Sunday, January 13, 2019

Establishing questions in creative nonfiction

Works of creative nonfiction often begin with an author's explanation of how the work came into being, and with the development of an opening question that will frame the piece as a whole.

In Creative Writing Class 6, I ask why this is: what is the function of such questions? Certainly, they are one of the features of creative nonfiction that distinguish it from fiction writing, which tends to be much less direct in expressing its aims.

In the second part of the class, I turn to four techniques for introducing such opening question:

1) an explanation of the background to a project,
2) a short opening narrative,
3) the broader social context of the work,
4) an appeal to shared experience.


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