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No Truth-twisting or Fact-fudging for Nonfiction Writers


I love revelation. I want to know what food products do have the highest nutritional value and which cars actually get the most gas mileage. I don’t care what their ads state.

When experts refute deceitful claims, I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Remember when she found out what the wizard really does behind the closed curtain? Fool me once, fool me twice. After that…

Listen up, writers. Can you back up that snappy slogan or clever case study you wrote? Does Globitamin really remove wrinkles? Will your client’s sewage plan really save taxpayers $2 million a year?

I know: You just write the text; proving it’s factual isn’t your job. And besides, you don’t have time to do that. True. But your value as a nonfiction writer lies in your integrity as much as your skills.

It pays to…

  • Research before you write.
  • Ask sources for proof to back up their claims.
  • Point out any discrepancies you uncover.
  • Warn companies or clients against jeopardizing their brands with misinformation.

Digging up as much fact as possible allows you to write with clarity and conviction.

The people you write for may balk at so much revelation. But they’ll thank you in the end for heading off an embarrassing counter-claim or costly lawsuit. Lies have lethal consequences.

©Valerie Bolden-Barrett


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