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Creative Nonfiction

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Andrea Chase

on 21 August 2013

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Transcript of Creative Nonfiction

Introduction to Creative Nonfiction
What is It?
A Closer Look
More Than "Just the Facts"

Building Blocks:
Detail, Description, Characterization, & Scene
Building Blocks:
Voice, Point of View, & Discovery
Real people, actual events, genuine places, and the author's authentic thoughts and observations are being described with skillful application of literary techniques.
1) Memoir-author's own life
2) Literary Journalism-event,
location, or person
3) Personal Essay-author's
personal perspective on
a wide range of topics
3 Major Genres
Travel Essays
Nature Observations
Science Essays
Food Reviews
Spiritual Investigation
Sports Reporting
Book Reviews
These can often be combined within one nonfiction narrative.
Writer's voice and point of view along with use of literary devices such as imagery and metaphor just as important as the "facts."
The Baton Rouge serial killer gathered information about his three female victims before attacking them and might even have known them casually, according to a profile released Tuesday by law enforcement officials.
Literary Journalism
There is a serial killer at work in Baton Rouge, and so, as I drive into the city on this rainy mid-August afternoon to visit family, I move from simply alert to hyper alert. In addition to the three murdered women, there have been four attempted abductions in the past two weeks; the last woman
fought her attacker off with a
Standard Journalism
Where is the Line
Between Nonfiction & Fiction?
Be as honest as possible
Capture speech patterns and words commonly used by speaker in dialogue
Be aware of your motives; don't intentionally make yourself look good or others look bad
Don't make up people or events
Require close observation
Specific vocabulary needed
People as well as objects & events observed
Concrete tied to the five senses of smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight
Be specific
Be particular
"Shows" the reader rather than "tells"
During revision stage, ensure you have plenty of specific & particular detail
We get to know people through their words and actions.
2 Purposes of Dialogue: lends texture to narrative & changes the pacing/flow and gives the reader a chance to judge character for themselves
Keep dialogue short and save long explanations for direct narration
In real life, dialogue can have incomplete sentences, inconsistent logic, and slang.
Starts with initial appearance, i.e. clothes, hairstyle, etc.
Lets the reader determine the nature of a person
Used to help "round out" a character
Avoid stereotyping
Combination of detail, description, dialogue, & action
Not static, but moving
Real people in actual space take concrete actions for a set period of time
Structure & rhythm of sentences
Metaphors & imagery
Word Choice
Distinctive, individual
First person = "I"
Represents the author
Most common in
memoir & personal
Second person = "you"
Connects author &
reader to an experience
Third person = "he, she, it"
Most common in literary
Requires careful research
"What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the larger sense that the writer is able to
of what happened." (Vivian Gornick)
Opening up to one's feelings and thoughts, exploring them, and then sharing them.
Often two layers in a narrative: story of people & events and the meaning behind these people & events
Discovery is finding the meaning underlying the main narrative
Point of View
Based on The Truth of the Matter (Chapters 1-6) by Dinty Moore
Prezi by Andrea Chase
Full transcript