Here at Trigger Press, we publish both non-fiction and fiction books. The choice between the two can sometimes be very clear. At other times, it can be very hard. Given that some people might find it easier to talk about their journey through mental health issues hard, they may choose to fictionalise their story. However, this can sometimes not have the same impact the narrative might have had if it was non-fiction. So how do you pick?
- How comfortable are you? The first thing to think about is how comfortable you are with the content. If you want to write about yourself, are you okay with that information being readily available to the public eye? If not, then it might be a good eye to take aspects from your narrative and apply them to fiction, but not the entire narrative.
- How good are you at writing? It can be relatively hard to write good fiction, and most people only do so after writing for a while, reading a whole host of good literature, and perhaps even taking a writing course or two. It is also much harder for editors to edit bad fiction writing into something good. However, with non-fiction, as the focus is on the narrative itself rather than the voice of the author, there is much more freedom to editing.
- Would your story work as fiction? As mentioned before, sometimes people prefer to fictionalise their narrative to make it easier to distance themselves from it. However, when doing this, the narrative no longer works. As a non-fiction, it is too far from away from the author. As fiction, it is too close to the author to work. As such, it’s important to consider whether your book would truly work as fiction. Sometimes, it is better to take small parts of your reality and apply them to a fictional character, rather than attempting to fictionalise your entire journey.
It is important to consider these things before beginning to write your narrative, rather than writing half of it and then realising that you’ve made a mistake.