Creative Nonfiction: Important Events

Creative nonfiction requires observation. It is more concerned with what is being observed than with imagination. When we write stories from our life, we try to reconstruct events, to the best of our ability, as we remember them happening.

The catalyst for writing does not have to be a tragic loss. What is necessary is to explore the significance of specific events and our reaction to them. Readers want to know how the event affected the writer and whether or not those effects still permeate the writer’s life well after the conclusion of the event.

To find things to rewrite, begin by skimming a newspaper or informational website. Stop when a headline speaks to you. Read, looking to see what resonates with you. If nothing does, then search some more.

Your task, after reading an interesting article, is to write. You might begin with a free write in which you put into words anything that comes to mind.

Go back and search for information that raises specific questions. Imagine scenarios that you could expand into story.

Write a simple sketch of the story that comes to mind. Reread, looking for places where you can add detail and emotion. Reread again. Add more detail.

Have fun with this one.

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