the individuals I'm writing about. I don't do it too often that way, write with my eyes closed, when I'm using pen and paper because I tend to not be able to write in a straight line. I suggest keeping your training wheels on when just starting out, so keep your eyes open for the first little while. Of course you can use real names if you get a signed consent, but I'm not talking about that so just shelve it and zip your lip! I will now instruct you fledglings in the art of changing names.
The trick is to change the name without changing any integral part of the character, for we all know that is a risk we take since a person's name has such meaning. I mean would The Incredible Hulk been near as menacing if they had called him The Incredible Hank?! I think not!!
Where was I? Ah yes, saving integrity. The name 'Chris' is a good one to use as an example here. I simply change the first letter and end up with 'Kris' - no integrity is lost but identity has been changed. The next name I'm going to use here is 'Jane'. Hmmm, on second thought, you can keep any 'Jane' as 'Jane' because most likely your audience will think you are referring to 'Jane Doe'.
Lastly, here is my most ultimate trick of all of my tricks of the trade. Sometimes I'll even go that one extra mile and really flex my name changing muscle. Take heed. Foreign language. Yes, that is right, at times I'll go as far as changing the person's name to a name in a totally different language. Spanish tends to be my language of choice but another good one is Swahili . You'll notice that I can take 'John' and in a flash obscure his identity with the Spanish name 'Juan'.
That wraps up this session of How To Write Non Fiction Well. Good luck in your venture as an author and remember not to forget those of us who have been willing to freely share our wealth of knowledge with you along the way.