Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life
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Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Gerard covers everything from getting the assignment to conducting a stirring interview to working with an editor - including how to go "where the story lives" to experience the first-hand emotional facts - sights, smells, sounds - that will give your story immediacy; find the right form for the story you want to tell - essay, memoir, nature piece, political analysis, inve...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 1996)
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The order in which the advice comes is a bit odd. I'd put advice about structure and form before tips on research and interviews, but I guess that's just me. I'm also fascinated by Gerard's awe of technology, especially computers. He is a guy who owns a typewriter that he's had to work on before, so I understand that a laptop is mind-blowing. It's more precious than annoying, especially since I still remember a world before internet.
Most of the information is basic: the genres, the importance of...more
Dec 15, 2007 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's serious, or curious, about writing. not just nonfiction.
Shelves: nonfiction
If you don't want to write, stay away from this book. It's so inspiring, succinct, and helpful. I only wish I'd read it earlier. It makes me really glad to have Philip Gerard as my teacher. This is one of those books that may end up tattered, held together by duct tape, never reaching the shelf because it's always out for reference. Such good stuff, and I think students at all levels could benefit from it--it could start high-schoolers, or even middle-schoolers, off on the right foot, and I, in...more
Bruce Brodowski
I have published three books now and am currently working on a memoir-fiction mix. I didn't know much about craft. I have learned so much from this book. I look forward to attending a November 2013 three day workshop with Philip Gerard. This book has helped immensely in the way my memoir will now be written.

It was helpful in breaking down the process of writing creative nonfiction, but there were also a few chapters I could have easily skipped that read like a textbook. Overall, it is worth reading for anyone interested in the learning more about the genre.
Picked up a copy of the first edition of this book at a used bookstore. Makes me wish I had the revised edition. Succinct, useful, inspiring.
Titus Hjelm
Simply brilliant. There are other CNF writing guides out there, but this is probably the most accessible.
Brendan O'Meara
Great insights into the craft of creative nonfiction. Helped me get out of a slump.
Janet Hartman
Gives good pointers on writing real life stories in journalist style.
Bob Fowler
A good book with much practical advice
Good for non-fiction writers.
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