J.R. Charlot

A narrative writer twirling in non-fiction

Written by JR Charlot


A conversation with my friend MJ


In my favourite coffee shop with the usual hustle and bustle, I met up with my good friend MJ and in our conversation; he said….


MJ - Oh sorry again for being late, but I was finishing up this fiction book that has great structure and fantastic plot twists.

JC- Perfect timing. I have identified six principle structures of writing non-fiction that’s helping me structure my intriguing and engaging books that I know fiction lovers will enjoy?

MJ – Hold on, firstly when you‘re published, then I will let you know if your non-fiction books are engaging and secondly non-fiction books have no common structures like fiction, so what are you talking about?

JC – Yes, there are six principle structures of writing non-fiction that’s in all non-fiction books.

MJ - Burst out laughing

MJ – Sorry, I can’t see any common principle structures in a cookbook, self-help, lifestyle, historical, political, memoir or school books. To be honest, non-fiction books are mainly boring with a few interesting ones here and there.

JC Rude!

Let me school you on the facts, firstly non-fiction is not boring!

MJ - Interrupted

MJ – Wait a minute, I just realised that you have joined the writers that are boring and just focus on facts, reality or topics that put most people to sleep?

JC- Again rude!

However, the six principal structures of all non-fiction books are: -

MJ – Interesting. I can get three out of your six.

JC – What three did you get?

MJ – Educational, Informative and Perspective

JC – Why those three?

MJ – Educational and informative because that is basically what’s the definition of non-fiction books and we are getting the perspective either from a person’s personal experience or a professional on the subject.

JC - Wow, how you said that was very monotone.

MJ – You see non-fiction is boring and I am not meaning to insult you or any non-fiction writer.

JC – Seriously, it’s the way you say it.

MJ – Well, that is the way most people say it, but what I really want explained is emotional, how in heaven names non-fiction books are emotional if it’s not a memoir or some tragic historical event. Emotional is not a natural word I would put together with non-fiction books.

JC – Perfect, let me explain the steps.

I agree the three you mentioned are very self-explanatory.

(Interrupting again)

MJ – Wait, if you think about it, all books have the power to evoke emotions. This is especially true for fiction books. Some should never have been written whilst others are gifts from above and trust me, reading a good or bad fiction book is emotional.

JCYou are rude about all writers!

MJ - In your opinion, I am just stating the facts, period.

JC – Wait, are you going all non-fiction on me? You might be boring. Ha! Ha!

MJ – (smiling) What about the last principle structure?

MJ – What, (I interrupted, knowing his question by the look on his face)

JC- Before you say anything MJ (sitting up straight), I know that not all the guidance, information or perspectives are always agreeable but the reality is they make up the principle structures of any non-fiction book.

MJ – This coffee is fantastic!

JC - Seriously, that’s what you have to say after I passionately explain the principle structures that I have identified about non-fiction books.

MJ – Relax, you have educated me, seriously. I never notice or thought about non-fiction books having principle structures, you have given me food for thought.

JC – Great, now you have recognised that non-fiction books are not boring, so don’t say it anymore.

MJ – Wait (rolling his eyes) didn’t you hear what I just said “Food for thought?” How did that translate to not boring?

We both laughed.


Those are the six principle structures that I have identified about non-fiction books from my perspective. I’m enjoying and exploring the bright side of non-fiction. Hoping you found my article helpful, enjoyable and it put a smile on your face. Come back soon.