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Elements of creative non fiction


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An introduction to the 4th creative writing genre -- creative non-fiction. Brophy Prep, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

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Elements of creative non fiction

  1. 2. <ul><li>“ I know that once I write about the past, I will have changed the past, in a sense set it in concrete, and I will never remember it quite the same way. The experience itself is lost; like the old Sunday storytellers who told and retold their stories until what they remembered was the tale itself, what I will remember is what I have written.” </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>CNF is a type of writing that uses literary skills in the writing of nonfiction; it’s factually true and artistically elegant. </li></ul><ul><li>CNF allows a writer to inject himself/herself into the narrative of verifiable facts he’s collected </li></ul><ul><li>CNF is a hybrid of non-fiction and literature </li></ul><ul><li>The elusive “fourth genre” </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>A writing genre encompassing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literary non-fiction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Journalism (Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literary Journalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature , (Bill Bryson) travel , and food writing (Anthony Bourdain) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Memoir and essay (Annie Dillard, Sandra Cisneros) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonfiction novel </li></ul></ul>Tom Wolfe , Charlotte Airport (Oct 2010)
  4. 5. <ul><li>Flexibility of Form : Creative nonfiction can follow any form--essay, short story, even poetry. </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Approach to Nonfiction : Use of literary devices like tone , p-o-v , dialogue description, flashback/forward . </li></ul><ul><li>Self-discovery, Exploration : Creative Nonfiction is all about exploring an idea or issue; self discovery and exploration is a result of this. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Personal Presence : the writers’ voice creates an identity--usually themselves (1 st person) </li></ul><ul><li>Veracity : conveying the truth ; documentable subject matter. in other words including facts and critical analysis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>James Frey Million Little Pieces fiasco on Oprah </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Research thoroughly. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate relationships to create trust and capture accurate truth </li></ul><ul><li>Never invent or change facts or events. The truth is stranger than fiction. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid composites . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Mr. Flood is not one man; combined in him are aspects of several old men who work or hang out in Fulton Fish Market, or who did in the past.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Aim for a clear style with rhythm, &quot;texture,&quot; color, and a dramatic pace. </li></ul><ul><li>Write for real people to enrich their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Write about real events and people to make them come alive and record them. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Have faith in the value and importance of human being and human events...&quot; </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing. </li></ul><ul><li>It was my great-grandmother's name and now it is mine. She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse--which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female-but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong. </li></ul><ul><li>My great-grandmother. I would've liked to have known her, a wild, horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn't marry. Until my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier. That's the way he did it. </li></ul>And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window. At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver, not quite as thick as sister's name Magdalena--which is uglier than mine. Magdalena who at least- -can come home and become Nenny. But I am always Esperanza. would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do.
  9. 10. <ul><li>What is the personal significance of your given name (first, middle and last)? Does your name mean different things to you, your family, and your friends? What are your nicknames ? What do your nicknames mean to you and those who call you those names? </li></ul><ul><li>After some thought, respond to this Quick Write prompt. You do not necessarily need to answer any or all of these questions, but your 500 words should be about your NAME. </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Deal with an issue/problem people are concerned about or find a way to make them concerned or interested. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide accurate data. </li></ul><ul><li>Report fairly. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret your information. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw conclusions. </li></ul><ul><li>Organize your information. </li></ul><ul><li>Use interesting language. </li></ul>