To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction

To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction

By: Connie D. Griffin (author)Paperback

2 - 4 weeks availability


This text engages with current conversations in the popular field of creative nonfiction, which ranges across memoir and biography, the essay, and literary journalism. Designed to meet the growing need resulting from a burgeoning interest in narrative nonfiction, To Tell the Truth emphasizes key elements common to all three major branches of the genre. It assists creative nonfiction writers in developing a writing practice modeled to their unique needs, it addresses the practical tasks of applying elements of craft in the actual process of generating, shaping, developing, and revising material, and it includes contemporary models that represent the rich range and diversity of the genre. A key feature of the text, one seldom found in books on the subject, is the inclusion of a writers on writing section in each chapter, providing personal essays that reveal writers' internal processes--that quirky quality we call creativity--bringing in writers' revelations about uniquely individual approaches to foiling the inner critic and breaking through writer's block.

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About Author

Connie Griffin holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa; a master's degree from Boston College; and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has taught and presented in a variety of writing programs, writing institutes, and conferences, including Boston College's Creative Writing Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst's Journalism Program, the National Writer's Union writers' conference--WriteAngles, Curry College's Blue Hills Writing Institute, and the Northeast Modern Language Association. She teaches courses in narrative nonfiction, literary journalism, feature and magazine writing, memoir, media studies, as well as literary and cultural studies. She has published essays, articles, reviews, features, and profiles and has presented numerous papers on memoir, autobiography, and narrative nonfiction. She served on the editorial board and as guest editor for Woman of Power magazine, staff writer for The University of Tulsa Magazine, and contributing writer for Tulsa Magazine. She served as Broadcast Relations Manager for the University of Tulsa, where she was producer and host of University FOCUS, a weekly educational television program.


TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface xvi Part I Creativity And Nonfiction Writing CHAPTER 1 An Introduction to Storytelling ...1 An Invitation to Creativity Creativity and the Unconscious Telling Our Stories Getting Started Writing as Process Thinking Like a Writer Writers on Writing "How and Why," Jane Bernstein "Writing Personal Essays: On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character," Phillip Lopate Lyric Essay "On the Street: Nobody Watches, Everyone Performs," Vivian Gornick Literary Journalism "A Boy of Unusual Vision," Alice Steinbach, The Baltimore Sun The Short "Volar," Judith Ortiz Cofer Prose Poem "Two Hearts," Brian Doyle Practice Strategies CHAPTER 2 Narrative Nonfiction: Distinguishing Among Forms ... 17 Reading As A Writer Narrative Nonfiction: History and Form Memory, Meaning, and Memoir ~Mosaic Memoir The Essay ~The Segmented Essay ~The Lyric Essay Literary Journalism The Short The Prose Poem Fluidity and Form CHAPTER 3 How Writers Work: Developing a Writing Practice ... 34 Demystifying the Myth of the Muse ~The Myth ~The Reality Courtship and Creativity: A Date Best Kept Practice and Your Journal: Diamonds in the Dust Heap Practice and Prewriting Techniques ~Clustering ~Mapping ~Freewriting Getting to the First Draft Writing as Discovery Your Inner Critic and Your Writing Practice Writers on Writing "The Watcher at the Gate," Gail Godwin "Courting the Muse," Diane Ackerman "On Keeping a Notebook," Joan Didion Memoir "The Root of My Mother's Powers," Audre Lorde Lyric Essay "What Can't Be Spoken," K. Gregg Elliott Short "In the Beginning," Leila Philip, from A Family Place Prose Poem "Traces," Marjorie Agosin Research and Practice Strategies Pointers and Potential Pitfalls CHAPTER 4 The Story Takes Shape: Reading and Writing for Story ... 53 The Shape of the Story Reading, Writing, and Revision How Writers Help Each Other: A Writer's Workshop What Peer Readers Offer the Writer Becoming an Effective Reader for Others (and Yourself) Prompts - Questions Writers, Listen to Your Readers Trusting Your Practice Trusting the Story Writers on Writing "Memory and Imagination," Patricia Hampl Memoir "Serviam," Madeleine Blais Literary Journalism "The Khan Men of Agra," Pamela Michael Short "The Deck," Yusef Komunyakaa Prose Poem "The Quality of Mercy," Jane Brox Research and Practice Strategies Pointers and Potential Pitfalls Part II Craft Matters: Techniques For Practice CHAPTER 5 Writing in Scenes--Painting Word Pictures ...72 Scene and Summary Imagery and the Senses Scenes and the Senses Show and Tell Imagery, Metaphor, and Theme ~Denoting ~Connoting ~Making Metaphor Imagery and Memory Imagery and the Observing Eye Setting is Part of the Story Setting Reveals Character Setting and Symbol Playing with Cliche Writers on Writing "But Tell It Slant: From Poetry to Prose and Back Again," Judith Ortiz Cofer Memoir "A Restricted Country," Joan Nestle Lyric Essay "A Map of My Face," Marjorie Agosin Travel Writing "The Wonderful Thing about Tigers," William Gray Short "Hypertext," Dorothy Allison Prose Poem "What We Remember and What We Forget," Karen Salyer McElmurray, from Surrendered Child Research and Practice Strategies Pointers and Potential Pitfalls CHAPTER 6 When Characters Are Real People ... 98 Creating Real People on the Page Character and Complication Characterization and Description Revealing Character Through Dialogue Character and Voice Revealing Character Through Action Writers on Writing "Nonfiction in First Person, Without Apology," Natalia Rachel Singer Memoir and Auto/Biography "Bricklayer's Boy," Alfred Lubrano Literary Journalism "Enrique's Journey," Sonia Nazario Short "Around the Corner," Sharon Bryan Prose Poem "Clip from A Winter Diary," Kelly Cunnane Research and Practice Strategies Pointers and Potential Pitfalls CHAPTER 7 Narrative Persona: Art, Facts, and the "I" of the Story ... 114 Narrative Persona and Voice Narrative Point of View The "I" in Imagination Art, Imagination, and Truth Diction, Syntax, and Style Active and Passive Voice Parts of Speech Rhythm in Sentences Writers on Writing from The Situation and the Story, Vivian Gornick "The Whole Truth," Peter Ives Memoir "A Plague of Tics," David Sedaris, Naked Short "How I Learned to Snap," Kirk Read Prose Poem "Three Prose Poems," Mary Oliver, from Winter Hours Research and Practice Strategies Pointers and Potential Pitfalls CHAPTER 8 Finding Story in Situation: Resonance and Theme ... 128 Sit-u-a-tion. But, What Does it Mean? The Point of the Story--Thematic Resonance Scene and Situation--Story and Theme Writers on Writing "Saying Good-Bye to 'Once Upon a Time,' or Implementing Postmodernism in Creative Nonfiction," Laura Wexler Memoir "Oy, My Enlightenment," Kim Chernin Lyric Essay "The Clan of One-Breasted Women," Terry Tempest Williams Prose Poem "The Blues Merchant," Jerome Washington Research and Practice Strategies CHAPTER 9 Bringing Research to the Process ... 139 Research and Creative Nonfiction "I" and "Eye" Immersion Journalism Where to Go for Information: Finding, Checking, and Double-Checking A Few Things about Interviewing Preparing for the Interview Getting it Right! Police and Court Records Ethics and Narrative Nonfiction Legal Concerns and Lawsuits Libel - Slander - Intrusion - False Light - Public Disclosure of Embarrassing Private Facts - Appropriation Writers on Writing "Researching Your Own Life," Michael Pearson "The Five Rs of Creative Nonfiction," Lee Gutkind "Gathering Information," James B. Stewart Memoir "The Way to Rainy Mountain," N. Scott Momaday The Lyric Essay "Texas Women: True Grit and All the Rest," Molly Ivins Literary Journalism "Death of a Playmate," Teresa Carpenter Short "Low Tide at Four," Harriet Doerr Prose Poem "Mass for the Happy Death of Innocence," Holly Iglesias Research and Practice Strategies About The Authors--------------------------------------------------------162

Product Details

  • publication date: 14/09/2008
  • ISBN13: 9780205605491
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 336
  • ID: 9780205605491
  • weight: 467
  • ISBN10: 0205605494

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