Can nonfiction be creative?

Mr Wikipedia says that creative nonfiction (also known as literary nonfiction) is a genre that uses literary forms to tell a story about true events. So if the events are real and the people are real, where does the creativity come in?

I think that it’s about using storytelling devices to weave a narrative that is compelling, rather than just a straight recitation of events, which could be really dull. Take the following example…

“I got up. It was raining. I went to the shops. I came home”. Not much of a story there!

A creative nonfiction writers would set the scene, describe the characters and build up to something actually happening. There would be a storytelling curve of some kind.

Creative nonfiction comes in many forms, from personal essays and memoirs to third person narratives about moments in time or newsworthy events. I’ve discovered that there are lots of resources out there and lots of people who are interested in the genre.

One of the websites I’d like to share is Narrative magazine. There’s some great writing on this site as well as competitions for writers of all kinds (not just creative nonfiction). Check it out, it’s really interesting.

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