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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

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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.

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 xviPart I Creativity And Nonfiction WritingCHAPTER 1 An Introduction to Storytelling . . . . . . . . . .1An Invitation to CreativityCreativity and the UnconsciousTelling Our StoriesGetting StartedWriting as ProcessThinking Like a WriterWriters 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 GornickLiterary Journalism"A Boy of Unusual Vision," Alice Steinbach, The Baltimore SunThe Short"Volar," Judith Ortiz CoferProse Poem"Two Hearts," Brian DoylePractice StrategiesCHAPTER 2 Narrative Nonfiction: Distinguishing Among Forms . . . . . . . . . . 17Reading As A WriterNarrative Nonfiction: History and FormMemory, Meaning, and Memoir~Mosaic MemoirThe Essay~The Segmented Essay~The Lyric EssayLiterary JournalismThe ShortThe Prose PoemFluidity and FormCHAPTER 3 How Writers Work: Developing a Writing Practice . . . . . . . . 34Demystifying the Myth of the Muse~The Myth~The RealityCourtship and Creativity: A Date Best KeptPractice and Your Journal: Diamonds in the Dust HeapPractice and Prewriting Techniques~Clustering~Mapping~FreewritingGetting to the First DraftWriting as DiscoveryYour Inner Critic and Your Writing PracticeWriters on Writing"The Watcher at the Gate," Gail Godwin"Courting the Muse," Diane Ackerman"On Keeping a Notebook," Joan DidionMemoir "The Root of My Mother's Powers," Audre LordeLyric Essay"What Can't Be Spoken," K. Gregg ElliottShort"In the Beginning," Leila Philip, from A Family PlaceProse Poem"Traces," Marjorie AgosinResearch and Practice StrategiesPointers and Potential PitfallsCHAPTER 4 The Story Takes Shape: Reading and Writing for Story . . . . . . 53The Shape of the StoryReading, Writing, and RevisionHow Writers Help Each Other: A Writer's WorkshopWhat Peer Readers Offer the WriterBecoming an Effective Reader for Others (and Yourself)Prompts - Questions Writers, Listen to Your ReadersTrusting Your PracticeTrusting the StoryWriters on Writing"Memory and Imagination," Patricia HamplMemoir"Serviam," Madeleine BlaisLiterary Journalism"The Khan Men of Agra," Pamela MichaelShort"The Deck," Yusef KomunyakaaProse Poem"The Quality of Mercy," Jane BroxResearch and Practice StrategiesPointers and Potential PitfallsPart II Craft Matters: Techniques For PracticeCHAPTER 5 Writing in Scenes--Painting Word Pictures . . . . . . . . . . . . .72Scene and SummaryImagery and the SensesScenes and the SensesShow and TellImagery, Metaphor, and Theme~Denoting~Connoting~Making MetaphorImagery and MemoryImagery and the Observing EyeSetting is Part of the StorySetting Reveals CharacterSetting and SymbolPlaying with ClicheWriters on Writing"But Tell It Slant: From Poetry to Prose and Back Again," Judith Ortiz CoferMemoir"A Restricted Country," Joan NestleLyric Essay"A Map of My Face," Marjorie AgosinTravel Writing"The Wonderful Thing about Tigers," William GrayShort"Hypertext," Dorothy AllisonProse Poem"What We Remember and What We Forget," Karen Salyer McElmurray, from Surrendered ChildResearch and Practice StrategiesPointers and Potential PitfallsCHAPTER 6 When Characters Are Real People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98Creating Real People on the PageCharacter and ComplicationCharacterization and DescriptionRevealing Character Through DialogueCharacter and VoiceRevealing Character Through ActionWriters on Writing"Nonfiction in First Person, Without Apology," Natalia Rachel Singer Memoir and Auto/Biography"Bricklayer's Boy," Alfred LubranoLiterary Journalism"Enrique's Journey," Sonia NazarioShort"Around the Corner," Sharon BryanProse Poem"Clip from A Winter Diary," Kelly CunnaneResearch and Practice StrategiesPointers and Potential PitfallsCHAPTER 7 Narrative Persona: Art, Facts, and the "I" of the Story . . . . . . 114Narrative Persona and VoiceNarrative Point of ViewThe "I" in ImaginationArt, Imagination, and TruthDiction, Syntax, and StyleActive and Passive VoiceParts of SpeechRhythm in SentencesWriters on Writingfrom The Situation and the Story, Vivian Gornick"The Whole Truth," Peter IvesMemoir"A Plague of Tics," David Sedaris, NakedShort"How I Learned to Snap," Kirk Read Prose Poem"Three Prose Poems," Mary Oliver, from Winter HoursResearch and Practice StrategiesPointers and Potential PitfallsCHAPTER 8 Finding Story in Situation: Resonance and Theme . . . . . . . . . . 128Sit-u-a-tion.But, What Does it Mean?The Point of the Story--Thematic Resonance Scene and Situation--Story and ThemeWriters on Writing"Saying Good-Bye to 'Once Upon a Time,' or Implementing Postmodernism in Creative Nonfiction," Laura WexlerMemoir"Oy, My Enlightenment," Kim CherninLyric Essay"The Clan of One-Breasted Women," Terry Tempest WilliamsProse Poem"The Blues Merchant," Jerome Washington Research and Practice StrategiesCHAPTER 9 Bringing Research to the Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139Research and Creative Nonfiction"I" and "Eye"Immersion JournalismWhere to Go for Information: Finding, Checking, and Double-CheckingA Few Things about InterviewingPreparing for the InterviewGetting it Right!Police and Court RecordsEthics and Narrative NonfictionLegal Concerns and LawsuitsLibel - 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 MomadayThe Lyric Essay"Texas Women: True Grit and All the Rest," Molly IvinsLiterary Journalism"Death of a Playmate," Teresa CarpenterShort"Low Tide at Four," Harriet DoerrProse Poem"Mass for the Happy Death of Innocence," Holly IglesiasResearch and Practice StrategiesAbout The Authors--------------------------------------------------------162

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780205605491
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 336
  • ID: 9780205605491
  • weight: 467
  • ISBN10: 0205605494

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