Creative Non-Fiction: What You Need to Know

There often seems to be a consensus among folks when talking about writing, that creating creative non-fiction is difficult, and only for the most expert writers. However, this is a monstrous falsehood! Anyone can write creative non-fiction; here’s what you need to know ->

The Non-Fiction in Creative Non-Fiction

The first rule to writing non-fiction is to be as truthful as possible. Yes, the word creative means you’ve created bits, but that doesn’t mean you’ve created something from scratch. For example, begin with a place you’ve visited, an interesting person you met, an experience you had, a funny joke you were told, and start your story there. The place, the people, the sounds, the smells, those are all real things you’ve experienced. Remember; the definition of non-fiction writing is a story based on real facts and information.

The Creative in Creative Non-Fiction

Anne Frank - imporve the worldOne famous example of creative non-fiction is The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank. Frank’s story was her real diary, however she wrote so beautifully, especially for a young girl, that it read like a novel. Everything Miss Frank wrote about was the truth, but the way she wrote lines such as, “How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” proved she was already an exemplary writer. The fact that her story was completely true only made it that much more emotional for people to read, and it still resonates with us today.

The Secret to Writing Creative Non-Fiction

To be honest, the real secret of writing creative non-fiction is, there is no secret! Anyone can write non-fiction. Creative non-fiction encompasses the entire world as we know it; there are no limits!

The best way to write non-fiction is to be truthful, in a creative, colorful way.

No one wants to read facts listed, we want to be absorbed into a story! However, to change certain things, such as names, places, and other small things is still acceptable in non-fiction, especially when people’s privacy comes into question.

There is never a limit for writers, no matter the genre. If it interests you, and you want to write it, someone will want to read it! As long as you remain creatively truthful, you’ve got the hang of it. Good luck non-fiction writers!

What are your favorite examples of Creative Non-Fiction?

Why do you think it has such a difficult to write reputation?

Blogger Bio: Abigail Hills is a special editor and contributor for Fine Lines Journal.
She is currently getting her bachelor’s degree in creative writing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a public speaker and advocate for those with depression and anxiety, and against all forms of bullying and hopes to continue her efforts to better the lives of others. Find her on Twitter.