There ARE a lot of choices, aren’t there?
I like to think of our nonfiction choices existing along a spectrum depending on how far (or near) the writer is from the material she or he is writing.
On one end, Article Writing. Learning how to write articles for newspapers, magazines, or websites, print or digital.
Say you have a compelling story to tell. It’s not about you or anyone you know, or about something you did or experienced. But you think it’s interesting, and you think others will find it pretty interesting, too. You want to learn how to present ‘just the facts, ma’am’, but how to relate those facts with a storyteller’s flair.
We’re not talking front-page news here, but rather the story behind the story. Not “Hurricane Harvey Hits Texas” but how caravans of students from sororities and fraternities who had started at U of Texas/Austin just weeks before traveled to Houston to hand out water and offer a kind word to those who Harvey had flooded out of their homes. Article Writing I will break it all down for you, and help you report that story.
But what if YOU were one of those students, and wanted to tell the world what it was like to hand out that water and offer that kind word? Well, that’s the other end: Memoir Writing. The how to’s of writing first-person true stories carved out of the larger story of your life.
And in the middle? Essay & Opinion. Learning how to write about those do-gooding caravans of kids and opining on what you think that means about this generation of young people. So, not your story, but not neutral, either.
Of course, if you know you want to tell true stories, but you’re not sure what shade of true you want to pursue, take Creative Nonfiction 101 and you’ll get the whole Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat of choices. A bit on article, memoir, and essay, but also profiles, travel pieces, and reviews in a tidy little 6-week exploration.
There are so many ways to go when it comes to creative nonfiction. And figuring out what’s right for you can be its own super-confusing narrative. Call us! We’re always happy to help. True story.