Nonfiction and plot, do they really need each other? Can nonfiction dance alone, by itself without being partnered with plot? Some believe that because of the nature of nonfiction that it does not require plot, but you have to have a focus, don’t you? So wouldn’t the focus be the plot? In short, plot works in nonfiction to present a uniformed piece that draws the reader in and tries to convince them of something specific.
In order to have good nonfiction then you must have a clear purpose. If you do not have a clear purpose then your nonfiction it is doomed to fail. A bunch of directionless information isn’t going to make the piece hold strong and it will falter. It’s the purpose that keeps interest and gives it a driving force.
This makes organization elemental to nonfiction. It gives the piece meaning and helps it to stand firm. Just writing out a list of facts isn’t going to cut it, so take the time to think long and hard about what you have, what you will need, and how to organize it to say what you want to say in the best possible way. But is organizing the only thing you need to do? Is your nonfiction still just a wallflower waiting on the sidelines anxiously hoping that it too gets to do a pirouette on the crowded dance floor?
Think about this… Have you read nonfiction and found a pattern in it? If you did then you might agree that the pattern I’m talking about is that most nonfiction has an argumentative undertone. This undertone works to convince the reader of the point you are trying to make and ends to draw a conclusive finale.
So how do you make a piece of nonfiction argumentative? First, make sure it is clear from the very beginning where you are and where you want to go. Doing this in the very first paragraph and even the first sentence is optimum. Second, keep your piece on target and don’t stray from the path you’ve chosen. Proceed in a logical procession of unfolding information, so that you have a good solid base to back up your words. Once reaching the end, find a flourish that will drive your point home and leave the reader enchanted by your words.
Why do people read? - Simple, to be entertained, though nonfiction is mostly to inform. What if you could have your cake and eat it too? What if your nonfiction was informative and entertaining as well? Invigorate your nonfiction with the radiance of plot and bedazzle it with sparkling organization to make this happen. So let’s cue the music, because plot is here to sweep nonfiction right off its feet and give it a tango it won’t soon forget in the limelight of the dance floor.