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Creative Nonfiction. Overview Intro to creative nonfiction Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Activity Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue.

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Presentation on theme: "Creative Nonfiction. Overview Intro to creative nonfiction Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Activity Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creative Nonfiction

2 Overview Intro to creative nonfiction Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Activity Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

3 Creative nonfiction merges the boundaries between literary art (fiction, poetry) and research nonfiction (statistical, fact-filled, run of the mill journalism). It is writing composed of the real, or of facts, that employs the same literary devices as fiction such as setting, voice/ton, character development, etc. This makes it different (more “creative”) than standard nonfiction writing. What is creative nonfiction? Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

4 What is creative nonfiction? Creative nonfiction should: 1.Include accurate and well-researched info 2.Hold the interest of the reader 3.Potentially blur the realms of fact and fiction in a pleasing, literary style (while remaining grounded in fact) Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

5 Creative nonfiction should: 1.Include accurate and well-researched info 2.Hold the interest of the reader 3.Potentially blur the realms of fact and fiction in a pleasing, literary style (while remaining grounded in fact) Long story short: creative nonfiction can be as experimental as fiction—it just needs to be based in reality. What is creative nonfiction? Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

6 Types Memoir Personal Essay The short short Literary Journalism (“big idea” stories) The lyric essay Nature Travel Profile Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

7 Types Memoir A memoir is a longer piece of creative nonfiction that delves deep into a writer’s personal experience. It typically uses multiple scenes/stories as a way of examining a writer’s life (or an important moment in a writer’s life). It is usually, but not necessarily, narrative. Personal Essay The short short Literary Journalism (“big idea” stories) The lyric essay Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

8 Types Memoir Personal Essay A piece of writing, usually in the first person, that focuses on a topic through the lens of the personal experience of the narrator. It can be narrative or non-narrative—it can tell a story in a traditional way or improvise a new way for doing so. Ultimately, it should always be based on true, personal experience. The short short Literary Journalism (“big idea” stories) The lyric essay Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

9 Types Memoir Personal Essay The Short Short A short/short is a (typically) narrative work that is concise and to the point. It uses imagery and details to relay the meaning, or the main idea of the piece. Typically it’s only one or two scenes, and is like a flash of a moment that tells a whole story. Literary Journalism (“big idea” stories) The lyric essay Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

10 Types Memoir Personal Essay The Short Short Literary Journalism (“big idea” stories) Uses techniques of journalism (interviews, research, reviews, etc.) and literary practices to capture the scene/setting of the assignment of the persona of the person being interviewed. However unlike journalism, literary journalism isn’t entirely objective because the people being interviewed already have their own subjective views about the world. Therefore, by taking the “objectiveness” out of the journalistic process, the writer is being more truthful. The lyric essay Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

11 Memoir Personal Essay The Short Short Literary Journalism (“big idea” stories) The lyric essay The lyric essay is similar to the personal essay in that it also deals with a topic that affects the reader. However, the lyric essay relies heavily on descriptions and imagery. Lyrical suggests something poetic, musical, or flowing (in a sense). This type of piece uses a heavily descriptive, flowing tone in order to tell a story. Types Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character

12 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Smell Touch/Sensation Sight Taste Sound Senses

13 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Senses Smell From Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential: And the smell of thirty not very fastidious cooks—their sodden work boots and sneakers, armpits, cologne, fungal feet, rotten breath—and the ambient odor of moldering three-day-old uniforms, long- forgotten pilfered food stashes hidden in lockers to which the combination was unknown, all combined to form a noxious, penetrating cloud that followed you home and made you smell as if you’d been rolling around in sheep guts. Touch/Sensation Sight Taste Sound

14 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Senses Smell Touch/Sensation From Ryszard Kapuscinski’s The Shadow of the Sun: What can bring relief? The only thing that really helps is if someone covers you. But not simply throw a blanket or quilt over you. This thing you are being covered with must crush you with its weight, squeeze you, flatten you. You dream of being pulverized. You desperately long for a steamroller to pass over you. Sight Taste Sound

15 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Senses Smell Touch/Sensation Sight From William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways: On a front porch threatened with a turbulence of blooming vegetation, a man stood before his barbeque grill, the ghostly blue smoke rising like incense. His belly a drooping bag, his face slack, he watched the coals burn to a glow. Taste Sound

16 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Senses Smell Touch/Sensation Sight Taste From Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s Around the Bloc: …Chinese had been drinking snake blood for at least 1,000 years for its cooling properties, as a way to purify their bodies. Moreover, this was my last banquet with my colleagues. How could I refuse? So I took a deep breath, tilted my head back, and chugged the blood. It burned like vodka and left a trail of residue. Just then, a burp escaped. A primal one, with an aftertaste. My colleagues looked at me in surprise. Smiles crept across their faces as I unsheathed my chopsticks and gave them a good rub, like a butcher sharpening her knives. “Hao chi,” I said nonchalantly. Tasty. Sound

17 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Senses Smell Touch/Sensation Sight Taste Sound From Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Mud became a feature in our lives. We trudged through it, stumbled and fell in it, knelt in it, set our packs down in it, left a streak of it on everything we touched. And always when you moved there was the maddening, monotonous sound of your nylon going wiss, wiss, wiss until you wanted to take a gun and shoot it.

18 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Memoir vs. Autobiography Autobiography Who writes autobiography? Famous people When? End of life Why? Set the facts straight What structure? Chronologically Span? Entirety of life Memoir Who writes memoir? Anyone When? Any time Why? Entertain and enlighten What structure? Whatever fits the function Span? One incident, one aspect (narrow focus)

19 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Types of Memoirs Coming of age Adversity Relationship Career Travel Awakening Extreme living Humor Graphic (pictures) Lyric

20 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Elements of CNF Language—style, craft, art Person—voice Accuracy—verifiable Urgency—why here, why now Surprise—confound expectations Complexity—layers Ambition—if you already know the end of the essay when you sit down to write it, don’t write it. Intelligence—learn something by the end of the essay (both reader and writer) _pg1.html _pg1.html

21 Intro Types Senses Setting Lists Dialogue Character Character/Dialogue

22 Activity Pump some life back into these trite expressions: Heart of stone  heart of ________ Cold as ice  cold as _______ Sharp as a tack  sharp as _______ Pretty as a picture  pretty as _______ Cute as a button  cute as _______ Cry like a baby  cry like _______ Work like a dog  work like _______ Run like the wind  work like _______ My stomach rumbled  my stomach _______ My heart skipped a beat  my heart _______


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