As we’re working our way through the NONFICTION PICTURE BOOK SELF-EDITING CHECKLIST (available by CLICKING HERE) I wanted to talk about checking our manuscripts for the use of “Creative Nonfiction Techniques.”
First on the list is the question, “Is every statement, every dialog quote, and every detail 100% true?”
If not, you have choices. You can choose to keep in the non-true stuff and your manuscript will be classified more as “fictionalized nonfiction” (nearly, mostly true) or even “historical fiction” (a made-up tale about true people or events).
Or, you can choose to delete the non-true ingredients and keep your manuscript in the nonfiction genre.
I discovered that I was adding in a bit of fiction, so I took all that out and kept it in the nonfiction genre. HOWEVER, I did opt to include some “legend” as part of the story. So I’m making a note to myself to discuss this with an editor if it reaches that stage to see what the publisher might think about dealing with this.
The important thing as you’re checking this is not whether you’re writing pure straight nonfiction or not, but just be sure you know which genre your finished manuscript falls into and that you’re happy with this decision.