Tag Archives: creative nonfiction

Why I prefer nonfiction over fiction

Sarahbeth Caplin

35244821086_e8236a33a9_z1-300x200Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of becoming the next great American novelist. I have published a few novels, and yet none of them are quite as dear to my heart as my two memoirs. I realized something critical about myself the more I’ve devoted myself to nonfiction writing (mostly about the intersection of faith and politics): I’m not very good at making things up.

If there’s anything I’ve learned during my time as a graduate student of creative nonfiction, it’s that memoir writing, and even literary essays, can follow a story arc similar to what you’ll find in fiction: there is a beginning, a development of conflict, a set of characters (even if the only character is the writer herself), a middle, and a resolution. Like fiction, nonfiction doesn’t require a neat, tidy ending. But a decisive finishing point is required just the same.

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Connecting the Chapters of Our Lives – Guest Post by, Cynthia Reyes…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

(Or: The glue that holds your Memoir together)

Licence to use obtained – Copyright: gmm2000 / 123RF Stock Photo

Not everyone writes their memoir in a chronological order. Often, we write as we remember. But once we’ve written some or all of the chapters of our lives, we find ourselves with a puzzle. What we have is a bunch of stories without a main thread tying them together into one journey.

How to put some order on the disorder? Make a single narrative out of the wonderful chaos of our memories?

Here are 6 tips to help you transform what you’ve written into one story — the powerful story of your remarkable life.

1: My first suggestion: Leave it, then Re-read it. This time, you’re looking for the theme/s and progression of your story. Try this process:

  1. Put the manuscript aside; leave it alone for some days.
  2. Now reread,

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4 Tips for Writing a Killer Ending to Your Story

J. Young-Ju Harris

When it comes down to it there is really only one rule about writing a good ending for a story: the ending you write has to fulfill the promises you made during your story.

The much tougher part can be coming up with an ending that succeeds in doing that. I think as authors we all want that amazing ending that not only satisfies the reader but makes them think about what they read and remember it years down the line.

Sadly, I can’t tell you how to write the perfect ending, but I can give you some tips about things that will make the ending of your story work. I will leave the creative and artist decisions that make it truly stand out to you.

1.) Don’t Leave Any Questions Unanswered

Throughout your story, your job as a writer is to raise questions (i.e. conflicts). But by the end…

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What is narrative non-fiction?

Spellbound Press

‘If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.’ – Rudyard Kipling

There is an understandable propensity for confusing narrative non-fiction with the notion of “made up facts”. Alternatively referred to as “creative non-fiction”, it is no wonder that some people focus on the implication of “invention”. However, this is not (or shouldn’t be!) the case.

As Chuck Sambuchino writes for Writer’s Digest, ‘[n]arrative nonfiction is unique … because it tells a true story … but it’s told like a novel’. The genre is a creative form of reportage or otherwise factual storytelling, which utilises literary devices and techniques to create factually accurate pieces that read like stories. It is the presentation of facts in a way that makes people want to read them.

Memoirs are another example of narrative non-fiction: true stories about people’s lives or experiences, presented as accurately as possible. Consider a straight, factual account of a…

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Struggle is universal. People love reading stories about people triumphing over obstacles, overcoming bad circumstances and abuse, and redeeming themselves. We watch them in movies and read them in books. And you don’t have to look far to find suffering and loss in the human experience. Lots of people have amazing stories, and unfortunately those stories aren’t always pleasant. If you’re writing a memoir, or thinking about it, then perhaps you’ve got some difficult stories to tell, too.

How to Write a Memoir About a Painful Experience: 6 Tips

 

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

HamletHamlet realizes his story is not “my dad was murdered” but instead, “I will find out who killed my dad and punish them.”

Many of us write a memoir or a personal essay after, around, or during a dramatic event in our lives. Cancer. Death of a loved one. Running a marathon. Climbing Everest. And many memoirs and essays remain unpublished because a dramatic event isn’t enough.

Think about it–any newspaper front page is covered in dramatic situations, worthy of reporting but mostly conveying information. The emotional reaction of the reader is grounded in their own experience meeting the facts, rather than empathy for the protagonist, or a desire to see them “win.”

Car Crash Claims Three

is a dramatic situation. It’s not a dramatic journey unless the reporter goes for a larger picture, and the larger picture has to include a protagonist taking a dramatic action.

Crash Claims Three:…

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