Creative Nonfiction and Literature Further Defined

I’ve wrestled with the definition of literature in previous posts. As well as trying to define creative nonfiction. 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction, gives us this definition which, when broadened, could include literature as well:

The best definition we’ve heard so far for “creative nonfiction” comes from editor and writer Lee Gutkind: the word “creative” in “Creative Nonfiction” “refers simply to the use of literary craft in presenting nonfiction—that is, factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid manner.” Instead of making things up, a creative nonfiction writer simply makes ideas, people, events, and places that already exist more compelling through the use of imagery, scene, form, dialogue, setting, characterization, plot, and detail.

Some people object to the term “creative nonfiction” and prefer the term “literary nonfiction,” or prefer to simply refer to various kinds of writing by their subgenre: narrative journalism, lyric essay, personal essay, nature writing, etc.

Literature, therefore, might be artistically done writing that employs “imagery, scene, form, dialogue, setting, characterization, plot, and detail” to their best use. What 1966 calls “literary craft.” It does all seem a bit fuzzy. But we can work on it, producing nonfiction and fiction that aspires to something more than mere reporting, something that produces not just writing, but fine writing.

My thoughts on creative nonfiction (internal link)

What is literature? Part 1 (internal link)

1966: Creative Nonfiction Journal (external link) Site may no longer be active.

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
This entry was posted in Literary Magazine submissions, Thoughts on writing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s