The Creative Nonfiction

Literature 2 Lecture Series University of San Carlos

The Creative Nonfiction
It used to be called personal journalism or literary journalism or new journalism or parajournalism. DEFINITION: Creative nonfiction is nonfiction prose which utilizes the techniques and strategies of fiction.

. Theodore A.The Creative Nonfiction Creative nonfiction requires the skill of the storyteller and the research ability of the reporter. Rees Cheney Lee Gutkind points out that the main objective of CN is to teach in a manner that the most resistant reader will be interested in learning more.

” . interprets them. It is a “more imaginative approach to reporting.The Creative Nonfiction This type of writing. It elaborates on the facts. and. but does much more. begins with the facts. presents them in an interesting and engaging way. more significantly.

1). that has at heart an interest in enduring human values: foremost a fidelity to accuracy. to truthfulness” (Forche and Gerard 2001.” The writer of creative nonfiction presents the world-or that slice of it that he/she wishes to focus on-through the prism of his own personality.The Creative Nonfiction It is a “fact-based writing that remains compelling. undiminished by the passage of time. . The keyword is “personal.

is highly regarded as a modern model for this type of nonfiction narrative. . collected in Byline: Ernest Hemingway (1968).The Creative Nonfiction U-DISCUSS: Practitioners of the art believe that they may “even come a little closer to the truth.” Hemingway’s journalistic pieces.

or mislead readers.The Creative Nonfiction The writer of creative nonfiction may not alter facts in the interest of improving his/her story. The writer must nor deliberately misquote his sources. misconstrue their statements. .

This is tricky ground. . Sometimes this involves imagining scenes or even conversations that did not actually happen.The Creative Nonfiction The writer is expected to write compelling stories about real life. and in doing so he must employ all the devices and strategies available to the fictionist. and the writer would be well advised to tread softly here.

Nick Joaquin writes: Eyes flashing and fists clenched. Luna entered the house and ran upstairs. 178). (1977. Luna was met by his mortal foe. .The Creative Nonfiction In “Would Luna Have Been a Strongman?” an account of the assassination of Antonio Luna. after slapping a sentry who had been too unnerved to salute. who told him that Aguinaldo had gone to San Isidro. Felipe Buencamino. Upstairs.

” . The “eyes flashing and fists clenched” is imagined by the author in the interest of an imaginative reconstruction of the event. what Virginia Woolf once recommended to writers of biography as the “creative fact.The Creative Nonfiction One assumes that the slapping of the sentry is documented.

invent a travelling companion who would serve as foil to the narrator by presenting entirely different impressions of the placess described. .The Creative Nonfiction Literary memoir or a travel essay (travelogue/itinerary) it might be useful to say.

56).The Creative Nonfiction What are the types of creative nonfiction? • Literary journalism – (what used to be called “new journalism”). .writing in a personal way about the facts in a news event-which is still close to traditional reportage. • Literary memoir – what Annie Dillard referred to when she said that “works of nonfiction can be coherent and crafted works of literature” (1995.

The Creative Nonfiction Between those two poles would fall a whole range of other types of writing: • the magazine feature article • the newspaper column as cultural commentary • the review • the interview story • the character sketch • the biographical sketch or profile • the personal (or familiar) essay • the autobiographical sketch .

But the term “article” usually refers to a “feature” in a magazine or newspaper or e-zine. . it thus tends to address a specific type of reader (the particular market of the periodical or website) in which it appears.The Creative Nonfiction Essay and article are often used interchangeably.

Literary journalism or new journalism is writing in a personal way about the facts in a news event.The Creative Nonfiction A profile is an in-depth article or essay that concentrates on one person or place. .

travel narratives.The Creative Nonfiction Personal narratives. or “life stories.).) .g. interview stories. etc. memoirs. and biographical narratives (e. etc. character sketches..g.” as they ar now called may be divided into: autobiographical narratives..(e. journals.

“literature”? How about an interview story? or a column? or a movie review? Is “literariness” a matter of subject or style or approach or tone? For the matter. hence. 354.) . should we be worrying about these distinctions at all? Are not all these materials simply “texts?” (2002. when does a story or narrative become an essay? And given the paradigms of poststructuralist criticism.The Creative Nonfiction Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo have written: But when does a feature article become an essay.

summary. a clearly defined point-of-view. and be presented through scene. The main point for CN is to handle the subjectwhatever it might be-as a “human interest” story. and description. .The Creative Nonfiction The strategies of creative nonfiction are very much like the strategies of fiction. What this means is simply that a good piece of creative nonfiction has a personal voice. which will reveal itself in the tone.

Strategies of Creative Nonfiction • • • • • • approach point-of-view tone voice structure a strong beginning • rhetorical techniques • character • concrete and evocative details • scene • a convincing ending .

It is this discovery. the triumph of the quest. which the reader looks for when he agrees to participate in the words about CN… One way of looking at what happens in a work of creative nonfiction is this: it is a personal account of a quest. this insight. The point is the discovery. .

final words about CN… Presenting it as a quest-an exciting explorationand not just as a bare listing of events or facts or steps or developments or trends-this is the challenge faced by the writer of creative nonfiction. Q: Are you ready for this kind of CHALLENGE? .

2003. Creative Nonfiction: A Reader Edited by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo The University of the Philippines Press. .SOURCES Creative Nonfiction: A Manual for Filipino Writers Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo The University of the Philippines Press. 2005.

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