1. Respond to two classmates’ posts in which they follow Lopate’s guidance to turn themselves into characters. Look back at Lopate “Turning Yourself into a Character” (Canvas)and tell your classmates specifically where they have succeeded and where they need to improve. Point them to important sections in Lopate’s chapter that will help them improve. Please make sure every class member gets at least one response!
1. Next, use “Mechanics of Fiction” and “Punctuating Dialogue” to help your two classmates improve their mechanics. Point them to important sections in these readings that will help them improve.
First person Mela
If I were to tell someone who had no idea what creative nonfiction was, I’d tell them that it is basically a true story told well. Creative nonfiction is a mixture of many things, like ideas. It helps create a picture in your mind. It can be a personal, or non personal, essay, article, memoir, or poem. The goal of a nonfiction story is for it to be told like a fictional story so that the readers are fascinated by it like they are with their imaginations.
I always believed nonfiction to be something boring. But I realized that, like it said in the first reading, it is supposed to entertain readers. I used to think fiction was imagination and nonfiction was just straight facts, but it’s the opposite. I learned that nonfiction is not just writing about yourself. With nonfiction I learned more about there needs to be attention to the ethics of it. The first reading said it’s writing about real people so the writer has an “ethical obligation” to represent them accurately. A memoir is something taken from life. You should use many accurate details, but where and how you choose to add the detail is important. I already knew a memoir was a narrative, written from the perspective of an author, about an important part of their life. What I didn’t know was that it should also be written in a way that the reader can experience it through the authors’ eyes and not just their own. One more thing I learned is that in memoirs/CNF, names can be changed to protect identities.
Frey was accused of fictionalizing some moments from his past. “Everyone who writes about himself is a liar. I created a person meaner, funnier, more filled with life than I could ever be” (What is Creative Nonfiction?). That is something I agree with, and honestly something I never really thought about. When reading “What’s Ok in Nonfiction?” there wasn’t really anything that I thought was unacceptable. Most of the things in that reading were talking about lies. No matter what story we read, we all believe what we read. The author could, or could not be, lying and the readers would never know unless the author told everyone. I think that when writing people are allowed to lie to an extent. But if it’s more than just lying about an age or a couple beers, it should be labeled as fiction instead of nonfiction. I think that if there were to be more than one (different names, not your own story, big age gap…) that would be breaking the readers’ trust.
I have read your posts, and I am sincerely impressed by your perception of writing creative nonfiction stories. Basically, the term creative nonfiction refers to a literary genre that employs different literary styles commonly used in other fiction stories to come up with factually accurate narratives. It is a unique type of nonfiction as it differs from other common nonfiction texts, for instance, technical, journalism, or academic writing, since these nonfiction texts are usually routed in accurate facts. Still, they are not written in a manner or rather style that entertains readers. A significant problem with many memoirists is that they wanted to portray themselves flawlessly. However, memoirists ought to represent themselves as factually with all the flaws. Also, in my opinion, nonfiction stories should not contain any fiction information but just pimping the descriptions of events and people in a manner that it will be interesting to the readers. However, everything within the text has to be factual.
On the other hand, while reading your post, I noted some mechanical errors. For instance, in the third sentence, you have written non personal and forgot to put a hyphen; non-personal. Furthermore, in the first sentence in the second paragraph, you have written, “like it said,” instead of like it has been said. Summing up, it would be vital that you go through the mechanics of fiction, particularly the formatting and punctuation of dialogue section, to gain mastery of how to punctuate and format dialogue.
2nd person apr
Creative non-fiction is the art of telling real stories while using techniques typically found in fiction writing to spice them up and make them more exciting. Many of these techniques could include scenes, detail to show and not tell, character development, and a deeper meaning or lesson.
My definition of the terms non-fiction and memoir have developed since these readings because I had always associated memoirs with autobiographies and simply storytelling of one’s life. I never realized that they could expand far beyond just a story and portray lessons and exaggerate stories to further dramatize the actual events.
I think making up a character borders unacceptable because it is pulling too much false information into the story. Changing names to protect the real people who show up in your story is absolutely acceptable because some stories can be incriminating, and or breach privacy concerns. Writing dialogue for the things people in your life said to you as best as you can remember this is also acceptable because you are drawing from real life events, and although you may not be word for word in your interpretation it is still heavily inspired. Writing a memoir about your Native American heritage (when it turns it out you’re not Native American) and writing a memoir about your teenage years in a street gang (when it turns out you spent those years in a fancy boarding school) these are unacceptable because it is entirely false, non fiction writing includes true stories if you include too many false elements it is no longer a true story, rather a piece of fiction. Collapsing time and characters is very acceptable because it is still using those true and actual events just speeding up the process in how they occur. Borrowing a friend’s story but writing about it as if it happened to you is acceptable because the story will remain non-fiction because the events being told actually happened.
Having gone through Lopate’s guidance on how to turn oneself into a character, I agree with your post that creative nonfiction work encompasses the art of narrating real events through literary styles found in other works of literature such as fiction works. The goal of using literary devices and techniques is for entertainment and elaborative purposes. There is a slight difference between memoirs and autobiographies; thus, I understand why you related them. In my view, a major difference between a memoir and an autobiography is that an autobiography usually covers the whole life of the writer up to the period when he or she is writing the autobiography. On the other hand, a memoir is an account of the writers’ life only that it is subjective to specific events and not the entire life. Also, the different factors you have described as acceptable and unacceptable when writing nonfiction work are true.
On the other hand, I found your text lacking dialogues; thus, it is not possible to provide recommendations on improving the formatting and punctuation of dialogues. Therefore, it would be good that you go through the mechanics of fiction, particularly formatting and punctuation of dialogue section. It will be crucial for future works that you will be writing.