Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What is Narrative Nonfiction?

I have been teaching and writing creative non-fiction for many years. Today I read an article by Trish Nicholson, an article on non-fiction books. She uses the term narrative nonfiction.

This is one definition:  Put together, 'narrative non-fiction' is a true story written in the style of a fiction novel. Literary nonfiction and creative nonfiction are also terms used instead of or in association with narrative nonfiction. They all refer to the same thing – using literary techniques and styles to tell a true story.

Another way narrative non-fiction is described:  ​Traditional nonfiction is a straight forward survey of a given topic. They are written in clear, concise language in an expository style. Informational fiction presents facts and information within a fictional story. Narrative nonfiction tells a true story with no made up parts in the form of a narrative.

What are the elements of a nonfiction narrative?  The elements within narrative nonfiction are similar to those found within novels, including: 
  • well-developed characters
  • engaging dialogue, 
  • story that follows a narrative arc, 
  • an identifiable theme,
  • the use of literary devices such as symbolism and imagery.
I found a fabulous video about narrative nonfiction.  
If you write memoir or other nonfiction, the author on the video gives some good advice.