Creative Non-fiction. The new state of art.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: For those who write...


This is an article published on the authors Goodreads blog on Ceative non-fiction as a state of art. Its technique and signficance as a literary tool that presents truth and reality in human lives
is presented.

Submitted: August 29, 2018

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Submitted: August 29, 2018

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Creative non-fiction is described as 'True stories well told'.  It is similar to the writers’ tradition of memoir, personal narrative, essay or biography. It has gained momentum and readership in present times as arrangements to life's experiences have changed and the best way to communicate personal issues is by narrating them well. The value of the ‘true story’ has increased in today’s commercial and literary markets. Brands build their empires on their real stories with the use of storynomics. Story techniques  reporting metrics, social influence, financial growth, and creative concepts of successful business, are employed  for dynamic growth, practical role modelling and entrepreneurship.

Readers everywhere love stories. Not all of them are in business or relate to the practical world. There is a secret communication, a feeling space, a rapport belonging to emotional narrative bonding between audiences of a kind. The many aspects of truth that unfold in creative rhetoric for essential meaning, soul speaking whispers, subconscious realities and  less glossy commentaries, still retain their value in their spoken secrets being true.

 The assessment criterion of creative non-fiction in the vast array of literary journals that demand submissions is relatively unclear. This tradition of writers have emerged secretly. They are called in when relevant stories are required to move issues. The gloss and glamour of best selling books is away from the scenario. Essays are sensitive and communities involved are  highly committed to best quality writing and literacy.

The obvious is no longer stated, it is suggested. The author holding on to a true experience, must narrate around it to have readers’ empathy. They pick up on a mood, characteristic, theme, point of view or highlight some essential detail. Surrounding lines may show poetic expression, emotional overtones, wonder, surprise, change of circumstances. Generally writers shows vulnerability, not acclaim. If they write about winning an Olympic medal, they write about the hard ride up to the top, not the greatness they are.

Creative non-fiction is compact in its building blocks from beginning to end. There is mastery in the triangular components of beginning, middle and end. The first sentences mark the presence of the narrative tone and all elements of character, story, description, landscape, tradition or incidents, emotional organization and detail. There is unity in the piece. No additional lines are written that stray beyond. All details, even additional musings and meditations on the piece, must be conveyed within the story triangle. Endings of the short form narrative, as with short stories, generally surprise.

Some writers manage to retain their expression of poetry prose, and sensory description, if they wish to demonstrate their skill in storytelling of the subconscious, sensory experience. Some literary journals choose descriptive forms and minimalistic episodic storytelling. NASA inviting space travellers to narrate their experiences whilst travelling, must invite optimal descriptions of a single powerful experience. NASA will use the real story data to prepare new space travellers. A journal with a theme of a Halloween party is seeking confined storytelling unique to the gross and ugly in social experience. Halloween is a landscape. It is a tradition. A writer based on documenting African wildlife, will not enter the territory of the journal which is based Christian social white race tradition.

There is always a raison d'etre. The story must meet with the journals demand, style and mood. It may be experimental writing, evocative, lyrical, sensory or simply unique. The author controls the presentation and impression delivered over and above their actual experience and recall. They struggle to show dialogue, present characters and landscapes involved. The memory become a state of art.

Sentences spill out with emotive intelligence and a higher intelligence of a life-force involved. The story may be regarding the authors divorce, but she will present it through episodes of the behavioural vulnerability noted in her son when he was given the news. The shock is more at level of child than adult for literary purposes. In a country as US publishing the story, the journal will appeal to child supporting funds and agencies who request identical true life literature. A nation as India will not respond or empathize with the child as it has no prior arrangement, experience or politic to the infant.

Creative non-fiction is evaluated for plot development, pit or thrust of storyline, presentation of character, writing technique and thematic style. A story may be 50 words or 5000 words, depending on the journals submission guidelines. Writers read into the journals system and editorial community to perform in their evaluative distinct culture of personalized literature.

The use of rhetoric, language, hyperbole, metaphor, parallelism, symbolism and literary modes may be experimented with for perfect outcomes and improved skill in narration. The article on the writing of a book, for instance, may be accompanied with a muse, with examples of great writers that inspired the authors’ works, and accumulated rich data.

At all times, creative non-fiction is unique. A personal call. An invitation to connect in the authors feeling space. A gesture to overcome boundaries and share true life as it calls for literary grace. It is a deep secret and emotional knot released, a trust in the other to awaken to the confidential knowledge shared, a reaching out to speak to the soul of the human world.


© Copyright 2018 Malini Chaudhri. All rights reserved.

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