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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After six months of intense concentration, I finally finished my first novel.  I found it a lot more challenging than writing non fiction.  Creating a whole new world from scratch and characters alien to my nature, was a lot more difficult than writing from memory.  Do other writers experience the same?  Is fiction a lot harder than non fiction?  I'd appreciate your comments.
 

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The hardest part of writing for me is just finding the time to write.

As for fictiin vs nonfiction..  I wrote a nonfiction collection of true crime stories years ago. It was way harder to do that than write a fiction action adventure type story.
 

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I've only written fiction, but yes it's hard. Writing comes easily to some, but I have to work hard for it and it all starts with hours of daydreaming up fictional words and characters. I'd imagine it's a little harder than nonfiction where all the names and facts are there, you just have to get it on paper.
 

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I've always found the nonfiction is easier or atleast more straight forward. I love the research (one of the reasons I write historical fiction).

The hardest part of nonfiction, for me, is coming up with a topic or subject I'm interested enough in or passionate enough with to want to write about. If it's somehow assigned me by bosses, finding a slant or spin that makes is interesting to me or fullfills the assignment while interesting me can be a struggle.

 

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I think it depends on the subjects.  I've published some nonfiction articles and I didn't find them especially challenging to write.  I write historical fiction set in ancient Egypt, and I don't find that too hard, either (thought it's a lot of fun!) because I have a pretty good foundation of knowledge for that setting.  I'm sure nonfiction like the stuff John Krakauer writes -- high-stakes, emotionally challenging -- is very difficult to write. 
 

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I've found that one of the harder parts for me is just coming up with names for the characters!  I even combine the first name of someone I know with the last name of someone else I know, but the names still sound unrealistic to me for some reason.
I'm sure it's just in my head, but it seems to be one of my roadblocks.
Congrats on finishing your novel!  I'm hoping to get there myself one of these days...
Cheers!
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ripfit138 said:
I've found that one of the harder parts for me is just coming up with names for the characters! I even combine the first name of someone I know with the last name of someone else I know, but the names still sound unrealistic to me for some reason.
I'm sure it's just in my head, but it seems to be one of my roadblocks.
Congrats on finishing your novel! I'm hoping to get there myself one of these days...
Cheers!
Andy
Thanks a lot Andy. It's going to be interesting to see if I do better with fiction vs. non fiction. Good luck with your own project.
 

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I've written both and they are definitely different beasts.  I loved doing the non-fiction because I was passionate about it and believed it was important to write.  It was primarily fact-finding and organizing, so as another said, much more straight forward than fiction.  I love writing fiction too but I think its more difficult.
 

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Ripfit138 said:
I've found that one of the harder parts for me is just coming up with names for the characters! I even combine the first name of someone I know with the last name of someone else I know, but the names still sound unrealistic to me for some reason.
Hey, Andy, I don't know if you've ever seen this website, but I use it a lot to generate random character names:http://www.namegenerator.biz/
 

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I think non-fiction has more direction than fiction a lot of the time. You can often base a lot of what you write on research, illustrating specific points, giving clear and concise examples etc., whereas with fiction it's very easy to end up in a place where you're not quite sure what's coming next (or whether what's come before is any good). I'd say non-fiction has a lot more stuff you can latch on to for security when you hit a stumbling block.
 

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For me, the odd thing is, I'm a pantser when writing fiction and an outliner when I write non-fiction. I guess that means I'm tapping into my "go with the flow" energies when I write fiction and my left brain energies when I write non-fiction.
 

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I completely agree with you. I'm a realist, almost to the point of having no imagination so writing fiction is difficult for me. Even if it's technically fiction, you can bet it's almost entirely based in reality. I think some people are just wired differently. We connect better with facts. Others (seems like most) live to express their creativity and create new worlds where anything can happen.
 

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Shawn Inmon said:
For me, the odd thing is, I'm a pantser when writing fiction and an outliner when I write non-fiction. I guess that means I'm tapping into my "go with the flow" energies when I write fiction and my left brain energies when I write non-fiction.
Uh huh, I'd like to see the result if someone tried to pants a work of non-fiction. ;D
I'm sure there are exceptions, but I think everyone has to turn into a planner when they start writing non-fiction, whereas fiction can either be plotted or pantsed. If you're a natural plotter who tries to pants (or vice versa), fiction probably opens the floodgates to a lot more pitfalls.
 

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It is easier to write non-fiction, but not nearly as enjoyable.
 

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I write both regularly.  Non-fiction I do find to be more straightforward since it's based in facts.  I don't have to do tons of research for mine because I write about teaching strategies mostly.  So my day job is my research  :)  Fiction is not just a list of facts and findings.  You have to create interesting characters and have a driving force behind your plot.  Emotions are also usually involved.  There are more variables.
 
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