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Writing Books/Different formats - non fiction


Hi Susan, a girlfriend and I have an idea for a book composed of  short stories
or experiences (experiences is probably a better word). They would follow no
particular order. We wanted to write about our baby sitting incidents;  the
funny moments and challenges we have come across over the last 10 years or
so.  I'm not sure where to gather information about different book structures,
how these chapters would be linked, (even though they are quite separate to
each other), we have never written before but have retold our funny stories
time and time again. Would we just start writing as if we are talking to a third
party about these? if there are any books you suggest I look at for an
example of this kind that would be great! thank you kindly.

Hi Amber:

By all means, write as though you are writing to another close friend who loves your stories and eagerly awaits the next episode. If you will think of these stories as "episodes" rather than "chapters," you won't have to worry about linking them.

As far as structure goes, I wouldn't worry about that right now. This is the time to get these stories down as quickly as possible, and have fun doing it - definite "right brain" or creative, activity. Once you have them all down, you will have a first draft.

At that point, things change; they get more serious. When you get to that point, or if you have more questions in the process, come back, and I'll be glad to help you.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated.  I am proud of my high score over 1350 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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