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Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life [Paperback]

Philip Gerard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb 2004
In Creative Nonfiction, Philip Gerard offers would-be writers instruction and advice to help them create compelling nonfiction pieces. He uses one of his own pieces as an example, and takes the reader step by step through the writing process.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Frequently Bought Together

Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life + The Art of Creative Nonfiction: Writing and Selling the Literature of Reality (Wiley Books for Writers) + Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University
Price For All Three: 33.05

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc; Revised edition (Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157766339X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577663393
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 888,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It has inspired me beyond belief! 23 Nov 2000
By A Customer
I stumbled upon Creative Nonfiction, browsed and wondered if it was filled with empty promises, thankfully it was not - it has inspired me beyond belief!
If you can come to terms with, as Gerard writes "...when at last you are confronting the truth of you life honestly in words, you have found your voice. And with that comes a terrific freedom to write about anything else, too - anything else at all..." then this book is definitely for you!
This book will show you how to believe (if you do not already) in having something to write about in the real world. He shows nonfiction as so much more than the typical definition of 'literary work other than fiction, including biography and reference books.'
Gerard starts by outlining the hallmarks of nonfiction before waltzing effortlessly to the craft of telling stories, finding subjects and taking the larger longer view. Then he glides into form, voice and genres with ease using published texts as examples to make the point. However, and this is the only drawback, in parts there is obvious padding with too many references to example texts i.e. The Gettysburg Address may only be very familiar to Americans.
In my opinion, understand Gerard's point and eliminate the example. The art of writing nonfiction is easily understood when Gerard advises us to "use factual knowledge, then somehow overlay a surface of narrative that's more interesting" to create passionate timeless pieces.
Finally, Gerard's last page has an almost biblical quality as the words wing their way like angels to your heart to bless your soul and spark your creativity into action.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Narrow View of Creative Nonfiction 6 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is not a comprehensive book about creative nonfiction. Instead, Gerard has a very narrow view of the field, limiting it almost exclusively to literary journalism. Many types of creative nonfiction (humor, reviews, opinion pieces, personal essays) are all but overlooked in this book. If you are interested in a more comprehensive treatment of creative nonfiction, look elsewhere. I would highly recommend Lynn Bloom's Fact & Artifact.If your primary interest is in literary journalism, you might want to read this book. However, Gerard does not just have a bias towards literary journalism, he also has a bias towards specific topics. Specifically, he writes almost entirely about war, Hemingway, risky activities, and nature. If you share most or all of his interests, you may be satisfied with this book. Otherwise, you might want to try reading something else.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional tool for writers 3 Nov 2000
By Gary Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Creative Nonfiction is an invaluable resource for writers of reality-based material. I am a television producer and college film professor who specializes in documentary production. While this book is crafted for a print writer, it is by far the best resource I have found for a complete review of the nonfiction creative process. No film or television how-tos come close to the depth and insight of Gerard's work. From formulating an idea to conducting an interview, from structuring a story to creating suspense, Gerard has articulated priceless insight to a process that is too often intuitive and hard to communicate. A stunning achievement.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide book 7 Jan 2007
By K. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was using this book as the support text for an online course with Writers Online Workshops, but would have been happy to have the book on its own. The author leads the reader to think carefully about the differences between fiction and nonfiction, and what is unique about creative nonfiction. There are a remarkable number of useful sections including those on form, interviews, and revising. I have followed the chapter on revising and found it to be the most useful information to date to improve my own creative nonfiction writing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life 27 April 2010
By brucefan66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was the assigned "textbook" for an online writing course I am taking. Very dense reading (I feel I have to read very slowly to glean all the info), but that's because it IS packed with info! If you've ever wanted to try this genre, or dicover what it is...this is a valuable book to have! Creative nonfiction covers SO many subgenres (interview, memoir, biography, real-life adventure stories) and they are all covered in here. As somebody who has always been drawn to memoir writing, it really helped me overcome my fear of telling the cold, hard truths of my life, as well as the warm fuzzies.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good advice, well written 12 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book reads as smoothly as a novel,and you don't realize you are learning something. Gerard packs a lot of good advice in here and gives pertinent examples. A definite must-add to your collection if you plan to write nonfiction.( Some of the advice also applies to fiction).
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