Best Practices in Writing Non Fiction by Marilyn Taplin

by | Jun 18, 2019 | Entry | Blog writing competition | 2 comments

Many times I have been amazed that I wrote a book. The time it takes is unbelievable. One must first have a topic or a story driving one from within; with a need to share, entertain, or instruct. Once the desire is there, if it comes from within, it will not go away.

Determination and perseverance is essential or you will give up, put your pen (computer) down and go have fun.  Staying power is basic for success.

The need to write and rewrite is important.  The first draft is seldom the one you will use.  Finishing the first rough draft is fairly easy; turning all that work into something readers want to read takes time, patience and practice.  Upon further thinking and consideration the written word will be changed, made more clear or deleted. Putting the finishing touches on your draft will take longer than the draft itself. Then you may need to alter the revised draft. And alter it again until you are satisfied. Don’t’ stop until you feel satisfied.  Thinking about and visualizing what you say is important.  At times read your work as if you are the other person reading your work. Do they understand your mind? Do they visualize what you are saying?

As you place the final improvements to your draft, of course spell check, grammar check and sentence structure are important.  Remove unnecessary words. For example “I know that some will understand” sounds better if said, “I know some will understand.” Leave “that” out of the sentence. Also use more advanced words. Most computers have a thesaurus where you will find enhanced words. For  example instead of saying research is “hard” you will finds words such as complicated, complex, difficult, and demanding to replace hard.  Most computers have this capability.  And most computers have spelling and grammar check.  I found that very helpful. Even with all the computer help; when finished it is important to have a professional line editor edit your work.  For me punctuation was and still is always uncertain. Your publisher will offer line editing.  However, putting thoughts and events in order is your responsibility.

Make an orderly outline for your book so you have a guide to follow. Include all of the major points. As you proceed you may add more information or remove some. I would say perseverance and research are the most important elements needed when writing your manuscript. For many years I researched what I needed to know and took a multitude of notes before putting it all together. Actually I have a note book of notes over 400 pages long. Because my book is mostly about what the Bible tells us my research was lengthy and sometimes laborious. No matter what your book genre is about research will be needed and plans made to write well. Children’s book, a true story, a fiction book, a history book and a nonfiction book all take research. 

I actually wrote my book twice. I published it twice. The first time published it was not line edited well enough. Too many typos and I was embarrassed.  Be sure to find a reliable line editor.  So I worked and reworked and worked some more to make my book well written and free from error.  In the meantime, in my research, some new revelations came to me and I added them to the revised edition.  When finished the new revised edition was much more satisfactory. I am happy with it. You can imagine how long and how many years I have been busy with my dream book.  I could have spent more time traveling or spending winters in Arizona enjoying the Arizona sunshine, but chose to limit the amount of time in the sun. You may have to give up some favorite activities if you want to complete your writings. Or you could be less driven to complete what you have started and will take your time. Whatever, if you want to write a book it will take time, but maybe not as much time as it took me. Make sure you are happy with the final creation.

May all who are writing be successful in your pursuit of writing the book of your dreams.

Marilyn Taplin

Author of, “A Law from Eden


  1. rebecca

    Amazingly, someone is writing about how to practice the craft of writing. It seems like the art will persevere in the future. I hope so.

    • Emily

      This is a must-read for novices and students. Writing is enjoyable if we could give it a chance.


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