Friday, March 14, 2014

Help the Captain on Fiction vs. Nonfiction

Greetings Lieutenants, Economists, Agents in the Field, and Chillllldren!

I need your input and help before I select my next "serious" book to write.  Namely, whether I should leave my traditional route of non-fiction and write a fictional book.  I am distinctly aware the two are very different beasts and because of this I know that fans of non-fiction may not be fans of fiction and vice versa.  In short I have a REALLY cool book idea, but as with any project of this size it has to pay off financially.  Ergo, if there's no market for it, then I will not write it.

If you could kindly voice your opinion in the comments section I would appreciate it.  Also I do NOT want my feelings spared.  I want to make money.  Therefore, even if you think "aw, how sweet, the Captain really wants to write this book.  I don't like fiction, but I'm going to tell him to write it anyway" DON'T.  I want the truth.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.



MIke43 said...

Do a novel based on your worst case scenarios from "Worthless" and "Enjoy the Decline." What the hey; dystopian novels are huge right now. Witness The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Who knows? There maybe a movie in your future.

If not The Hunger Games, then perhaps, Idiocracy.

Unknown said...

Can you write a solid background with engaging characters? Can you realistically show growth of those characters as the plot progresses? If you can I would very much like to purchase this book.

Good fiction, especially fantasy and Sci Fi is hard to come by nowadays. Even more so from a man's perspective as opposed to the fem centric writers we have now. Patrick rothfuss is a proclaimed feminist, Sanderson is a Mormon who writes deus ex machina endings. Let's not even start on Scalzi.

Joseph of Jackson said...

Personally, I would prefer fiction. People tend to be influenced by stories more than they are by facts, so embedding your philosophy into a story would be the best way to get the message across. Look at Rich Dad, Poor Dad as a model. It had information, but it was mostly just stories.

Do it from the perspective of a middle aged woman 50 years into the future in the USSA. That would draw some attention.

Anonymous said...

I approve. You will never know until you try. Look to Isaac Asimov for inspiration - ~400 nonfiction books (he was explaining sub-atomic nuclear physics to us in his 299th science essay in Fantasy and Science Fiction when he died), and ~100 fiction books.
Terrence K. Brock, daily lurker.

Anonymous said...

Maybe post a few sample paragraphs of your fiction so we can better judge your writing style.

Unknown said...

Cap'n, stick to what you're good at. You've a proven record with non-fiction. Stay with that.

maxx said...

Steve Jobs didn't ask people what they wanted, he produced something they didn't know they wanted and was wildly successful.

Coke asked people what they wanted, produced New Coke and failed miserably.

Don't be so blue pill, just go for it.

maxx said...

Steve Jobs didn't ask people what they wanted, he produced something they didn't know they wanted and was wildly successful.

Coke asked people what they wanted, produced New Coke and failed miserably.

Don't be so blue pill, just go for it.

Acksiom said...

I've been thinking about hiring you, actually.

How much for a full-on economics journalism assessment of the erogenous flesh aftermarket in the usa? How much money really is being made from the preocessing and consumer-product resale of baby boy foreskins?

Yes, I'm serious.

Yes, I can probably afford it.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog and books because of your astute observations and willingness to discuss truths that others wouldn't dare. Based on your following I'm guessing most here feel the same way. I have a hard time seeing a fiction piece competing with what you already do very well.

Anonymous said...

To be brutally honest, I won't be reading any fiction books anytime soon. I have too many other things to take care of before I can start enjoying the decline.

Anonymous said...

I think you should do an MGTOW book, to my knowledge there is none out there

ChrisW said...

I don't see the point in writing for a 'market,' at least as the starting point and motivator. If it's that good an idea, then you should want to bring it into existence in the form of a finished book. If you don't want it that badly, then it's not that good of an idea. There's your 'market.' Whether or not people will want to pay for it is an entirely different question.

Jeff Wood said...

If you have a really cool book idea, you have to have a go. Just remember, no book is a guaranteed earner.

I have a non-fiction book nearly ready to publish, and a fiction one started a few years ago but put aside because I have a living to make.

Putting together the non-fiction work in six months part time has been a pleasure, and if it makes some money then great.

However, I am satisfied the fiction will need nearly full-time attention. The plotting and writing will be harder to keep going. First few chapters, knocked off without editing, have at least satisfied me I have a good idea and a decent tone of voice, and you could try that to test those two points.

Maybe you can then keep the composition going part time, in which case your prospects are better than mine. Whatever, good fortune to you.

Average Married Dad said...

Hey Cappy. I have a voracious appetite for both and read accross all genres. Hugh Howey's Wool series was self-published and is the posterboy for rags to riches in self-pubbing, but is the anomyly. I would say more people probably read fiction, but there is SO much self pubbed fiction out there, and would guess most of it is crap. If your idea is unique and editing tight, you have a chance due to your blog platform getting that snowball rolling. I have lots of other thoughts on the topic (I am hoping my own non fiction book drops in June). Check out Joe Konrath's blog if you aren't. Lots of good insight on the industry.

Alejandro Villegas said...

You should continue your music career Cappy.

Alejandro Villegas said...

You should continue your music career Cappy.

Anonymous said...

I vote for non-fiction.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

This should be self-evident: Fiction.

Fiction provokes the imagination, builds myths, and provides the inspiration that non-fiction can't.

Art and poetry change the world.

I wish Manosphere writers would learn this lesson, but dudes are too obsessed with writing pedestrian self-help articles.

Anonymous said...

Write what you want. If it is damn interesting and entertaining it has the potential to make money.

Peregrine John said...

I like the idea of reading fiction, but truth is I haven't read any in a while, and (thanks to a constant flow through my life) haven't bought any in a long time.

Richard Blaine said...

I read about 70% fiction 30% non fiction. I also read a lot, probably in excess of 100 books a year.

Still it will depend on the subject matter of the book. Another 50 Shades type book - Fuck NO. A mystery? maybe, one like Aurini's - yes. An economic triller - probably.

Best I can do for you with out more information is - Possibly.

Anonymous said...

Shit, write a book about the state of the world and sell it in different countries as both fiction (nightmare dystopia category)and non-fiction (politics category).

See which does best.

Calling some of what goes on these days fiction might make it easier to swallow.

Glen Filthie said...


Check with Vox Day. I is completely up to speed on the faggotification and feminization of the market and can give you a better idea of what you're up against. He even has his own publishing company that specializes in getting politically incorrect fiction past the gate keepers that will only settle for 'pink' fiction.

Write it, even if it sucks. Try again if it does. If morons like Scalzi and Stephen King can do it you sure as hell can.

Anonymous said...


There is enough flowery fiction that try to give a "message" around and the "message" still doesn't get heard. my 2 cents. What we need is a big dose of reality because it's coming big time anyway, might as well be prepared.

Anonymous said...

I'm a writer your age with similar interests and worldview who prefers writing novels over writing long-form nonfiction. My advice is write what you like - if you like a certain type of novel, write that kind of novel. Otherwise, your nonfiction is good so stick with that. If you've never written a novel, be warned - you can spend years trying to "perfect" it even if you can write the first draft in a month. Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

Put a short fiction story up here for review. If it's good, we'll tell you and that means that we might like a full length book.

If it turns out to be a crappy ham-fisted fan fiction, then you should stick to real stuff.

Kristophr said...

Do whatever the hell you want to do.

Get some advice from folks like Aurini, Vox, and maybe Larry Corriea, and make sure it doesn't suck.

Good fiction sells far better than self-help books.

Carl said...

I have to admit a bias to nonfiction. But I maintain that I was so indoctrinated into the liberal education system that my, hopefully, wiser, older self is eating up more rational and cogent ideas that your nonfiction books help to sate.

That being said, why not? Even a curious reader wants to escape. I imagine the writer as well. You are a good nonfiction writer.

Will I buy the book? If I believe the cool idea you have is also cool to me I would. My decision wouldn't be based on your credibility as a writer as much as if I'm as compelled with the story as you.

Hard to say without a summary of the plot.

Eric B said...

I personally read very little fiction other than bedtime stories for my kids. I think it's been 6 years since I last read fiction for myself and that was only because my wife pestered me to read it. I much prefer nonfiction; railroad history, politics, general history, Enjoy the Decline, Worthless, etc.

Snap said...

A. Have you written any other fiction? I think samples would be helpful here.

B. What's the idea? Don't give it all away obviously, but a rough idea would be helpful as well.

I personally like your style, though I've only read the blog and Worthless.

Dan said...

I read a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and obviously a market for fiction work exists. My enjoyment depends a lot on the quality. It tends to be a bit concentrated - a lot of the profits go to best selling novels while most less known works don't sell much at all.

There has been some market for "libertarian literature" in the nature of say Boston T. Party and the ability to sell Kindle books over the Internet certainly helps reduce costs. It is unclear if your proposed work would have a political theme. If I had to guess it would sell about as well as your non-fiction work, but I'm not sure if it would be harder for you to finish.

Anonymous said...

I typically read nonfiction. I will read fiction occasionally, but I usually won't bother with a book unless it teaches me something I can use.
What is the plot, and genre, of the story?

Anonymous said...

Hey Cappy..I agree most of the comments..You should post a chapter of the book and see how we respond. I rarely read non fiction but that is mostly due to my lack of time due to my school load...It's a STEM field, so don't worry, haha

stephfortier said...

I stumbled on the red pill and your web site kinda researching women. I'm married, professional and fit etc etc but I am collecting material for my kids. One boy and one girl. They are not old enough to learn most of this stuff (except bad degrees and financial stuff). I might croak before they are ready, so am putting together a collection of text and quotes so that if I die, or when they are ready, they can learn the shit it took me years of suffering to learn. I have a USB stick for the boy in my desk. While my wife is outstanding, she would not understand.

So what should you write? A collection of essential knowledge and quotes for the kids who will have to grow up right (and perhaps rebuild this civilization when most of what is important has been erased by the current powers that be).

SOme of your books already aim that way, but what is missing is the Gran Codex of Manliness, while there are still some people that remember what it is.

Remember the old monks, during the dark ages, that preserved the world's knowledge awaiting better times (the renaissance)?

That should be your future work. Or the Manosphere in any case.

Womanhater said...

If you can use fiction to convey a political or economic or philosophical point the way Ayn Rand did, then I say go for it and that I'd read it! If however you're simply writing a fiction book for its own sake, I wish you luck but can't promise I'd read it unless it was exceptional since I don't read too much fiction.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest you stay clear of fiction, as your writing skills are marginal at best. If you doubt that, obtain a copy of two books: Story by Robert McKee and Inside Story by Dr. Dara Marks. They are hands down the greatest books on the meaning of what makes fiction great.

If you decide to try your hand at fiction, I would strongly recommend you delve into porn, as that audience has very low standards.

Anonymous said...

How about a series of 12 to 20 fictional short stories based on true stories of ignorant people and the ways they fail themselves. Sort of a combination of truth and fiction.

Anonymous said...

I read mostly non-fiction, but some fiction. Sci-Fi, and usually fiction that is related to my non-fiction interests; survival, politics, naval and military, etc., which also happen to be the subjects I usually write about.

OK, you have proved that you have the temporal and mental discipline to write a book. You have proved that you have a unique and interesting viewpoint. You have proved that you can write something that has a market. And you have an idea. I don't know what your idea is, but you have it in your head. If it intrigues you, give it a try for a while. See if you can make it work, and can speak in your voice and maybe reach people through fiction.

You have reduced your monetary needs to the point where it will not cost you a fortune to try for a while. So go for it. If it is not working, go back to non-fiction. If it is, you have the possibility of another income stream. But you are in about the best position possible to give it a try.

All the best, either way.

Subotai Bahadur

Will Brown said...

You asked, Captain my Captain, so here's some advice.

Go to Amazon Studios and register there (it's simple, there's no obligation, and it's free) (ask me how I know :)). Use the Storybuilder writing tool to plot out your story idea to see if/how much of a coherent story you actually have to this point. If it turns out you have (or can develop) what you have into a story, use the storyboard tool to create visual graphics to determine how much more added detail is required to give your characters and story universe sufficient context and texture to provide a sense of dimensionality to the readers experience.

This process will work regardless of genre. It won't do much to make a crap story idea into a good one though (ask me how I know that :)).

Neal said...

I agree. Fiction with actionable intel is preferable.

Eric Mueller said...

I read both fiction and non-fiction. Sometimes you have to take a break from non-fiction and read a good story.

I'll tell you something I've been looking for: how to invest. There's so much noise out there among the mainstream, I don't know who to trust. I know the basics behind the subject, like you buy for the dividend income, not to "flip" the stock. But how do you get started? Can you get in for a lower amount, like $50-$500? Is it better to use eTrade or a traditional brokerage? And on and on. How would one of your readers with no experience investing get started?

I'd pay for that book.

Anonymous said...

You have stated I recall that you hate reading. You are not a bad writer for someone who hates reading, but reading the work of many other writers would help you become a better writer. You must read a lot of non fiction, just to research the stuff you write about, but I don't think anyone an be a good fiction writer without being a good fiction reader.

Other than blogs and internet stuff I mostly read fiction, and it can be a good medium to learn about the world from. Like others have said here, it could be a good platform to get across your ideas about economics (this is what Atlas Shrugged was all about)

I think if you tried fiction you would like it. Get yourself a good cigar, a bottle of Rumpie (not sure if that combination works mind) and a good book and get the reading habit. Some of my favourites are Bernard Cornwell, Conn Igguldon, Frederick Forsyth, Tom Clancey, and by way of the "classics, Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham. I suspect that if you don't like reading fiction it might be because you have been turned off at school. If you start a book and can't get into it, don't bother, go and get another one instead.

In summery, I don't think you can be a good fiction writer without being a good fiction reader. The novel can be more than a story, it is an excellent way to explain ideas and ideology. If you want to give it a shot, go for it.

heresolong said...

I said it before, I'll say it again. You need to turn your video series on crusaderism into a book. From what I can tell, you probably invented the word and the concept, it deserves to be put out there.

Anonymous said...

I read a lot, Cappy; always have at least 2 books on the go every week, all year long, EXCLUSIVELY 100% NON-FICTION, FOREVER.

i) truth truly is stranger and more entertaining than fiction
ii) INFORMATION / facts / data, to counter the whiny loony left feelings and opinions in which the planet is drowning.


Paul said...

Hey Cap,
I've purchased two of your books, ETD and Top Shelf, and I think you should stick to writing non-fiction. I can get BS fiction anywhere these days, usually for free, but I come here (and buy your books and listen to your podcast) for the truth. Yeah, the truth. Go with that, I don't need anymore fiction and neither do the youth. We get enough of that from parents and educators.

thenoisyrogue said...


Don't write what you like. Write what you're good at. There's a big difference.

beta_plus said...

Unless you're willing to learn how to create and tell stories (there are ways to realistically learn how to do this by yourself), you should stick w/non fiction.

If you decide to write fiction anyway and want to see how a non fiction "big" idea can be turned into a story, read "The Goal".

FSK said...

The truth is that it's going to be very hard for you to predict the revenue it will generate.

Do you think it's a cool idea? Then do it, and some of the people who read your other stuff will probably agree.

Even if it flops financially, it's still a valuable lesson for you.

Anonymous said...





Whatever fiction you had in mind, don't make a book out of it. Make a dumbed down game version of it and inspire yourself from Angry Birds to do it.

Angry Birds is fiction, right ? And look how much money it makes.

Angry Birds is dumbed down, right ? And look how much money it makes.

You have to dumb down your fiction and port it into a video game that reaches the broadest audience possible.

You said you wanted to make money, not to boast your ego onto a master piece. I'm only telling the truth.




Here's an appetizer for you. If you do as I say, you will earn so much money that you will be able to buy the rare, vintage MUSTANG of your dreams and actually drive it.

Don't just stand there, LEARN HOW TO CODE NOW !

Get design advice from other coders.

HIRE JEORGE E. GONZALES as your artist to draw, illustrate and animate your dumbed down fiction video game app.

The truth is that he has a lot more potential than a mere drawer, that guy could make his own cartoon and he is currently being under used.

Anonymous said...

Oh and Captain,

After reading much of the comments on this board, I want to add something to my comment about making an app.

STICK TO THE TRUTH ! That's what you're good at, that's what's controversial, that's what gathers like minded persons to your side and attracts offended people from the other side.

Stick to the BLUNT TRUTH. Nobody is immune nor indifferent to the truth.

The truth works because the truth both Pleases some and Hurts some.

So make an offending, insulting, disparaging video game APP that tells the BLUNT TRUTH about America and what to do to fix it. Spare none of your enemies.

They will get mad at you, they will report you to the press.

You will get sales from both your like minded audience that will get a discharge from their frustration and you will even sell some to the opposing side that will not be able to resist getting a copy of that controversial app that insults them so much.


So here is the truth.


Then you can have your MUSTANG and BURN RUBBER.

NO GET TO WORK. It's a lot harder to make a successful application than it is to write a book.


Kristophr said...

You could make an app that hires a thug to go out and break the knuckles of people who type in all caps.

I'd pay for that.

Anonymous said...

Make a gory, disgusting, bloddy, cruel and sadistical first person shooter massacre where you can choose to be Aaron Clarey, Aurini or Roosh shooting at liberals and getting America rid of all the liberals and the end is a conservative - libertarian paradise.

Dumb it down but fill it with action, explosions, large fights.

The theme is so provocative that it will not go unnoticed and you will make a lot of money.

But it is a lot more hard work than writing a book.

However, there exists software to build the levels, Jeorge E. Gonzales can take on all the graphics, illustrations and character animations and the coding can be done straight forward.

Port this to mobile applications.

Include fist fights and mix martial arts fights against Liberal bosses at each level.

Make it crazy, entertaining, insulting and you will become rich.

Call it: Super Liberal Massacre.

Include known liberals, known liberal actors that are either extremely popular or extremely controversial. Have Jeorge E. Gonzales illustrate and animate them in your game.

Dave of Cydonia said...

Aaron, you're a good writer and have vast experience. You have everything you need already to write good fiction.

Now whether that'll be profitable, honestly, probably not. The amount of time it takes to write and edit a novel compared to what you get back is much different than a non-fiction book. There's a good chance you won't get a return on investment.

However, that doesn't mean it's a waste of time. I think you should do it anyways. The 'sphere could use more fiction and you're already and established name. At least give it a try.

Anonymous said...

i'd be more interested in seeing your fiction work, any type of fiction would be fine. besides,you've establish enough credibility regards to writing non fiction.

but in case you decided to write non fiction, i'd like to see at least an autobio or something that doesnt coincide to your previous works. perhaps a bold and broader prediction about the governments system. at least something that gives manosphere readers a different type literary of work.

Anthony said...

You know, your market is a niche one...and I really don't think your writing style translates very well to fiction writing at all.

Donttreadonmatt said...

To be brutally honest, you will need one hell of an editor to help you with writing fiction. You don't seem to like editors that give you any advice beyond typos and small spelling/grammar errors, but in fiction, the "idea" is not what sells - it is the strength of the writing.

You could hire Jorge to create a graphic novel/comic book of your story idea. You'd have to give him more than 50% of the proceeds, though, because most of the work is in the drawing and page layout.

I've written a couple unpublished novels in a previous life, and just slapping words on the page is the first step. Many rewrites, edits, having multiple editors look at it for content, plot changes, character changes, etc. are necessary to create a quality book.

Jacob said...

I am thinking heart of darkness, meets atlas shrugged, wrapped around a positive masculinity parable, with a nice sci-fi feel.

ProdigalSon said...

Fiction is good, but...

...there is a lot of worthless shit fiction out there. If you want it to succeed, it had better be fucking awesome, or it will get lost in the pile along with all the other junk that gets put out there.

Good fiction requires an insane amount of creativity. Nonfiction just requires you to be realistic. We know you can do the latter, the question is can you do the former?

Arlat said...

I'm putting money down on truth. Give me the non-fiction.