Creative Nonfiction – The Elusive Genre

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True stories, no matter in what form they have been written, will always matter! Today, in a world full of information and disinformation, the creative nonfiction genre is everywhere. It combines modern and archaic techniques to give life to ideas powered not by brilliant minds, but real situations told in a captivating way. Creative nonfiction can be presented as memoirs, essays, literary journalism, research documents, and even social media posts. The article can be personalized or for the general public! Some writers believe the genre does not exist due to its complexity and elusiveness. It can be disguised, but you can easily recognize it as it’ll always lie on real and verified facts!

Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction Stories

Most simply said, fiction is stories born from the imagination of authors and not necessarily true, while nonfiction is exactly the opposite. Of course, the line between those couple of genre concepts sometimes can be blurred, depending on the exact theme and type of article. Here are the main fiction and nonfiction genres’ comparison bases :

  • Facts vs Imagined Stories – sometimes, both genres may describe a real situation, but fiction authors are free to add illusory elements;
  • Different Perspective – nonfiction articles present only the author’s point of view;
  • Purpose – while fiction aims to mainly entertain the readers, nonfiction is rather more educational;
  • Nature and Resilience– the true stories are always objective with no room for flexibility;
  • Focus and Directness – fiction develops an abstract theme, readers are supposed to understand and follow through with the acts, while nonfiction relies on a direct presentation and provides references to sources of information.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be hardly confused about what type of article you are reading. Some writers are really good in the way they create the world in our minds, mixing verified facts with their imaginable points of view. But still, their purpose is never to deceive the audience.

Creative Nonfiction Around Us

According to the International Publishers Association, there are at least five types of creative nonfiction. The active, browsable, and traditional styles are easy to recognize and often mix with each other. Expository literature and narrative nonfiction are more widespread, but usually, the readers are not aware of the genre. Now more than ever, creative nonfiction is very important for social media users. Plenty of information is shared on the different platforms hourly, and it’s hard for us to determine whether the stories are true or fiction. However, here we step into a separate area of discussion, and we wish to stick to the topic!

Top Nonfiction Books in the XXI Century

It’s difficult to decide which book is better when we talk about creative nonfiction. Unlike fantasy novels, readers can’t evaluate the author’s imagination. On the other hand, the new century provides us with more and more advanced tools for searching for the truth behind the stories and related facts. Here are a few of our top picks for nonfiction novels that have been released since 2000:

  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate by Naomi Klein
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder
  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Dark Money by Jane Mayer
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

Undoubtedly, many other titles also deserve your attention! We have chosen these as most of them find a place in numerous charts sponsored by publicist publishers, including The Guardian. The variety of themes and research topics is truly enormous. No matter your areas of interest, you are sure to find a book that will pique your curiosity. Well-told true stories are definitely a genre that readers’ passion will not pass soon. Some non-fictional narratives are so masterfully developed that they may sound more incredible than the most imaginary tales. And the best part is that any journalist or person with specific skills and focus can create a masterpiece based on real facts only.

Everyone Can Join!

Authors willing to write their first creative nonfiction book must follow a few simple rules. In the first place is to make their story factually correct. If it’s fabricated, any narrative loses credibility no matter how popular the theme is and how well it has been told. Secondly, you need to incorporate various writing techniques related to literature to play with the readers’ imagination. The biggest difference between creative nonfiction and the other similar genres and, at the same time, a must for every dedicated writer is following the emotion! Authors tell the story from their perspective, so they can use their personal feelings to create an edge.

Final Lines

Creative nonfiction is the most widespread narrative genre without being the most popular or known by readers. Finding the differences between journalism and fiction novels is not always clear, and the blurred line between them is sometimes invisible. We believe that the world needs such writers possessing the skills and flair to present a story, often awkward, in a fascinating way. It’s a special talent beyond the understanding of classic novelists! In conclusion, we can say that creative nonfiction helps us see the world through a different prism, unlocking our innate curiosity.