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The Don'ts of Writing Nonfiction

When it comes to writing nonfiction, there are several rules you must follow. This "Don't List"covers the basics. by Susan Shapiro

1. DON’T LIE OR EXAGGERATE in nonfiction.

2. DON’T SWITCH NAMES OR DETAILS without checking your editor’s policy for editorial changes.

3. DON’T TRASH SOMEBODY IN ANGER and rush those pages into publication.

4. DON’T ASSUME everybody likes to be written about or will appreciate your portrayal. (Some private people hate even positive mentions of themselves in print.)

5. DON’T TELL ONLY ONE SIDE of a story or character. Murderers and monsters often had horrible childhoods that might illuminate their pathology.

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