Creative Non-fiction: How creative can one be?

Discussion in 'Nonfiction Writing' started by JNichols2, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. JNichols2

    JNichols2 New Member

    A few semesters back, I took a very interesting course at my university that focused on writing various forms of creative non-fiction. A common theme of the semester, especially during the memoir unit, was how creative can one be in their writing and still consider it to be non-fiction? When I began writing, I did not think that this would be an issue for me, but as I tackled more personal topics I found myself wanted to portray those who I cared about in a more positive light. Additionally, a part of me wanted to tweak details of events to make them seem more dramatic. This brings me to my question: Are we, when writing a piece to be categorized as creative non-fiction, expected to tell only the truth about the events we are writing about? Where do we draw the line between writing creatively and lying?
  2. Recce

    Recce New Member

    Nonfictional writing is factual based writing. The key highlights of the nonfictional article or piece are the facts,underlying or otherwise. What is fact?Fact is the undisputed,undeniable truth about a particular subject or occurrence. In other words,something that is known and proven to be true. With that said,I am therefore of the opinion that even when writing a piece that falls under the category of creative nonfiction, one must stick to the facts at hand and write only the truth about the events they are writing about. There are other ways of being creative when writing nonfictional articles and a good writer should refrain from compromising the facts as these are the main basis for the articles existence.

    In regards to your second question,I am of the view that lying is quite distinct from creative writing. Lying completely dilutes and distorts the very substance of the facts at hand and must be avoided at all costs. As earlier mentioned there are various ways of incorporating creativity into nonfictional writing. This can be achieved by the use of creative language and a closer examination of the facts that the article is based on to discover and highlight the interesting aspects of the facts at hand. After all nonfictional creative writing is creative writing backed by facts and that makes it all the more exhilarating. Therefore the line must be drawn where the adulteration of the facts seems likely to begin and jealously preserve the integrity of the facts.
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

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