Twin Moment

Writers. Twins. Biologically unrelated. Laughing at
ourselves (and each other), listening to amazing
music, and living life epically. We present, our blog.
Prepare to be astounded.

Be an Ambidextrous Writer! (A.K.A On Nonfiction Writing)

This morning I had the immeasurable pleasure of writing an enormous lab write-up for my chemistry class, complete with paragraphs of dry, nonfiction-style facts about the experiment I performed on Thursday. Completely emotions-and-opinions-free, and completely devoid of personality or flair. Which I'm not used to (or particularly fond of), but still is a skill I've had to acquire for things just like this.

It inspired this short, reflective post.

If you're anything like me, you're strictly a fiction writer. It's your strong point, it's your delight, and it's (in your opinion) the best kind of writing out there. I mean, we can appreciate nonfiction as far as education and other such (boring?) things that it's necessary for. But there's really no comparison to fiction. None.

But I think, and it's been told to me by a wise english teacher of mine, that it's important to hone your non-fiction-writing skills. Kind of like football players taking ballet lessons. You've got to work out that set of muscles. Knowing how to write nonfiction well will, in theory, actually improve your fiction writing skills, and just writing skills in general. It makes sense to me.

So, you devout fiction writers out there! I challenge you. Become an ambidextrous writer! Hone your non-fiction skills, and see if it makes a difference.

I'm in the same boat.

What are your thoughts on nonfiction vs. fiction? Do you agree or disagree with all I've said above, and why? I'd very much like to know.

Best Part of Today: Hot tea. Or perhaps learning I didn't have to be at work until 4pm...
Currently Craving: More tea. 
Music Pick: "Los Angeles" by Peter Bradley Adams
I'm Reading: "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens (bleh!)
WIP: Fire [on hold!] (11,261 words) + Blink Revisions!!

11 epic comments:

I think I'm going to have to write non-fiction for all my essays in English this semester, but they are allowed to be opinionated... I think...? But still. And yeah, not my favorite. But I'll live, I think. I have you. ^_^

Anyway. I'm gonna go stop procrastinating now...


I write a killer 5-paragraph essay. XD Except my freshman English teacher said no one could write 5 paragraphs--4, 6, 7, ect, but not 5, because she hated how 5 paragraph essays were taught in elementary & middle school. *shrugs* I liked them, they were easy to follow. I just think that conclusion paragraph was always pretty dumb, because you said all that in the introduction, then explained it in the body paragraphs. So you don't need a paragraph to say what you JUST SAID--it should actually be a conclusion of some kind.

*ahem* Anyway. (/end rant) XD My junior year, I took a college English course, on the 2nd semester college freshman level. The professor taught us how to write 3 page papers(which I will always appreciate), and the final project of the class was a 10 page research paper. I got a 95 on every 3 page paper, and I actually scored a 100 on the 10 page, which sounds really impressive when you say it in front of adults(especially when you include the fact that you wrote all but the introductory paragraph the night before it was due). XD

I took a course from him the next semester, college sophomore level, and I scored a perfect 100 in the class. I LOVED that professor! And he was very impressed by my writing and wrote a ridiculously complimentary reference letter for me to get a scholarship.(which I didn't receive, btw, but c'est la vie.) So all this to say that, while nonfiction writing is important, it was actually all my practice with fiction writing that made my nonfiction writing good.

Also--what do we think we're all doing right now? I'm not spinning tales, and you're writing what is, in a sense, a writing article. NONFICTION! If you started talking about your pet dolphin, though, I might get a little suspicious. =P


I always write such long comments...but that's why you love me, right? *suspects much scanning/skimming is involved* XP


@Amanda For the record, I never skim a word of your novella-- *cough* comments. But seriously. You are SO talented! :P Are you going to be an English major or something?

And it's true. I s'pose blog posts ARE nonfiction. However, they're rife with personality and opinions! Which isn't allowed ... in lab reports. In some ways, that's almost better, because I have trouble wording my opinion sometimes, especially lately when I've been really thinking about which opinions are mine and which are my parents'. So... *shrugs* I don't mind it all that much.

And yes. It's why I love you. XD

Oh, and way to go on a perfect 100 in a college class. I'll just go sulk in a corner and pretend I'm not jealous. ;) JK


@Amanda Yeah, sure, blog post are nonfiction, but... oh. Twin already said that.

And I don't skim! And I love you no matter what. Unlike some people. ;) *hugs*


@Maggie--lol, how did you know?? I guess I think of a lab report like an informational blog post, subtracting the opinions. You don't actually have to take out personality, because personality can be found in word choice and sentence structure. Just need to make it professional...which means no emoticons. =( (<--He's sad he's not included.)

@Constance--lol, yay for unconditional love! XD


I took a journalism class in high school that has scarred me for life. I mean, before I took the class, I thought I might be good at it. I thought, "I'm a writer, it's writing," so I gave it a shot. I found that I was not good at it, that what I was good at was making things up. It turns out that I can't make my mind behave enough to write just straight facts.

I went into each article with the thought that I would do it right this time, that I would stick to the facts, but I never could. I mean, how interesting can an article about a park being rebuilt be? Now, if I give the park a little history, like the park was the meeting place of an illegal drug trafficking mob, then that's pretty freaking awesome.

So, you see my problem. I was just lucky that my journalism teacher knew nothing about journalism and never checked my sources...cause I made those up too.

I'm not proud of this. But I did pass with a B.

So, I would love to be able to write nonfiction, but I can't. I love to read it, though, mostly biographies and lyrical essays.


Wow... "pleasure" and "chem lab" really should not be in the same sentence. ;) Haha.


@Brittany Aww, that sounds AWFUL! And I can't believe she didn't figure it out. Yay for B's anyway, even if they weren't so honorably gained... *smiles* But I know the feeling.

@Gracie LOL! So true. They don't even go together...


I think it depends on the writer. I'm actually the writing editor for my school paper as a JUNIOR which never happens. But I also spent a lot of time in high school and junior high writing papers, and I write fiction as well. I think people need to learn how to write nonfiction, for job interviews and the like, but you don't have to love it.


@Eileen I totally agree. I'm about as far away from loving nonfiction as it gets. But I can see the value in knowing how to at least get by with it. How awesome, though! (Being the writing editor for the school paper)


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