- It goes well beyond the cursory internet search. Yes, we can gather information from Google, but a biography or real-crime thriller delves deeper into motive, personality, and childhood issues.
- Word choice bonanza. Holy cow. This book was a treasure trove of unique words regarding my book's subject. I plucked out great words, and now I'm sprinkling them in my manuscript. I found slang, synonyms, and words with more zing. Clever words changed the whole tenor of the book.
- World building. My husband is a firefighter, so I thought I knew all there was to know about arson and the firefighting world. I was wrong. After finishing this book, I realized I only knew surface information.
- Nonfiction deepens character. What motivates someone to start a fire? Or rob a bank? Or abuse a child? Or commit suicide? Nonfiction explores the why, and helps a writer create complex & believable characters.
- It teaches how to distribute important information. Nonfiction is full of valuable details, but if the writer did their job, it's layered, built upon, and interesting. FIRE LOVER read like a novel, avoiding information dumps. Even though I knew the outcome of the true story, I was fascinated by the behind-the-scenes scoop.
Reading this book took precious time, something writers have little of, but for me it was time well spent. My hope is that it'll enrich my story.
Have you ever read nonfiction to support your fiction? Did it help?