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By Theodore A. Rees Cheney

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Extra info for Writing Creative Nonfiction: Fiction Techniques for Crafting Great Nonfiction Writing & Journalism

Example text

You come across the sea—the Channel, the Mediterranean, even an inland sea like the Marmara—and there is the land. But where is the shelter you are seeking? For many hours perhaps you have been openings: dramatic and summary methods / 33 voyaging on the wind, navigating by the speed at which your sails have driven you through the water, by how the wind and tide and breaking seas have moved you, and you are searching, searching through the glasses, hoping to God you have got it right, that the port you have been aiming for will emerge over the bows.

Creative nonfiction writers also realize that the mere listing of concrete details, realistic details, and details of real life, will conjure emotions in the reader—and they include the details for that very reason. They feel that the whole truth has not been told unless the emotional context is there. Both traditional and creative nonfiction writers aim for the same thing—truth, or the accurate portrayal of life. They differ, however, on what truth means and what such accuracy involves: Is a camera lens a more accurate reporter of people, things, and events, or is the human eye, which sees in an emotional context, the best observer of the large and small truths of human existence?

You can’t come in,” the girl said. “But—” said the reporter and commenced to talk. He had a very strong feeling that if he stopped talking at any time, the 40 / writing creative nonfiction door would slam. So he kept on talking. Finally the girl opened the door. “Well, I’ll let you in,” she said. ” By putting us right up close to that crack in the door, Hemingway has involved us. We are no longer newspaper readers, we’re on-thespot observers, even participants, at the interview. He lures us deeper into the story by giving us a tantalizing glimpse of the girl we expect soon to interview.

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