Lecture 2: Creative non-fiction
Creative non-fiction is to tell a story out of fact. Its subject matter is life as we live in. To use raw materials out of life to write a new story of life.
It is truth writing. The readers read something which is real, the truth i nhuman experience. The writer also gains insight and clarity while writing.
Difference between creative non-fiction and memoir: Memoir is part of creative non-fiction, but the subject matter is “me”, while creative non-fiction is someone else than ourselves, and the author is not the point.
4 tips to produce vivid, clear non-fiction:
Tip 1: Forget yourself. Get “I” out of way, because “I” colors the narrative. Think of creative non-fiction as viewing a portrait or advertisement.
Tip 2: To be curious and be brave. Approach to strangers and talk to them, build relationship.
Tip 3: Be a sculptor. Every stone has a statue of sculture in itself, and it takes a sculptor to discover it. Sculpt out what is important and portrait it. Be selective. Move the frame around to cut out part of picture to show the better impact that really affects the readers. To pick up the better truth, a truer truth.
Tip 4: Teach. Stand back and see what you taught, the wisdom. Remember it should be surface story, underlying truth.
- Up in the Old Hotel Joseph Mitchell Essays
- Slouching Towards Bethlehem Joan Didion Essays
- A Wanderer in the Perfect City Lawrence Weschler Essays
- Hell’s Angels Hunter S. Thompson Nonfiction Narrative
- In Cold Blood Truman Capote Nonfiction Narrative
- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Annie Dillard Nonfiction Narrative
- A Garden of Forking Paths ed. Beth Anstandig, Eric Killough Anthology
- The New Yorker Various Magazine
- Harper’s Various Magazine
- Atlantic Monthly Various Magazine
- Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama Stephen Minot Craft
- If You Want to Write Brenda Ueland Craft
- Writing Down the Bones Natalie Goldberg Craft
- Elements of Style Strunk & White Craft