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Sunday, December 1, 2013

What is Creative Non-Fiction?

 Have you ever heard of creative non-fiction? Today we'll discuss it so you'll have a clear picture of what it included.  Creative non-fiction may contain some interesting, well-researched facts. Any non-fiction also is built from pure facts; nothing invented. For example, you may remember that some people have talked about the fact that George Washington hated the wooden false teeth, which were common in his era. The fact is, President Washington had always suffered with troublesome teeth. But he never wore wooden ones. Instead, he had ivory false teeth from the age of 57 forward. If you place that fact in your story, it would be considered "creative non-fiction" because you added a little-known fact. If you're writing about George Washington, you may also mention that he planned the new capitol city that was to be named after him, but he never lived there. Instead he resided in New York City and Philadelphia. I enjoyed finding out that President Washington was fond of parties. Did you know that when he gave a party, people came from all over and they usually spent the night. Sometimes the guests would sleep in the hallways!
What if you're writing a non-fiction article about President George W. Bush. Can you mention that he is very athletic and rides his mountain bike regularly? Can you mention that he is a talented artist? Yes, because these are facts that can be easily researched. If you can search for little- known facts like these, your story will engage young readers.
If you are thinking that you can create your story from hearsay, that would not be considered creative non-fiction. In other words, if Aunt Sally tells you about a famous politician who lived in your town, that is not a well-researched fact. She may have forgotten some important details or she may be relying on what other relatives have passed on to her. Most editors would not be interested in this sort of thing because it wouldn't have a well-constructed plot.
Suppose you have a story with some facts entwined, but it's mostly built on fiction. This would be a novel. It would not be considered creative non fiction.
 Now you have some ideas about how you can write a non-fiction story or article that would still be of interest to young readers.I hope you enjoyed this article and you learned more about creative non-fiction. Thank you for stopping by to read this blog.


  1. It's always fun to find little known facts about historic figures and incorporate them into a story.

    1. I think so too, Sherry. I like finding out those little tidbits about famous people. I remember reading that George Washington was very involved in promoting good manners, like not cleaning your teeth with the edge of the table cloth! D

  2. When I think about creative non-fiction I always think about In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and a book called Manhunt (about the hunt for John Wilkes Booth). Both books are based on true events but there are things that the writer couldn't have known (like what certain people actually said, what they may have eaten, or were thinking), and in these instances the author usually takes some creative liberties to fill in the gaps between the known events. I think that's fine but you can't really call it "non-fiction" since the author has to fill in the gaps. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that since I just make it all up:)

    1. Hi Quanie,
      I think that it's possible when people make up part of the story, that's it's a novel, but that's just my opinion on it.It could be similar to Michael Crichton's books, which are partly based on fact, but have a certain amount of fiction, so they are novels.