Monday, May 19, 2014

Writing the Non-Fiction Novel: Writing Without "Bias"

Writing without a bias is one of those things that many writers have difficulty doing. I think that this fundamentally stems from the misunderstanding of what writing without a bias means, and what qualifies as "biased writing."

A bias is representative skew in your opinions and your convictions. Putting these into your writing normally is acceptable as far as op-ed writing standards go. Writing with a bias becomes problematic in non-fiction however, because the point of non-fiction is to offer information on a particular subject in survey style, that is with an objective position. So in my case, my book is about the use of religion in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, but because I am christian I risk writing a longer chapter on Christianity, or have the theme of Christianity become my interpretive lens for the entirety of the book.

Writing without a bias is good for your non-fiction material because no one wants to read a "preachy" book. these kind of books are bad because no longer is your writing about your subject but your opinions on the subject, which cloud the transference of knowledge from the book to the reader. To avoid this effect, I challenge you all to take particular interest in where you are getting your sources from. I am making sure that all my authors that I pull material from are practicing believers in their prospective religions. You don't want to get a book about Hinduism written by an evangelical christian, or likewise. The resulting research won't be authentic.

Another way of getting unbaised sources is finding authors who have extensive field expertise in their subjects, that work for universities and academic institutions. I'm not an elitist (most of the time), but these kinds of researchers have a well rounded range of exposure to their subject. Amateur, self-employed individuals that dabble in psuedo-scholasticism are not good sources for your books. Because, then, your are writing a book about a personality, not about your subject.

That is all for today! See you all next week.


No comments:

Post a Comment