Prof. Bleeg 3
In this course we will read and write works of creative nonfiction, also known as literary nonfiction. Both are umbrella terms for memoir, narrative nonfiction, personal essays, lyric essays, and literary journalism. Rather than get into the fine distinctions between these various forms of creative nonfiction, in this introductory course we will learn what they have in common: they are nonfiction, meaning the stories you’ll read and write will be rooted in actual experience as opposed to invented, like fiction. Creative nonfiction writers, however, often do employ techniques traditionally associated with fiction writers, such as developing characters, setting, scenes, dialogue, and conflict. The author must also find a focus, an individual voice and style, and perhaps most of all, a writer can never underestimate the importance and the power of specific, vivid details. In our reading discussions, we will pay particular attention to these techniques so that we may learn to read like writers and integrate the published writers’ techniques into our own works. In addition to reading and writing, we will conduct regular workshops to help each other refine the quality of our storytelling and the ways we convey ideas.
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