BENGALURU: Well known for his book, Behind the Silicon Mask, Bangalored: the Expat Story, Eshwar Sundaresan juggles multiple things as a freelance journalist, a trainer and counselor and an activist against child sex abuse. He shares some of his wisdom on non-fiction writing.
Keep it simple and direct. Flowery language and complex figures of speech don’t belong in most forms of non-fiction. Except maybe in biographies, historical nonfiction and the like.
Formatting is more than a matter of presentation. It is a crucial part of writing. Highlighting text, demarcating them using bullet points or numbering can enliven the writing and make it easy to consume.
The modern nonfiction reader reads only for instruction, not for pleasure. You better say something informative fast.
Get the facts right. Journalists, reviewers and self-help book writers cannot afford to misinterpret reality.
Stay abreast of developments in your chosen field. Last year’s gem of an idea is today’s cliché.
You might come up with a killer new format for a case study, but the audience might want the standard structure. Innovate only if the project demands it. Else, you end up wasting your time, energy and emotions.