Literary Non-fiction

The art of fact in this creative genre

Creative nonfiction — also known as literary nonfiction or narrative nonfiction — is a genre of writing which creates accurate narratives using literary styles and techniques.

Literary nonfiction is rooted in accurate facts, but, it is also written to entertain based on writing style or florid prose (contrast with other forms of nonfiction, such as academic or technical writing or journalism). Literary nonfiction merges the boundaries between creative writing as fiction and poetry with researched nonfiction along the lines of journalism. It is different from journalism in that setting, character development, voice/tone etc are integrated into the story line.

Lee Gutkind writes that ultimately, the primary goal of the creative nonfiction writer is to communicate information, just like a reporter, but to shape it in a way that reads like fiction.

It brings the personal essay and the journalistic essay together. Literary critic, Barbara Lounsberry suggests, in her book, The Art of Fact, that there are…

…four key characteristics of literary non-fiction:

1. subject matter is documentable as opposed to invented from the writer’s mind

2. information is credible because it is based on exhaustive research

3. the scene or context of events is revivified in contrast to the typical journalistic style of objective reportage

4. the writing is fine in a literary prose style

Philosophical or factual exploration starts with a question.

When intentionally contemplated, we can find alternative resolutions and meaning-making on our life paths.

Philosophy takes us on the contemplative dig into knowledge for deeper understandings of life and mind

Be the love, be the light

~ namasté, Leah J. 🕊

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