on 23 November 2000
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.