Creative nonfiction? How can you be creative writing “the truth”?
This blog post is loaded with some valuable nonfiction tips for you who like writing in that genre. Thanks to author Patti Souder, who has shared this information at writers’ conferences, we have some tips that will spruce up your writing and make it publishing ready.
In a proverbial nutshell, I’ve listed the highlights of one of her workshops entitled “Creative Nonfiction: An Oxymoron?” So if you’re a nonfiction writer, take note of the excellent advice this experienced published author suggests.
Literary Elements Used to Create CREATIVE NONFICTION
Borrow from fiction techniques:
- Develop characters.
- Use dialogue.
- Include details.
- Adopt an effective point-of-view: Use inner thoughts.
- Limit your tag lines.
Incorporate poetic elements to increase your artistry:
- Use imagery to create sensory impressions.
- Borrow from nature: Example – a moth beating its wings against a window can picture the frustration of helpless people when oppressed by authority.
- Use metaphors
- Vary your rhythm, style, and length of sentences.
Important Elements to Remember
Creative nonfiction is NONFICTION:
- Be factual.
- Anchor your manuscript in real experience.
- Do your research.
Creative nonfiction requires PERSONAL PRESENCE:
- Go beyond mere facts.
- Add your voice.
- Share personal perspectives and reflections.
- But remember that your writing MUST be grounded in actual experiences.
Don’t avoid the challenges you might face from folks who question your writing:
- If you’ve written the truth, let the challenges come.
- Be ready to back your manuscript with research findings, testimonies, and recorded facts.
So, there you have some excellent tips on writing “creative nonfiction.” Whether drama, personal interest articles, drama sketches, or biographies, you can make your writing come alive with a fiction spark if you incorporate some fiction techniques in your work! Just remember, your nonfiction can get “weighed down” if you use boring techniques. Spruce it up with some hints from Patti, an experienced published author!
Director of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference
P.S. If you’re interested in memoirs or writing for Guideposts, don’t miss next July’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference. B.J. Taylor, representing Inspiring Voices and Guideposts, will present a Major Morning series on those topics.
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