The importance and validity of Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction (CNF) has been one of the hottest and most expansive literary genres since the mid-90s, but many still fail to understand the concept of the genre. As a genre that tells truthful stories in an artful and engaging way, there can be roadblocks to the genre’s validity when it comes to the use of creative liberty.

How has the mainstream introduction of CNF altered the way we read and trust our authors? How can CNF be directed within the periphery of the public mainstream in a way that credits the genre with more than just memoir? Additionally, how do we deal with the ethical dilemmas that creative liberties create within the genre?

  • This is a very interesting topic that I know all too well, as someone who loves using imagery and creative literary tools in my writing, I've encountered issues between how realistic the writing sounds. Creative Nonfiction can fall into a gray area for many writers as they want to tell their true story realistically and honestly, to a point where there isn't much room for creative freedom. I feel the balance can be made, and introducing more creativity and freedom to nonfiction can add a new layer to honest and truthful story telling. – theanding 7 years ago
  • Love the topic! I enjoy reading memoir, but I do think that's all that comes to mind when most people hear "creative nonfiction." I haven't found a non-memoir CNF work I enjoy in awhile. I hope to see a lot of non-memoir works mentioned in the post. – Stephanie M. 7 years ago
  • This idea is a great topic! I teach English Comp. and at this moment, the students are preparing to write their narrative essays. I reviewed some of the student's drafts, and their narratives are like reading an instructional piece where they are putting together a machine with a thousand bolts and nuts. They are afraid of being creative because they feel like they will lie about what happened. I ask them to rely on descriptive writing and think about their five senses when they tell their stories. I also tell them to remember how they felt at specific times during their stories. They find this challenging. I think I may know the answer to dealing with ethical dilemmas--tell the truth. I would be interested in digging more into the perception of CNF in the mainstream and research both your questions. I think the outcome will be interesting and exciting. – Vchelle 7 years ago

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