For this “Bookend” I’m supposed to tell you about my Theory on creative non-fiction. I know, it sounds totally interesting and is totally relevant to your life right now….sarcasm, what a wonderful thing. But as much as I would like to talk about something else, I can’t because I would get an “F” on this part….I told you this was for class. Anyway, now to this exciting, mind blowing, game changing, world stopping theory I have.
First off what makes an effective creative nonfiction writing piece? That is the question …. Well there are a lot of possible answers to that. There is no one way to write creative nonfiction, I mean it’s a pretty big genre so you could do a number of things. There are personal stories, concrete and abstract ideas, or just ideological ramblings about one thing or another. There is no one way to write a piece of writing work, it’s like saying there’s only one way to draw on a piece of paper. But what makes these things effective, what stirs a reaction in the people reading? That’s what we’re trying to figure out here.
Well that is also different for everyone. Some people are drawn to personal stories that delve into the emotions of the writer, others prefer to read something they have never thought of, some new discovery to learn. The effectiveness varies from person to person depending on what sort of writing reaches them. For me, however, I prefer a balance of everything. I like personal stories, just not if they are the entirety of the piece. If it is just a personal story with no real point or deeper meaning that can relate to me, I won’t want to read it because I will think it’s boring. I like philosophical ideas I have never heard of, just not if there unrelated to the writer or the reader and just explained with no connection to the world. A perfect balance of these things is most interesting to me because I can both read something that connects me with the writer and causes me to think. When both of those things are satisfied I’m pretty happy. But that’s just me, you could be totally different.
When writing it there are some things to keep in mind:
While writing creative nonfiction, writers should dwell on sensory details, trying to use all the senses when they are writing. This helps readers/your audience to visualize what you are saying….you know imagery and all that.
In creative nonfiction, writers attempt to observe, record, and thus shape a moment(s) from real life. But not necessarily all the time. Writers thus try to extract meaning through factual details to make their piece stronger and creditable. So putting in facts is good for your piece, again they will make it stronger.
At the same time, successful creative nonfiction attempts to overlay fact with traditional conceptions of dramatic structure. So this is not necessarily a structured, cookie cutter essay you would write in high school. It can have a beginning, a middle, and an end…but they don’y have to be in that order.
Also add your voice when writing. unless the point of your piece is to keep your voice completely out of the limelight, put your voice in. Your voice is just your thoughts, the way you write and stuff. For example, I write how I talk so it is like i am talking to you. once you find your voice (that sounds cheesy) find a way to use it effectively.
-Well that’s all I can really think of at the moment. Again I am not an expert in the subject of creative non-fiction. I do not have a degree that says “Kaley Montel now has supreme knowledge of all things creative non-fiction.” So this is just my friendly advice, you can take it if you want because what do I know? Sarcasm: Was that not totally interesting? Don’t you feel like totally enlightened by my wise wisdom? This has bettered your life in ways you can’t even imagine. Is your mind blown? Cause mine sure is…