Telling truth like a story.
(NOTE: the information is gleaned from numerous articles and how-to-instructions including How to Write Creative Non-fiction by Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge. (On KOBO) (www.donnakakonge.com)
(Examples and stories are my own.)
CHARACTERISTICS OF CREATIVE NON-FICTION
* the writing is dramatic
* it can have several POVs
* allows more freedom than straight journalism, which is just the facts.
It’s facts plus a sprinkle of imagination.
This form of storytelling is just one of the forms of memoir or creative non-fiction
•The focus is told in one sentence with the word “because” in it. These is not a theme or a premise. It is why the story matters.
•My father is my hero because he has courage in unexpected situations
•My life is rich and full because my parents and siblings are present and participating in my life.
• Beginning, middle and end
- As with most stories, creative non-fiction has a set-up, the middle action and a conclusion.
PROCESS - 5 STEPS
1. Think of a story from your past.
- Write down the emotional truth.
- Write down the factual truth.
- Write a focus statement.
2. Defining emotional truth vs factual truth.
F.T. –action, items, details that were reality anyone could see
E.T –how you felt at the time –the feeling from the heart
3. Next come the “so what’s.”
•Why might this story matter?
Lesson? Entertainment? Warning?
•What about it could resonate with others?
•Does it offer a shared basic life truth?
•Can others see themselves in your story?
•Does it capture an element of your family’s past that might influence the newer generations?
* Can you look back now and see what has changed in your life?
* Does it highlight the perceptions of people at different stages of life?
4. Retrieving the Memories
•All of our senses trigger memory.
Smell is said to be the most powerful memory trigger.
•Use: pictures, family and friends stories, favorite foods, visit places from the past.
· Sniff things, touch items, eat a favorite, remembered food
· Listen to old songs and flip through photos
· Close your eyes and relive the moments
· Notice when a memory is triggered by something around you
5. Deciding how to tell it-tragedy or comedy, heartwarming or heart wrenching?
•Tragedy is a sad ending that could have been prevented, often by the participants (Romeo and Juliet).
•Comedy stirs amusement or makes you laugh
•Many stories can be told two ways- choose yours
Define what YOUR story is really about. One of these, or somewhere in between.
6. •WHO, •WHAT, •WHEN, •WHERE •WHY AND •HOW
- Answer the 5 W's and the How
- Why do you remember this story?
- What is it emotionally about for you?
- (or the family member if you are telling another person's story.)
- Use details to draw the reader into the experience of the story.
THINKING OF YOUR STORY:
- Write your focus statement.
- Tell your story.
- Include all the details. The factual truth.
- What is your emotional truth? Weave in the feeling associated with the story.
- Write about a half page focus paragraph which summarizes your story and includes the word because.
MORE RESEARCH LINKS:
127 Prompts To Complete Before You Write About Yourself - Writers Write. ...
THE CALEB COVE MYSTERY SERIES
THE LEFT-BEHIND BRIDE
TOOLS NOT RULES - write your book, your way