Thursday, August 17, 2017

Creative Nonfiction

I have been on a fiction-writing hiatus (although I have two finished manuscripts I finished this spring) because I've been working on creative non-fiction personal essays instead. Two classes from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri in their Masters of Fine Arts in Writing program are teaching me about this topic (no, I'm not finishing the master's program), and I've been very surprised and pleased with what I've learned. 

Creative nonfiction is very like fiction writing only working with factual information and aimed at informing, helping, or entertaining the reader about life events, how we all have similar ones, how the author handled them, and introspection about being human. Surprisingly, I discovered I had already written some such as 'The Night Diamond Reo Burned.'  Yet for me, it was more about recording a memory than engaging the reader.

The craft uses the formulas of fiction's plot, setting, and character to tell a story or goes much further. The can be contemplative, or spiritual (though not necessarily religious), or memoirs that capture memories that lead to greater understanding, and like all writing can cover any number of topics from family, to job or nature to travel, in a variety of ways. The most unusual I've found is the lyrical essay that is supposed to have elements similar to poetry.

I'll be posting some of my efforts here and perhaps continue doing them.

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