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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that contractions (don't, won't, etc.) are not recommended in formal writing. What is your view of contractions in non-fiction writing.

From what I've read, contractions are much more common in non-fiction books than they were in the past.

I noticed I have a lot of contractions in the past. I have changed many of them however I'm not sure if this is necessary or not. I'm concerned that if I removed all contractions it would feel a little less personable and a bit more formal and stuffy (is that makes sense).

I am aware that my writing can be improved and I'm always looking for ways to correct bad habits that I've picked up. So I'd love to hear your views on this. Can too many contractions in a non-fiction book be detrimental to it's quality?

Kevin
 

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I have written about a million words of non-fiction and I use contractions in every one of them.  But I write to young people - I write in 2nd person.  I break a lot of rules.  But I still do it and it still sells.  So think about your target audience first. 
 

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It really depends on your audience. Contractions in academic writing and formal non-fiction are a big no-no. Contractions in more chatty and informal non-fiction can be okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
JanneCO said:
I have written about a million words of non-fiction and I use contractions in every one of them. But I write to young people - I write in 2nd person. I break a lot of rules. But I still do it and it still sells. So think about your target audience first.
I agree that it's ok to break rules. I want to get the right balance. Whilst I mainly speak from the 1st and 2nd person, I still want to put forward advice with authority...but at the same time, ensure it's written in a friendly manner (e.g. as if we were in the same room).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
katiemoe said:
I do go for a more informal conversational tone in my books, but I'm wanting technical things to seem not so scary and formal and cold to my audience. I do use contractions.
I'm glad others are using informal writing too. :)

It's strange. It's not something I have really paid attention to before but when I look at everything I write, I can see that I use contractions often. I'm sure that I'll now notice it in other people's books now as well.
 
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