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Creative Writing Nonfiction

Creative Writing Nonfiction

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Published by mfadhil10

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Published by: mfadhil10 on May 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to Write Creative NonfictionWhat Writing Style is Best?
A good writing style is based on “simplicity.” In
On Writing Well
, a best selling classic onhow to write creative nonfiction, the author William Zinsser wrote that simplicity is the basis
of good writing. The writer must “strip every sentence to its cleanest components.”
 Zinsser also said that clear thinking leads to clear writing. To write clearly, the writer needsto ask: What am I trying to say? After writing , the writer needs to ask: Have I said what Iwanted to say?But there are many other ways to improve your writing style when writing a personal essay,memoir, travel article,
and so forth. This article defines the term “writing style” as it applies
to creative nonfiction, and it provides 25 tips or suggestions that you can use to improve yourwriting style.
How to Improve Your Style
There are many ways you can improve your writing style. Here are 25 suggestions on how towrite good creative nonfiction:1.
Be yourself when writing.
In other words, use a genuine writing style. Write in a
way that comes naturally. Don’t put on airs.”Don’t deliberately garnish your prose.
Use your own language. Tell your reader something interesting using words that come
naturally to you. Use the first person point of view. When the genre doesn’t permit“I”, imagine that you are telling a personal story. You can do this by sharing personal
opinions, thoughts, emotions, and memories.2.
Simplify your prose.
Begin by making every word count. Each word should have afunction. Eliminate the clutter. For instance: Replace a long sentence with a shortersentence. Delete redundancies and nominalizations. Change the passive constructionto the active voice. For more information, read
The Elements of Style
by Strunk andWhite.3.
Use the active voice.
To do this, the verb should perform the action for the subject.Example:Bobby Bonds slugged the baseball out of the park.4.
Use action verbs.
These are verbs used to indicate an action, such as researched,wrote, edit, typed, and so on.5.
Write with nouns and verbs.
The noun is the subject of the sentence and the verbperforms that action of the subject. Example: The professo
r instructed the class…Thestudent wrote a personal essay….The employer hired the candidate.
Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly.
Most adjectives and adverbs are unnecessary.They create clutter in your writing. Find the noun that accurately describes the subjectrather than using adjective + noun combination. Use the adjective only when it is
necessary. Find the verb that accurately describes the action rather than using a verb +adverb combination. Most adverbs are unnecessary and due to careless writing.7.
Avoid using qualifiers.
Eliminate words that qualify how you feel and think, such as
“very, “quite”, “merely”, “extremely”, and so on. Qualifiers create clutter.
Vary the length and pattern of your sentences.
Use simple, compound, complexsentences. Use periodic, loose, and antithesis sentences. Use sentence fragments whenrequired.9.
Emphasize important ideas by placing them at the beginning or end of yoursentence.
Example: After completing the degree, he wrote poetry, short stories, and anovel.10.
Place the most important idea in the independent clause.
Use effective transitions between sentences and paragraphs.
For instance, to createflow within a paragraph, you can use pronoun reference, repeat key words, useparallel structure, use transitional expressio
ns, such as “also”, therefore, and“consequently.”
Make the paragraph the unit of composition.
Use a topical sentence for eachparagraph. It tells your readers what your paragraph is about. All other sentenceswithin each paragraph need to provide support or relate to the topical sentence.13.
Develop your paragraphs using the appropriate method of development.
Yourmethod of development will depend on the purpose of your paragraph. For example:If you are telling a story, use narrative. If you want to want to answer a question, usequestion and answer. If you want to describe something, use description.14.
Organize your work.
Popular methods include chronological order, logical order,and topical order. For example, a personal essay is often written in chronologicalorder, while an article is usually written in topical order.15.
Use dialogue
to develop character, reveal a fact, or advance the narrative.16.
When appropriate, you can begin a sentence with a
coordinator conjunction
(And,but, for, nor, or, so, yet), and
end a sentence with a verb or preposition.
Show, don’t tell your reader.
To show the reader, dramatize the narrative. Usesensory language, write dialogue, and construct action scenes.18.
Provide concrete and specific details.
You don’t have to include all the d
etails, justthe important ones. Concrete details can be perceived by the senses. So, use languagethat appeals to the senses, such as the sense of sight, smell, taste, touch. Concretedetails are also precise. They tell the readers exactly what they need to know.
Example: He gave her one red rose for Valentine’s Day.

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