Keep it Real: Everything You Need to Know about Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction

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Lee Gutkind
W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 167 pages
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The one guide every creative nonfiction writer needs to turn to when being ?creative.'

Writers of memoir and narrative nonfiction are experiencing difficult days with the discovery that some well-known works in the genre contain exaggerations'or are partially fabricated. But what are the parameters of creative nonfiction? Keep It Real begins by defining creative nonfiction. Then it explores the flexibility of the form'the liberties and the boundaries that allow writers to be as truthful, factual, and artful as possible. A succinct but rich compendium of ideas, terms, and techniques, Keep It Real will clarify the ins and outs of writing creative nonfiction. Starting with the acknowledgement of sources, then running through fact-checking, metaphor, and navel gazing, and ending with writers? responsibilities to their subjects, this book provides all the information writers need to write with verve while remaining true to their story.

 

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Contents

The Range and Scope of Creative Nonfiction
11
Acknowledgment of Sources
29
Backdoor Access
32
Checkbook Journalism
35
Composite Characters
39
Compression
42
Defamation and Libel
46
Evolution of the Genre
50
The Memoir Craze
97
Metaphor
100
Montage Writing
103
The Narrative Impulse
109
Navelgazing
113
Point of View
119
Psychoanalyzing Characters
126
Quotation Marks
130

Facts
53
Factchecking
56
Family Members as Characters
59
Forewords and Afterwords
62
Frame
65
Getting Inside Characters Heads
68
Guiding the Reader
70
Finding a Story
72
History into Nonfiction Narrative
74
The I
79
Immersion
82
Influencing Readers
85
Keeping It Brief
89
Legal Responsibilities of Publishers
91
The Lyric Essay
95
Reconstruction of Events
133
Reflection
136
The Roots of Memoir
138
Scenes
140
Subjectivity
142
Tape Recording
145
Truth
148
Use of Imagination
150
The Vagaries of Memory
153
Whose Story to Tell
156
Writers Responsibility to Subjects
159
About the Contributors
163
Acknowledgments
169
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and a pioneer in the field of narrative nonfiction. Gutkind is also the editor of In Fact and Becoming a Doctor, the author of Almost Human, and has written books about baseball, health care, travel, and technology. A Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Tempe, Arizona.

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