Posts Tagged ‘Using fiction techniques for nonfiction’

Today’s Writers’ Tip: Meet the Author Michelle Trostle


The smell of fresh pine filling our home.  The glow of the lit tree in a dark room.  The manger scene carefully placed in full view.  The squeals of delight from our nieces.  The knowledge that God, who is greater than I can imagine, sent His only Son to earth so I might be reunited with Him.   These are just a few of the things that make the Christmas season magical to me.

There are so few things that bring wonder in our fast-paced, productivity-driven culture.  I am a firm believer that learning opportunities for our children should be filled with magical moments.  Whether school is a building across town or a room down the hall, learning should be more magical and less chore.  It is out of this desire to share the magic of learning that I created the Wondering About Weather learning series. Wondering About Rain, the first unit in the Wondering About Weather learning series, is a 39-page magical journey in which two students, Tress Preston and Hannah Helper, travel across the globe under the guidance of Professor C. Cristata in search of answers to their questions about rain. The activities and story in Wondering About Rain are designed to address the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts while teaching content aligned with the National Science Teachers Association: Next Generation Science Standards. The unit concludes with a short Adventure Quiz, testing the student’s grasp of the concepts taught in the unit.  Watch for Wondering About Rain coming soon to Amazon.

My love of education prompted me to become a certified teacher, reading specialist, and school administrator.  I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters of Education in Reading and Language Arts.  During my career in public education, I worked with students and teachers in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Writing educational materials allows me to use my experiences and knowledge to the benefit of a larger audience.

When I’m not working, I like to spend time with family and friends, crochet, and garden.  I volunteer at my church by coordinating Sunday morning singing for children in grades one through five and teaching classes for adults on Wednesday evenings.  I also volunteer with Bunny People, a no-kill rabbit shelter.  One of my goals is to own an angora rabbit and learn to spin yarn from the harvested wool of the rabbit.  Did you know that angora wool is ten times warmer than sheep wool?  I didn’t!  But I am sure looking forward to the hat I’m planning to crochet.

Follow me on twitter @TrostleMichelle and Like my page on Facebook www.facebook.com/trostlestreasures .

May your Christmas be filled with magical moments.

Author Michelle Trostle

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Writers’ Tip: Creative Nonfiction


Maple Tree Weighed Down

Here I am again after one very early 10-inch surprise snowstorm in central PA and a lot of tree damage later. The weather warmed up yesterday and melted practically all of the white stuff, leaving a lot of downed limbs for my hubby to clean up.

For this blog, I thought I’d share some valuable nonfiction tips for you who like writing in that genre. Thanks to author Patti Souder, who spoke at our Susquehanna Valley Writers Workshop on October 8th, we have some tips to share with you folks who like to dabble with nonfiction genres.

Patti has been writing articles, drama sketches, and nonfiction books for over 20 years. She also has taught creative writing on the college level, so her suggestions are well worth noting.

I’ve listed the highlights of her one workshop session 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:

  1. Develop characters.
  2. Use dialogue.
  3. Include details.
  4. Adopt an effective point-of-view: use inner thoughts.
  5. Limit your tag lines.

Incorporate poetic elements to increase your artistry:

1.        Use imagery to create sensory impressions.

2.        Borrow from nature: Example – a moth beating its wings against a window can picture the frustration of helpless people when oppressed by authority.

3.        Use metaphors

4.       Vary your rhythm, style, and length of sentences.


Important Elements to Remember


Creative nonfiction is NONFICTION:

  1. Be factual.
  2. Anchor your manuscript in real experience.
  3. Do your research.

Creative nonfiction requires PERSONAL PRESENCE:

  1. Go beyond mere facts.
  2. Add your voice.
  3. Share personal perspectives and reflections.
  4. But remember that your writing MUST be grounded in actual experiences.

Don’t avoid challenges:

  1. If you’ve written the truth, let the challenges come.
  2. 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 it be 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 nonfiction work! Just remember, your nonfiction can get “weighed down” if you use boring techniques. Spruce it up with some hints from an experienced published author!

Limbs Weighed Down

Next time we’ll discuss how to handle those nasty rejections from those editors at the publishing companies.

Happy writing!



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