When I tell people that I am writing a novel, the first thing they ask is if it’s fiction or nonfiction. Well that’s not entirely true, the first question they ask if it’s about vampires with amazing ‘just rolled outta bed hair’ and sparkle in the sunlight or teenage boys wielding magical tree bark. These questions I’ve learn to filter into my spam folder of life with clipped (yet polite) No’s then I wait to absorb their “he’s never going to make it” pity looks.
Then the first real question they ask is if I am writing a fiction or nonfiction book? And I square my shoulders, lift my chin slightly, clear my throat and declare that I am writing a novel. This is usually the part where they, completely unaware of their literary faux pas, repeat themselves, and I lose all hope in the American education system.
A novel by definition is a work of fiction. To refer to a piece of literature as a “Nonfiction Novel” is inaccurate and was created for the sole purpose of luring you into the mislabeled book section with a well placed sign at your local bookstore. A nonfiction novel is oxymoronic but unlike jumbo shrimp it can’t be dressed up with crispy golden brown beer batter outside, it continued usage muddles the English language.