comment 0

How to Write a Book on Other People’s Lives

Fiction or non fiction? Drama or comedy? People come from all walks of life. Experiences vary and your interpretation will determine the book you wish to portray. This was a question from Quora that I answered. If you’d like to follow me on Quora, head over here to keep up to date with my literary journey.

Hi! My name is Christopher Sergi. I’m a novelist and a blogger going through the same journey you are: being a writer! Feel free to comment your thoughts below on the topics that come up in this tutorial, for not only do I want you to be a better writer, but I do too! We can learn and have fun together.

This was a pretty specific question asked of me over on Quora. It was mainly a question about the genre type of taking raw content from interviews of certain people. Interviewing people is a quality writers, including myself, should make a habit of more often.

So with something like this it will probably come down to the type of book you’re willing to write. If we disregard the genre for the moment and think more about the meaning of the book then this will help us determine the genre in a moment.

Fiction or Non-Fiction – Firstly, is this book going to be fiction or non-fiction? If it’s fiction then you need to structure the novel in a way that takes the reader on a journey. If the book is non-fiction, then you’ll have to figure out what piece of information/ overall value these life experience interviews will bring to your readers.

What are the Life Experiences? – Do these interview follow a certain theme? Are they somehow related? Depending on what experiences you’re interviewing about can have a huge impact on the message you’re trying to portray.

Who are your readers? – Do you have a target audience you want to bring this book to? Are you sure this kind of book is selling in your targeted field? This can be tricky to figure out, but the best thing to do is to search for similar books and figure out what unique selling point you can bring to the table. Who will benefit from reading these interviews?

So the genre – Okay, so if you’ve managed to figure out who your target audience is, who would want to read these books and whether you are writing it as a fiction or non-fiction, then it’s time to choose a genre. Since we don’t know much about this project of yours, then I’ll list a few potential genre ideas and how you might be able to pull them off. As we are dealing with real life experiences, I can assume we’re not dealing with genres like science fiction, paranormal or fantasy, though bare in mind there is nothing stopping you of course.

  • Fiction – A main character is interviewing several people about their life experiences to uncover a truth to a crime. (Genre – Crime/Thriller)
  • Fiction – A main character is interviewing several people about their life experiences in order to help with their own tragic life experience. (Genre – Drama/Literary)
  • Fiction – A main character is interviewing several people about their life experiences to help them figure out their own flaw in order to please a romantic interest. (Genre – Romance/YA)
  • Non-Fiction – You the author have conducted interviews on people who have lost a loved one, had money issues, had health issues or are dealing with personal issues. (Genre – Self Help/Health/Spirituality)
  • Non-Fiction – You the author have conducted interviews on people who have travelled the world or have visited locations most people didn’t not know about. (Genre – Travel/Guide)
  • Non-Fiction – You the author have conducted interviews on people who have experienced traumatic events or who have witnessed phenomenal events in time . (Genre – True Crime/History)

As you can see there are many possibilities for genres and ideas when writing about real people. Just make sure you have an audience who may be interested in your work and your work has a clear message and or value.

I really hope this has helped in your journey as a writer. Writing characters can be a really rewarding and creative experience, and they all deserve the best attention. If you’re interested in hearing about my own journey as a writer and literary student, sign up to my newsletter! I’d love to have you along for the journey!

Filed under: Advice on Writing

About the Author

Posted by

Christopher is a self-taught writer in science-fiction & fantasy novels and short stories. He is also a blogger on an array of themes that inspire his fiction. View his portfolio for a subject of interest and be sure to subscribe to his newsletter for exclusive content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s