Creative Writing Nonfiction

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I have little patience for memoirs and personal essays where every second sentence contains qualifications, such as “but maybe the wallpaper was yellow, not brown” or “I don’t remember why I decided to slap my sister”.

My suggestion is to tread lightly in this territory and discuss memory’s puzzling workings only where it is crucial to the narrative and/or when you can say something fresh on the topic.

Helen Garner’s investigative journalism is a fine example of such writing.

In her true crime book, ‘Joe Cinque’s Consolation’, for example, some of my favourite parts are where Garner questions her own motives for following the murder story and her biases in how she interprets the case, because these passages illuminate the complexity of human psyche and make us, the readers, question ourselves too.

It may ease the pressure a bit if we, as writers, admit that such concerns are actually a part of the story we are writing, rather than something to deal with on our own, in guilty secrecy.

In fact, sometimes, when written into the story, our dilemmas can become interesting part of the work, deepening it greatly.Of course every writer knows, or at least so I hope, that reading for writers is as important as the writing itself.Yet, in creative non-fiction, reading may play even a more significant role, because – as mentioned last month – works published in this genre are so diverse, playful, surprising and elusive to definition, that the best way to understand creative non-fiction is by experiencing it.For example, my memoir ‘The Dangerous Bride’, was set during a troubled time in my life when my marriage was unravelling.To fit the narrative’s drama I underplayed the more organised aspects of myself and emphasised my confusions and inconsistencies.To follow on from last month’s post in which I sang the praises of creative non-fiction, I’d like to share with you some things I have learned about working in this often misunderstood genre (after much trial and error).Here are my top tips: The most obvious, and least sexy, tip is that to engage deeply with creative non-fiction you have to read as many books in this genre as you can.Finally, read the most adventurous current practitioners, such as Geoff Dyer, Maggie Nelson and David Shields.If you haven’t read these writers yet, I’m really jealous of you. Craft your ‘I’ with great care, as if you were a fictional character. It is commonly understood among creative non-fiction writers, and also dedicated readers, that the ‘I’ in the work doesn’t equal the author, that it is a version of her, shaped to fit the story.Such simplification is particularly common with bad memoirs where authors often rush to offer redemptive endings to their sometimes harrowing life dramas as if every difficulty can be ‘fixed’.Instead, I suggest, stay with the ambivalence and uncertainty if this is what’s true to our experiences.

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  • The Best Free Online Writing Courses for Creative Writers.
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    Creative writing courses are amazing because they can be applied to just about anything you want to write, from memoirs to novelseven nonfiction! These classes teach you the basic skills you need to write fluidly, fluently, and with style—essential no matter what your genre or field.…

  • What Is Creative Nonfiction? - ThoughtCo
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    Creative nonfiction is a branch of writing that employs the literary techniques usually associated with fiction or poetry to report on actual persons, places, or events. The genre of creative nonfiction also known as literary nonfiction is broad enough to include travel writing, nature writing, science writing, sports writing, biography, autobiography, memoir, the interview, and both the familiar and personal essay.…

  • What is Creative Nonfiction? Creative Nonfiction
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    What is Creative Nonfiction? The Fastest-Growing Genre. Creative nonfiction has become the most popular genre in. The Memoir Craze. In the 1990s, the controversy over the publication of a half dozen intimate. Literary Journalism. Memoir is the personal side of creative nonfiction. The.…

  • Creative nonfiction - Wikipedia
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    Creative nonfiction also known as literary nonfiction or narrative nonfiction or verfabula is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as academic or technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact but is not written to entertain based on prose style.…

  • Creative Nonfiction Writing Writer's Digest
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    Creative Nonfiction Writing Nonfiction covers everything from history and cooking to self help and travel. Here you’ll find learn how to master nonfiction writing, how to conduct good research, collect data, and convey a sense of authority in your work – no matter what you choose to write.…

  • Tutor Tips Creative Writing - uvm.edu
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    Creative nonfiction merges the boundaries between literary art fiction, poetry and research nonfiction statistical, fact-filled, run of the mill journalism. It is writing composed of the real, or of facts, that employs the same literary devices as fiction such as setting, voice/tone, character development, etc.…

  • Writing Creative Non-Fiction The Great Courses
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    What Will You Learn? 1 Welcome to Creative Nonfiction. 2 Finding the Story. 3 Honoring the Nonfiction Contract. 4 Writing Great Beginnings. 5 Show, Don’t Tell. 6 Launching a Narrative Arc. 7 Cliffhangers and Page Turners. 8 Building Dramatic Sentences. 9 Rhetorical Devices and Emotional.…

  • Creative Writing 101 A Beginner's Guide to Creative Writing
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    Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions.…

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