Reflection: Non-Fiction

So, non-fiction is definitely one of my least favorite genres to write.  I just find it very limiting writing true stories.  It doesn’t unleash my creativity the same way that fiction writing does.

Sure, I know that non-fiction can be creatively written too, but I never really enjoyed doing it the same way that I enjoy writing fiction.  I know my reflections can be seen as a form of non-fiction writing, but I previously reflected on why they’re different, at least to me (posted here), though in hindsight, they may be more similar than I thought.

I know that creative non-fiction is not as bad as the type of non-fiction I got forced to write by English teachers in high school, that made me treat the word “essay” as  being as bad as a swear word for over three years.  Creativity can come in the presentation, and written well, a true story can be made as interesting and exciting to read as a piece of realistic fiction without any artistic license.

Nonetheless, I do know a thing or two.  I wrote a short non-fiction piece about my rules of life some time back as part of my college creative writing class.  It wasn’t a pain to write, in fact, pieces of it came to me easier than some of my fiction pieces.  I knew all the details already, so I already had the entire story (I might even post it here someday, but I doubt it).

But in a way, the reason it came so easily is that there was no room for embellishment of the facts.  That was the story, and I had to present it.  For a time, I thought spontaneity in non-fiction was completely impossible.  The story is what it is, and you can’t change it.

However, despite the fact that the truth cannot be changed, writing the story might still give me usable ideas on how to improve the story.  When I write about one thing, I may be reminded of other details about the story, and those details remind me of others.  Thus, writing non-fiction can become a way for an author to explore himself, and learn more about the story, or the topic of the non-fiction piece.

Of course, not all non-fiction is about the author.  There are stories where the author may have been a passive observer to, or stories the author only learned of through research.  Never underestimate the power of research (this topic definitely deserves a reflection).

As I wrote this, I began to see how much my reflections really are like true non-fiction stories.  I’m really writing them as I way I can get my blog followers to know me better, and I definitely use the same sort of spontaneity, as I explore the topic as I’m writing about it.

I guess this goes to prove that you can learn as you write non-fiction.  For now, though, I’d rather stick to the writing of fiction.  It’s just more entertaining for me, and more of a release for my creativity.  Speaking of, I have to release some creativity right now, I’ve got a story idea, so talk to you later!


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