INKWELL NEWSWATCH 
Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

INdex 
 
 INside Scoop
 
 ON THE COVER
 
 INside AUTHORS
 
 COLUMNS
 IN Her Own Write
 INscribe
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 INstruction
 
 WRITER'S LIFE
 Fiction
 Nonfiction
 Screen & Stage
 Poetry
 
 TOOL KIT
 Top 10 Resources
 Advice/Q&A
 Features
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 
 INside CHUCKLES
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 
 FREEdom STUFF
 Classifieds
 Syndication
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 
 ABOUT IN
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Submissions
 Editorial Calendar
 Advertising
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover




Search

Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer



Vote daily and raise our ranking!


TOOL KIT
Items Of INterest
January, 2008


Fear Of Writing

The Truth Behind Creative Nonfiction
Just the flavourful facts
By  Judy L. Adourian

Order this book from Amazon!
I
t all began in 1965 with Truman Capote's four part serial for The New Yorker (later published as a book) titled In Cold Blood. This detailed account of the murder of the Clutter family, the criminals behind the deed, and the investigators who solved the crime, became the first nonfiction book to be written using fiction techniques. Truman Capote called his new genre the "nonfiction novel," and the combination of journalistic reporting and fiction-writing techniques engrossed readers nation wide.

Since then, the genre has been called "creative nonfiction." However, this too is a misnomer, for it leads many novice writers to believe that they can create or make-up facts, details, or dialogue. In truth, a more accurate term for this genre is "dramatic nonfiction." To produce a piece of dramatic nonfiction successfully, the writer must utilize dramatic writing techniques while also proving all information as fact. Such an undertaking is painstaking to say the least.

In the case of true crime stories, the author – when possible – interviews the victim, witnesses, culprits, investigators, and attorneys, while also reading a myriad of documents like court transcripts and witness testimonies to collaborate all the facts. No thought or feeling is added unless the author can confirm it with documented corroboration. The author must have proof that the subject wore a red dress, or that the weather was cloudy, along with every other detail stated in the piece.

In their 1991 book Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (New Horizon Press, Far Hills, NJ), Liz Greenbacker and Reverend Sherry Taylor contradict the commonly held belief that the minister's wife is perfect. Chapter 1 details the events of one minister's wife as she places a plastic bag over her head to commit suicide. Every detail - from her thought that seeking professional help for her depression would ruin her husband's reputation to the stale, warm air she breathed as the bag closed in around her mouth – is 100% accurate.

The authors extensively interviewed this woman, getting all the facts from the subject herself. How? Obviously, the suicide attempt failed. Had it been successful, Ms. Greenbacker and Reverend Taylor would not have been able to write this episode with such vivid clarity for they would not have been able to prove all the facts and details.

Not surprisingly, many writers delve into the genre of dramatic nonfiction by writing about events from his or her life. The research for such an essay or book is easier as the author often has all documentation readily available and can verify all facts through personal or family member diaries, photo albums, and interviews.

Then, the author brings those facts to life using fiction-writing techniques. Action verbs, verb tense, sentence structure variety, vocabulary choices, dialogue, and paragraph placement aid the dramatic nonfiction writer in creating tension, emotion, and drama.

The first-person dramatic nonfiction piece is similar to, but should not be confused with, the personal essay or memoir. In the personal essay, the author can take several true incidents and combine them into one moment in time while adding in details that may or may not be accurate but prove the premise. The personal essayist writing about feeling sad on her first day of school might mirror her mood by saying the weather was raining even if it had been sunny.

In a memoir, the writer pens experience the way it is remembered. This writer might remember rain on her first day of school, but her mother might remember it as a sunny day.

In a dramatic nonfiction piece, the author checks the weather account for that first day of school and relates it accurately.

To this day the power of Truman Capote's genre captivates readers of all ages. One need only walk into a bookstore or library and find the true crime section to witness the popularity of dramatic nonfiction.

With twenty-four hour news channels, thirty-second sound bites, and Internet sites like http://www.smokinggun.com, today's readers are savvier and more demanding. The recent controversy over the accuracy of James Fey's book A Million Little Pieces further proves how the line between truth and fiction is becoming more and more blurred, and how today's writer must be ever more vigilant in following each genre's guidelines.

IN Icon


Judy L. Adourian is the founder and owner of Writeyes, a teaching, critiquing, and support network for writers. She is the Executive Editor for NEWN, a quarterly magazine that publishes poetry, short stories, personal essays, and novel excerpts. She is also a member of the International Women's Writing Guild and is their Rhode Island regional representative. Currently, Ms. Adourian is co-editing a book titled Going Potty, a collection of humorous essays about the challenges of potty training and actively seeking submissions. She can be contacted through her website http://www.writeyes.com

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Items Of INterest
IN This Issue
Constant Improvement
We're Getting Older! Thank you!
Standing On The Digital Platform
NaNoWriMo Wrap
Official Words From Pop Culture
NaNoWriMo Killed Her
Career Fair For Women
Unotchit LongPen™
Norman Mailer: American Literary Giant
Writer, Inventor, I Am

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software


Effectively Manage Your List


Writers Digest 101 Site Award






Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers


Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

Poetry
The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

Pegasus
It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

Re-Verse
The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at FatherGoose.com


Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.


Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."