Intro into Creative Non-Fiction Reflection
In the hunt for good subject matter, the brainstorming sessions in class were very helpful. Writing a good paper seemed to not only have writing skill to thank for its exceptionalism, but also the subject the person chooses to write on, and the points they chose to focus. When I would go back through drafts of any of the essays, I would take comments very seriously, weighing each one on the final goal I had wanted for the work and its relevance. Comments on spelling and punctuation I would opt to include almost always, but comments on word choice changes I would either take or leave. For example the word jipped. Before this class I had never heard anyone fault another for using it, because it was “a racial slur.” Words like that take on new meanings or lose their original one quite often in the English language, and unless I used it around other things appearing to be of the same racial bias, then an intelligent reader may take offense if needed. However my use of it did not indicate that, and so I kept it regardless as to how one or two readers may feel about it. They should realize it's just a word to me if not put in obvious context, and so I choose to ignore them.
In my revision process I tended to steer more towards light-hearted topics because I feel we too often move toward darker ones, myself included. This was in part because a lot of people in our class did write so darkly, and even in the folio addition, to which I may or may not submit these essays. I enjoy making work in contrast to that of my peers. I also normally take a simplistic approach to the ideas I relay, with the overall showing complexity and a great deal of description. An example is, “On the white side, in the top most window, above the pump house, a flag draped barely recognizable, full of tears and burns from years of summer sun, yet kept faint shades of red, white and blue crossed lines of stars, only visible when focused on.” This was not included in the earlier version, but since Professor Alva requested more detail of the house I was born in, this seemed a very telling detail of the meaning behind the memoir, by just simply describing one side of the house.
I took feedback at face value. Of course taking the person grading my work a tad more heavily...but none the less considering all who took the time to comment. Despite some classmates seeming to have more experience writing and reading, the observation of many “beginner” students had some of the most profound insights of all, and so I considered all equally. For instance one suggested to speak more about my father in the memoir. I hadn’t even considered how much I had portrayed my father as a racist, uncaring man, which is only partially true. I added a small anecdote of him playing with us at the dinner table, which I feel added a nice layer to the work.
In the future I believe my own personal style of writing will continue to grow, and I feel I can add a lot of what I learned from Grammar and Style to the work I did in this class to improve them. I could use it to strengthen sentences or make them more concise. Some of the most influential pieces that others in my class wrote were, Elijah's “Profile of a Dying Mother” and “Looking for Work” by Gary Soto. What I saw in both pieces was that though I try to write simply with underlying complex ideas, I can improve. Shorter sentences can have far more power than I give them credit for.
Intro into Creative Nonfiction opened my eyes to the possibilities I never knew about Non-Fiction styles of writing. I always believed nonfiction to be restrictive and limited, in what can be written, to only tell exactly what happened. In this class I learned there was much more you can do with this style, and can easily be incorporated with other classes. By using creative non-fiction one can add depth, when writing an assignment making it more enjoyable to write, but also to read. Choices of point of view, time in and out of scene, information that is explicit and information that is left to be question by the reader, can remake any written form more interesting, more enlightening and more memorable. I have noticed that my writing has not only improved throughout this course, in this class itself, but also in many of my other classes that require written assignments.
Jun 18, 2021
Day 7: A Brief Reflection on Creative Nonfiction
I’ve written every day for seven days in a row!
That is definitely not at lot, but it’s a big deal for me.
I will say I am enjoying writing every evening more than I thought I would. I even find myself looking forward to it, though today I was tempted to skip. I think part of why I bad such mental resistance to the idea tonight is because I am holding myself back. I have ideas for writing stories about things from my personal life, but I have convinced myself not to for the last couple of days. I use the excuse that I don’t have time to give something like creative nonfiction the time it needs to really be good. So instead I just write these overly analytical and incredibly self-specific micro essays analyzing various aspects of my writers’ block. Which is quite possibly just as uninteresting to most people as a poorly written bit of creative nonfiction.
I’ve always hated creative nonfiction. I thought it was boring. Why would I read about real life, something I experience every day, when I could read about something magical or on another planet. But now I’m thinking about writing creative nonfiction, voluntarily. The undergraduate version of me would be shocked.
I think it could be a good way to try to capture moments as I saw them, both for the sake of improving my writing and for the sake of, dare I say it, self-expression.
I typically don’t write for self-expression, I write to tell stories. Drawing is my preferred form of creative venting, but it might be time to try that with writing as well. I have become more comfortable with art now than with writing, which was what I originally wanted to pursue. This could be because I do not just what ever I want, but whatever I feel with art, but only explore writing in the context of sci-fi/fantasy narratives. Even though sci-fi and fantasy are still definitely what I want to write novels about, I think creative exercises that focus on personal subjects unrelated to my main goal may make it easier to write what I do want to write.
Maybe personal writing is like sketching. The goal is the finished piece, but it’s nigh impossible to get there without practice. I always thought that with writing the practice comes in the first draft of a novel, but I no longer think that’s how it has to be, or even how it should be.
It’s settled then. Tomorrow, I try my hand at creative nonfiction.
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Developmental editing · copyediting · proofreading · résumés · more, what is “reflection” in creative nonfiction.
For the most part, novelists and memoirists use the same set of tools to tell their stories. They both create vivid scenes, develop three-dimensional characters, and evoke a strong sense of place. They rely on dialogue, effective pacing, and themes. But there is one tool that is used almost exclusively in creative nonfiction: reflection, sometimes called “the reflective voice” or “the voice of experience.”
The purpose of reflection.
The aim of reflection is to make sense of the story, but it is not used to tell the story. (The voice of innocence does that.) Memoirists use the reflective voice to make meaning—to help readers discover the underlying message of a particular scene or moment from the character’s life. The color-coded passage below, from Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face , illustrates how the voice of innocence (green) and the voice of experience (purple) work together to tell the story in a work of creative nonfiction:
[My mother] borrowed a pair of scissors from the nurse’s desk, and while I sat in a chair she snipped off what remained of my hair, my white, white scalp shining through. We discovered for the first time that I had a large birthmark above my left ear.
The next morning my mother came in with a hat, a small white sailor’s hat, which I put on and almost never took off for the next two and a half years, even during the periods when my hair was growing back in. Sometimes it grew several inches and was perfectly presentable as hair, but I knew it was only going to fall out again, and I refused to be seen in public without my hat. My hat. It became part of me, an inseparable element of who I thought I was.
My hat was my barrier between me, and what I was vaguely becoming aware of as ugly about me, and the world. It hid me, hid my secret, though badly, and when [other children] made fun of me or stared at me, I assumed it was only because they could guess what was beneath my hat. It didn’t occur to me that the whole picture, even with the hat, was ugly; as long as I had it on, I felt safe. Once, on television, I saw someone lose his hat in the wind and I immediately panicked for him, for his sudden exposure. It was a visceral reaction.
Here, the voice of innocence communicates the child’s experience—it creates a brief scene that shows the character receiving a haircut and beginning to wear a hat that later becomes central to her identity. Then, the reflective voice takes over to say things the child can’t say because she doesn’t know them yet. The child doesn’t realize her hat acts as a mask or that she is “ugly” even while wearing it. These are the adult’s revelations—things she has learned in the years since she wore a hat to hide from the world.
How to Reflect
Beginning memoirists often fall into the trap of only using the reflective voice or only using the voice of innocence, rather than combining the two. This typically happens because they don’t feel comfortable moving between these distinct voices. However, with a little practice and the use of several effective techniques, it becomes second nature. Below are strategies adapted from memoirist Joyce Dyer’s handout “Techniques to Start Reflection in Creative Nonfiction.” These strategies can be applied in nearly all works of creative nonfiction.
- Ask a question. (Why is to so hard to…?)
- Reject possible explanations. (I don’t believe… It seems unlikely…)
- Imagine or speculate. (I wonder what would have happened if… I like to imagine… I hope my mother knew… Perhaps things would have been different if…)
- Tell an alternative version of events and then reveal the truth. (It didn’t actually happen like that… Unfortunately, that’s a lie…)
- Use timestamps to show distance between the event being described and the present day. (Now, I can see… Today, I understand… Looking back… I didn’t realize it then, but…)
- Use generalizations to explain a key takeaway from a scene. (We don’t often think of justice as…)
The color-coded example below, an excerpt from Richard Hoffman’s memoir Half the House , illustrates the author’s smooth transition from the voice of innocence (green) to the voice of experience (purple) using the “timestamp” technique (underlined).
By the end of football season, I couldn’t bear the shame anymore. I tried to explain to Coach Tom that as a Catholic I would have to tell the priest about [the sexual abuse] in confession. I tried to reassure him that he didn’t have to worry, that the priest was bound by “the seal of the confessional.” Priests had been tortured to death without revealing what was told to them in confession.
“Bullshit,” he said. “He’d go right to your mother and father. Think about that, you little moron. I bet that would go over big, huh?”
After that he avoided me, and only spoke to me when he had to. It was over. I remember a boy named Chris was always with him after that.
So when my mother asked about the purple wound on my arm, I told her a dog had bitten me on my afternoon paper route. She wanted to know whose dog it was. Did it have a collar on? There was no telling what kind of germs a stray might be carrying. As I remember this now , I’m not convinced that she believed me, and thinking of the awful silence that came between us, I sometimes feel as desolate as I did back then, when the winter sky slipped away to dark blue and I hurried to get The Evening Chronicle on a mile and a half of doorsteps before it grew too dark to see.
The word “now” is a signal to the reader, a flashing neon sign showing that the narrative has jumped forward in time from a childhood memory to the adult narrator’s reflection on that memory. This shift from the voice of innocence to the voice of experience doesn’t call attention to itself, but it does allow the memoirist to include knowledge and feelings the child wouldn’t have been able to articulate. It also helps readers to understand the long-term impact of the lie and the feelings it created—again, things the child couldn’t have known in the moment.
Reflection is a key element of most memoirs and personal essays. Therefore, it’s an essential skill for writers of creative nonfiction to develop. When writers move seamlessly between the voice of innocence and the voice of experience, they add depth to their work and help readers connect to the characters’ experiences on a deeper level.
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My Reflection in Creative Non
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Reflection About Creative Writing
Taking a creative writing class was a good way for me to express my thoughts and feelings onto paper, as well as read my other classmates stories. Reading stories created by other people lead me into their mind brain to experience what type of writer they were, it was an overall exquisite class. I believe that every person has a way of expressing who they are through writing stories of their own, fiction is the best way to express your creative imagination. This class that I took for two years helped me become a better writer and helped me understand the types of writers we have. The first book series I read that got me interested in creative writing was the Immortal Series, by Alyson Noel. I was never one for non-fiction, …show more content…
In this essay, the author
- Opines that taking a creative writing class helped them express their thoughts and feelings onto paper, as well as read other classmates' stories, which led them into their mind brain to experience what type of writer they were.
- Narrates how alyson noel's immortal series got them interested in creative writing. the cover was beautiful and mysterious, and the back was intriguing to set back down.
- Explains that ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person’s entire life story by touch. she avoids human contact and suppresses her abilities. damen auguste is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy.
- Analyzes how ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, leaving her with more questions than answers. she is falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.
- Opines that alyson noel's "what if" writing is like getting a taste of the unknown and how one would handle it.
- Recommends high school students attend such a class because it's interesting and educational, learns from other writers, and enjoys reading translated versions of stories from different countries.
- Analyzes how amy tan's chapter "the language of discretion" reminded them of an animal character who traveled to the "island of the free".
- Opines that writing stories gives one an appreciation and understanding for a good book. they believe that one's mind creates characters and scenes from their imagination, turning them into real possibilities.
- Explains that they didn't enjoy writing essays before entering high school, since they did not find it necessary to write a 5-page essay on 'to kill a mockingbird'
- Opines that books are fun for them to read if they can do it on their own time, not forced.
- Opines that writing as you wish, like creative writing, is enjoyable and can improve writing skills in a fun way.
- States l lennie ivrin's essay "what is academic writing?" that there is a myth that some assume they can't write because they have problems with grammatical correctness. good writing is about achieving your desired effect upon an intended audience.
- Explains how they started writing creatively when they were in fifth grade, when their teacher wanted them to write a journal entry every day, which helped them become creative writers.
I believe that writing stories gives you more of an appreciation and understanding for a good book. All of the ideas that make a book come alive is from one author with an amazing imagination, who can captivate someone’s mind and tuck them into their world for a few hours. Every day in class I was allowed one hour to dedicate my time into a story, it is almost like entering your main character’s mind and acting as if it was you. I never had any interest in writing before entering high school, I never enjoyed writing essays. I believe the reason was I did not find it necessary to write a 5-page essay on 'To Kill a Mockingbird '. In the real world we will write a page or two for job opportunities and some for the job itself, but hardly ever will you need to write an essay on some book or event in time; unless you went to college to become an English teacher, history teacher, lawyer, journalist, etc. Even though writing these essays were to help your "writing skills" why not write papers to help your future, such as; cover letters for future jobs, interview speeches, life goals, creative writing, or arguments for court cases if you wanted to be a lawyer? Books are only fun for me to read if I can do it on my own time with my own book, not
- Describes how middle school aided them in understanding letter writer and furthered their understanding of the essay.
- Explains that high school furthered their studies in reading and writing. they also learned how to write stories and write essays.
- Explains that they started to learn how to read and write in elementary school. as they got older and further in their education, they became better at reading and writing.
- Explains their favorite form of writing is creative writing, while their least favorite is writing a letter. they read the odyssey and macbeth for inspiration.
- Explains that they started to learn how to read and write in elementary school. as they grew older and further in their education, they got better at reading and writing.
- Describes how they started learning how to read and write during elementary school. elementary school taught them the basic understanding of writing an essay.
- Explains that they prefer creative writing over letter writing because they have freedom to make up anything. they prefer writing essays, though they may find it a chore.
- Explains that writing is one of their favorite things to do in their life. they love it when their awesome teacher gives them a writing assignment.
- Explains that in this class, we wrote more than 3 essays, but i should choose 3 of them, which i get a nice score and discuss about.
- Opines that people who are bilingual have a better ability to think because they can think in two languages that help them with career.
- Opines that cell phones should be allowed in schools because they increase safety, build on the learning process and school management. we need to save ourselves from old teaching ways and embrace the new technology.
- Concludes that they feel like they have accomplished a great idea about writing essays. after all the hours of writing, and putting effort into the papers, they will become better writers.
- Describes what coates said on page 51, "the craft of poetry...what my mother taught me all those years ago – the writing as the art of thinking."
- Explains that writing is a type of art because it requires you to think and be creative in the way you want it to be.
- Analyzes what coates meant when he said, "hate gives identity" on page 60. he meant people who are secretly hating you have an identity of you inside their head.
- Opines that love is an act of heroism. we roll our windows down and hand them a few dollars because of the loving heart of us.
- Analyzes how coates says that the god of history is an atheist. people in the history didn't believe in god. they had no one to rely on.
- Explains that having a black body can be disadvantaging, because you have to live like society want you to be, wear certain clothes, walk certain way, and know your place.
- Explains that critical thinking involves putting your mind to the ultimate test and testing the boundaries of your way of thinking.
- Explains that solving math problems can be tricky because if a person messes up on numbers, they could have an incorrect outcome. math and even writing forces people to think in depth and focus.
- Opines that overthinking could be a disadvantage in some instances. the gulliver's travels gives many examples of people who thought they were extremely knowledgeable because they meditated for as long as they could.
- Explains that the way a person thinks is the most important aspect to living. the medicine field is one of the more affective things that is result of critical thinking.
- Opines that critical thinking isn't necessary in today's technology-based world, citing the greenville news editor, elizabeth, who believes that a sloppy formatted news article would be horrifying.
- Explains that most people in today's society do not even know that they exist because no one ever gives good light to an editor doing good work.
- Explains that writing is key to a person's mind and how that individual thinks. our choices are what decides our future and what we will be doing in life.
- Opines that if we were in a world without thinking critically, where would we be? if no one cared to think and learn new things, we would not have cars, phones, or computers.
- Explains why critical thinking is absolutely necessary because employers are always wanted critical thinkers. employers need someone to trust with their company and the money that they have invested into it.
- Explains that critical thinking helps a person be open minded to the world around them. franklin college wants students to be accepting of others ideas or opinions, but also to stand or be able to help others understand why they would feel that way.
- Concludes that critically thinking is a part of life which is necessary and will help any person succeed in life.
- Explains that writing is universally known and used as a primary source of communication. it is taught, practiced, and perfected throughout the course of one's life.
- Explains that writing in college is assigned to teach you the skills necessary to appropriately communicate in the workplace and in classrooms by using critical thinking.
- Explains that the objective of academic writing is to communicate ideas. references and sources can be used to support ideas, which is why it is important to make connections between reading and writing.
- Opines that college writing differs from high school writing in terms of depth and analysis.
- Explains that college writing provides the opportunity to learn how to effectively express your knowledge and understanding about a subject to an audience, typically your teacher or peers.
- Explains that an essay is a continuous piece of writing ranging in length from at least 500 words to about 5,000 words for special or extended essays.
- Advises students to check out their course or department's requirements for their essay. knowing the answers to these questions will help them feel more confident about the task.
- Explains the general framework in which they approach their essay. now we'll examine the task.
- Explains that one needs to examine the precise wording of the question, and the assumptions behind it. does the topic require general treatment or specific reference to certain aspects?
- Explains the importance of highlighting the key words in the way the question is worded. they also suggest a list of key directive words commonly found in essay titles.
- Describes the merits of theories or opinions or the truth of facts; back their judgement by a discussion of evidence or reasoning involved.
- Opines that it is important to be selective in your approach to collecting material and writing up - choosing only material relevant to the answer of this question.
- Advises that if you're still unsure, ask your tutor. the tutor sets the question and won't be keen to see you waste valuable time.
- Explains the value of writing an essay. it helps you organize your thinking and develop your own point of view on issues.
- Opines that the ability to write a good essay isn't easy to learn. talented writers have the capability to reach into their soul and write from the heart.
- Explains that titles play an important role in the writing process. the title of an essay should not be the assignment given, or to restate the thesis, but it should attract the reader.
- Explains that an introduction is one of the most important parts of an essay because it keeps the reader's interest of what they are about.
- Explains the importance of details in an essay. they can range from speciflc facts to numerical figures.
- Explains that strong structure defines a clearly stated thesis that is supported by many specific details, examples, and facts. a structurally sound essay has no grammatical errors and proper spelling and punctuation.
- Opines that writing good essays will enable future students to present a clear and descriptive idea of the topic.
- Explains that writing is like showing magic tricks to them because the audiences don't know what will happen. writing essays is not something that you can do in one day.
- Explains that they chose "take the first step" and "the one who cares" as their first and last essays for the class.
- Explains that they are ready for ewrt 1a because they learned how to create a good attention grabber.
- Explains that writing a thesis is not as easy as people think. the main point is included in the thesis statement with your opinion and the reason for that opinion.
- Explains that they are still working on their grammar because they made a lot of mistakes while writing.
- Explains how unit 2 helped them strengthen their summary and response skills. they also learned how to effectively quote and paraphrase a text.
- Explains that they were asked to identify an issue in the umass community and conduct research to better understand the issue. they used library databases and the site's search narrowing tools to find articles related to their topic.
- Explains that unit 4 presented a unique challenge. students were asked to utilize photographs, and their ability to illustrate meaning without the use of words, to execute the assignment. the peer revision activities in class assisted them in shortening the writing.
- Explains how they learned about themselves as a writer by taking this class. they hoped to improve their writing and prepare themselves for college writing.
- Explains that the structure of the class was key to the organization of their ideas and helped them to organize their thoughts.
- Explains how unit 1 taught them to focus on each step in the writing process and how to think about each piece of the whole.
- RESEARCH PAPERS AND ESSAYS
- ESSAY TOPICS
- PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES
- Joseph Robinette Biden
- Donald Trump
- Barack Obama
- States Ranked by Size & Population
- States Ranked by Date
Essay On Creative Nonfiction
My writing experience.
Throughout the course of one’s education, the importance of reading and writing is emphasized very early on. Children learn to recognize and construct letters of the alphabet before grade school even begins. Kindergarten is where the first stages of word development start and from that point forward, the rules of writing are given emphasis. From simple guidelines such as the difference between nouns and verbs to more complex theories including rhetorical strategies and proper essay formatting, students are expected to keep up with the new levels of writing year by year and not one person misses out. As a student that has been in the public school system since the beginning, my writing experience has been extensive, full of countless rules and guidelines, and highly criticized, but could always use some more work.
English 101 Reflection Paper
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Prominent American painter and photographer, Chuck Close, once remarked “All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” Mr. Close wasn’t a writer, but his process-oriented mindset can be helpful in every line of work. The finest outcomes are created by those who do not cut corners to arrive at the conclusion prematurely. Students often become lost and overwhelmed by tasks which don’t have a predetermined outcome. We were raised to find the quickest way possible to complete a task and then execute that plan. We aren’t taught to just begin a task without an exact goal in mind. But this method can sometimes lead to the discovery of an even greater reward. In today’s society, we as writers are trained from an early age to reach a set objective by any means necessary. But when looking back on this concept, aren’t we missing the whole point of completing the assignment in the first place? In this paper, I will adopt this notion of starting a piece of writing without a specific end result in mind, in the hopes of discovering myself as a writer and developing a powerful paper in the process.
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Writing essays and other types of posts has always been difficult for me. But, throughout this composition class, I have learned many interesting and new things about the different types of writing styles. When starting this class, I considered myself to be an average writer with run-of-the-mill vocabulary, ordinary sentence structure and typical finished products. This class has helped me greatly improve my writing skills in a variety of ways. I have learned multiple things by taking this class, such as new ways to approach writing and that there is much that I still need to learn about composition.
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My journey in this English 3001 course during the past ten weeks, and over the course of taking is English class I have grown and learned more that I thought it is necessary for me to know as a student. I have improved in my overall writing skills because if you look at my second in-class essay and the rest of my essay you will see that I have made progress and improvement compare to my diagnostic essay and the first in-class essay. Moreover, now that I have completed the English course my skills are better that I am capable to meet the university standard writing requirements. This English course additionally taught me how powerful the composed word and language can be. This quarter my ability to compose essays and express my thoughts, ideas,
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Reflective Essay: What Is A Creative Nonfiction?
Show More When initially starting the nonfiction section, it took me, several classes, to decide what topic I was going to consider writing about for this assignment. However, throughout the unit and with the guidance of numerous effective exercises I narrowed down my topics and instantly started to write. However, as I wrote my creative nonfiction, my writing appeared quite dull with few images and details describing the setting. Consequently, as I revised my creative nonfiction, I started to add numerous details and images, however, my paragraphs began to become extremely lengthy. Furthermore, my paper lacked the suspense and build it required. However, throughout this unit and the workshop in class, I learned to shorten my paragraphs, add more images …show more content… After class, I went home and shortened several of my paragraphs and actually split a few of my extremely long paragraphs. Secondly, before the workshop, advice from Isaac and revising, my creative nonfiction seemed rather dull and possessed few images that described the setting or characters. However, after revising my paper I was able to add numerous images and details throughout my paper. Furthermore, Isaac proposed that I should add more descriptive aspects to make several events have increased suspense and to add details to deliver the feeling as if you are within the story. After class, I was able to add several details that add suspense throughout my story, in many of the key sections that were lacking suspense and details, which made the paper much more appeal and desirable to ready. In Conclusion, following the in-class workout and advice from definitely, I was able to add exercises images to my writing, build up suspense better , and shorten several of my paragraphs. Furthermore, many of the in-class examples and assignments greatly helped me with my creative nonfiction, and without the help of the numerous excerices my paper definetly wouldn't have come out as
Figurative language in jane yolen's owl moon.
writing toolkit for support, she should reference the checklists and mentor pieces with a close eye before moving on. Additionally, it's important for Ashley to be more reflective during the writing process so that her writing is clear and coherent for the…
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Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
Creative Nonfiction: An Overview
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This resource provides an introduction to creative nonfiction, including an overview of the genre and an explanation of major sub-genres.
The Creative Nonfiction (CNF) genre can be rather elusive. It is focused on story, meaning it has a narrative plot with an inciting moment, rising action, climax and denoument, just like fiction. However, nonfiction only works if the story is based in truth, an accurate retelling of the author’s life experiences. The pieces can vary greatly in length, just as fiction can; anything from a book-length autobiography to a 500-word food blog post can fall within the genre.
Additionally, the genre borrows some aspects, in terms of voice, from poetry; poets generally look for truth and write about the realities they see. While there are many exceptions to this, such as the persona poem, the nonfiction genre depends on the writer’s ability to render their voice in a realistic fashion, just as poetry so often does. Writer Richard Terrill, in comparing the two forms, writes that the voice in creative nonfiction aims “to engage the empathy” of the reader; that, much like a poet, the writer uses “personal candor” to draw the reader in.
Creative Nonfiction encompasses many different forms of prose. As an emerging form, CNF is closely entwined with fiction. Many fiction writers make the cross-over to nonfiction occasionally, if only to write essays on the craft of fiction. This can be done fairly easily, since the ability to write good prose—beautiful description, realistic characters, musical sentences—is required in both genres.
So what, then, makes the literary nonfiction genre unique?
The first key element of nonfiction—perhaps the most crucial thing— is that the genre relies on the author’s ability to retell events that actually happened. The talented CNF writer will certainly use imagination and craft to relay what has happened and tell a story, but the story must be true. You may have heard the idiom that “truth is stranger than fiction;” this is an essential part of the genre. Events—coincidences, love stories, stories of loss—that may be expected or feel clichéd in fiction can be respected when they occur in real life .
A writer of Creative Nonfiction should always be on the lookout for material that can yield an essay; the world at-large is their subject matter. Additionally, because Creative Nonfiction is focused on reality, it relies on research to render events as accurately as possible. While it’s certainly true that fiction writers also research their subjects (especially in the case of historical fiction), CNF writers must be scrupulous in their attention to detail. Their work is somewhat akin to that of a journalist, and in fact, some journalism can fall under the umbrella of CNF as well. Writer Christopher Cokinos claims, “done correctly, lived well, delivered elegantly, such research uncovers not only facts of the world, but reveals and shapes the world of the writer” (93). In addition to traditional research methods, such as interviewing subjects or conducting database searches, he relays Kate Bernheimer’s claim that “A lifetime of reading is research:” any lived experience, even one that is read, can become material for the writer.
The other key element, the thing present in all successful nonfiction, is reflection. A person could have lived the most interesting life and had experiences completely unique to them, but without context—without reflection on how this life of experiences affected the writer—the reader is left with the feeling that the writer hasn’t learned anything, that the writer hasn’t grown. We need to see how the writer has grown because a large part of nonfiction’s appeal is the lessons it offers us, the models for ways of living: that the writer can survive a difficult or strange experience and learn from it. Sean Ironman writes that while “[r]eflection, or the second ‘I,’ is taught in every nonfiction course” (43), writers often find it incredibly hard to actually include reflection in their work. He expresses his frustration that “Students are stuck on the idea—an idea that’s not entirely wrong—that readers need to think” (43), that reflecting in their work would over-explain the ideas to the reader. Not so. Instead, reflection offers “the crucial scene of the writer writing the memoir” (44), of the present-day writer who is looking back on and retelling the past. In a moment of reflection, the author steps out of the story to show a different kind of scene, in which they are sitting at their computer or with their notebook in some quiet place, looking at where they are now, versus where they were then; thinking critically about what they’ve learned. This should ideally happen in small moments, maybe single sentences, interspersed throughout the piece. Without reflection, you have a collection of scenes open for interpretation—though they might add up to nothing.
The complete subject is the entire phrasal part of the sentence that describes the subject, while the simple subject is composed of the main noun and is usually just one word. To identify the subject of a sentence, it is important to look f...
A simple subject is the main noun a sentence is about, while a complete subject consists of all the words a sentence is about. For example, in the sentence, “The brown dog chews a bone,” the simple subject is “dog,” while the complete subje...
Some examples of nonfiction writing are cookbooks, autobiographies, dictionaries and fact books that give information on people, places or things. Most types of nonfiction writing fall within the categories of informational texts, how-to bo...
In the hunt for good subject matter, the brainstorming sessions in class were very helpful. Writing a good paper seemed to not only have writing skill to
I use the excuse that I don't have time to give something like creative nonfiction the time it needs to really be good. So instead I just write
The aim of reflection is to make sense of the story, but it is not used to tell the story. (The voice of innocence does that.) Memoirists use
to more standard nonfiction subgenres, creative nonfiction writing focuses on story and tone. During this subject material, the brainstorming sessions at school
View cnf-reflection.docx from ENGISH 584 at San Diego State University. REFLECTION Creative non-fiction In this subject, I learned many things such as
Shelbi Gambrell Nonfiction Reflection The nonfiction genre allows the reader and writer to learn about a topic they particularly enjoy or one that they know
Reading stories created by other people lead me into their mind brain to experience what type of writer they were, it was an overall exquisite class. I believe
She started her paper in a very formal tone and ended in vulgarity. She used this piece to express how she felt going through a traumatic situation. She did
When initially starting the nonfiction section, it took me, several classes, to decide what topic I was going to consider writing about for this assignment.
Creative Nonfiction Is Not · A reflection piece - the purpose of the narrative should be to provoke a deeper discussion of a topic. · About the writer - even if
A person could have lived the most interesting life and had experiences completely unique to them, but without context—without reflection on how this life of