Nonfiction Essays

However, the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction are continually blurred and argued upon, especially in the field of biography; as Virginia Woolf said: "if we think of truth as something of granite-like solidity and of personality as something of rainbow-like intangibility and reflect that the aim of biography is to weld these two into one seamless whole, we shall admit that the problem is a stiff one and that we need not wonder if biographers, for the most part failed to solve it." e.g. Common literary examples of nonfiction include expository, argumentative, functional, and opinion pieces; essays on art or literature; biographies; memoirs; journalism; and historical, scientific, technical, or economic writings (including electronic ones).

Including information that the author knows to be untrue within any of these works is usually regarded as dishonest.

Nonfiction need not necessarily be written text, since pictures and film can also purport to present a factual account of a subject.

The numerous literary and creative devices used within fiction are generally thought inappropriate for use in nonfiction.

They are still present particularly in older works but they are often muted so as not to overshadow the information within the work.

Simplicity, clarity and directness are some of the most important considerations when producing nonfiction.

Audience is important in any artistic or descriptive endeavor, but it is perhaps most important in nonfiction.

In fiction, the writer believes that readers will make an effort to follow and interpret an indirectly or abstractly presented progression of theme, whereas the production of nonfiction has more to do with the direct provision of information.

Creative nonfiction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these.” Later in Issue #0 of his magazine, he says, “The goal is to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that your readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.”There are bits of literature we could consider CNF, memoirs from David Sedaris, James Frey, Joyce Carol Oates, or Susanna Kaysen; however, the true guts of the stuff lies in the balance of truth and lie.

It is a difficult balance and not as easy to achieve as one may think – sometimes lies just sell better.


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