Narrative nonfiction is the craft of telling a story using only true events. That sounds like boxing with one hand tied behind your back. It isn’t. If you have a story, the true events are essential to that narrative. Using them to bring the beginning, middle, and end to life becomes an exercise in finding just the right details. Throughout the process, you know that when you do, the reader will be that much more involved in what you have to say. Continue reading
I’m beginning a series of posts that will cover writing nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and long form narrative; finding a topic; uncovering the story in your notes; the craft of nonfiction; and topics related to writing nonfiction.
The posts will be based upon my study and experience in this exciting – yes, exciting! – area of writing. It will also be based upon the feedback and questions I’ve received from my students in the workshops I teach at The Writer’s Center, as well as in the writing classes and webinars I offer online.
I’ll make the post titles descriptive, as well as the tags, so you’ll be able to tell and find the posts that interest you. If you have any questions, or comments, or just want to weigh in, please use this form. Thanks! ~Gina
So how do you start? Do you sit down and start writing or do you do some planning? How much planning? What type of planning?
It seems that writing nonfiction should be easy. It’s based on facts. What’s the problem? This happened and then this happened and then this happened. You just need to tell it like it was. Except it’s never that easy because there is always so much that happened.
There are several ways to get started, so this time we’ll talk about the Timeline Approach: Continue reading
AIR, by Ryan Gattis, is one of the best books I’ve read all year.
Grey is a guy who loves to get air – to ride his bicycle as fast as possible before taking off of a ramp or other stable structure and doing flips or other risky stunts. He doesn’t do this to be a risk-taker. He does it for the satisfaction of accomplishing something that seems to be impossible. He lives for the feeling of the air rushing past him and the pride he takes in planning and executing a difficult move.
Upon the murder of his mother, Grey is forced to move to Baltimore to live with his Aunt Blue. Once there, he finds that it’s not only his bi-racial heritage that makes him different, but the fact that he is new to town. He doesn’t get the jokes, have the accent, or know his way around. He also doesn’t live with his brothers and sisters any more. It’s a difficult adjustment and in the course of settling in, he is befriended by Akil Williams. Continue reading
Perhaps you’ll feel my pain. I spent the entire – yes entire – day tracking down permissions and licenses for the images I need for my book. Why? Because I didn’t do a thorough job the first time through. I will NEVER do it this way again. Continue reading
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of Social Media. Yes. Social Media. One can’t even be Social-Media-avoidant in Wonderland any more. Seriously – there are some things you just need to be able to understand and be facile with in Social Media if you’re to have your work and/or your website discovered. In fact, many are eschewing a website entirely. I’m not so sure about that, but let’s start with FACEBOOK.
FACEBOOK is pretty much something you’ve got to have. Your Facebook persona will be built of a Profile and a Page (or Pages) and/or a Group (or Groups). It’s not that difficult once you get it started. The main thing to remember at all times is that sometimes something works in Facebook and two days later you do the exact same thing and it doesn’t work. Or, you can do something from your phone, but not your laptop. Or, you can do it from your laptop, but not your desktop. It’s not you. It’s Facebook – shame on them – but you’ve still gotta deal with it. Just stay calm and work around it.
Everyone on Facebook has to have a Profile. The profile asks you basic information about yourself. The reason you need this is that every Facebook whatever has to trace back to an individual who is at least 13 years of age. (In some cases, this has not been a problem for longer than we care to mention.) Once you have your profile, you can add a background image at the top, as well as a profile image. I will describe how to create custom images in the proper size in another post. For now, choose something from their library so that you have more than a pathetically newbie Profile page. This is my Profile page.
Now that you have a Profile, you can create something else. Let’s say you want a Page. This is someplace for you to post things about an interest. When I created my Profile, I wasn’t yet up to using Facebook for anything about my writing because I was using my website. This is the page for my KidWrite Language Arts program. I’ll create one for writing this week and use it in the next post so you can see what that might look like.
Most of the Groups I’ve created are for members only. Here is the link to my Bridge Science group that is public. It’s still in the early stages, so it doesn’t look much different from a Page. It is, though, because I can do a chat in there or easily create a poll.
Take a look at these. Let me know if you have questions about Profiles, Pages, or Groups. I’ll be back next week with more. Promise!