Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction
Creative Essay
Any short, non-fiction text written with
specific attention to its aesthetic qualities
and presentation that is written from the
point of view of the author. It focuses on a
personal experience that is a turning point,
a change in direction, an event that has
significant meaning, and also shares a
universal truth with readers.
What is a Personal Narrative Essay?
• based on memory of an event or experience or
moment in time that had significant meaning to
• tell a true story about a turning point in your life
• the event or experience actually happened to
• look back into your memory, to an earlier time
in your life, and unearth true stories that had
significant meaning to you
• Memory. Mining your memory for turning points in your life. Turning
points, such as a job loss, illness, disease, death, first encounters.
• Family life. Reflecting on family-What family events had significant
meaning? What do you remember about family life?
• Spiritual journey. Write about your spiritual journey.
• Place. Write about home. What is home? Travel experiences. The
natural world, such as hiking, biking, camping, exploring the
• Popular culture. Write about film, music, fiction, poetry,
photography, art—and how it has impacted you. What memories do
you have?
• The global village. Write about the world in which you live, such as
the environment.
Other Ideas
Journey, quest, pilgrimage
Mysteries and investigations
Rituals, games, performances, events
Dig up memories about a myriad of topics–from
toys to technology, to milestones to
accomplishments, things that have significantly
affected you.
• Problem (exposition)- Your goal is to describe a problem in vivid
details. What is the significant event that lead to a problem?
• Struggle (rising action)-This problem creates conflict, which can be
external (the outside world) and internal (within your mind or
psyche) obstacles or setbacks.
• Epiphany (climax)- Your problem and struggle results in an epiphany
or flood of new understanding. The epiphany transforms your story
from merely an anecdote to a personal narrative that has significant
meaning to you, and shared meaning with others.
• Resolution- What you have done differently since you had the
(Does not necessarily have to be in this order—be creative)
• Creative essays are written to express, render, and
• frequently do not follow a standard structure
• designed to move the emotions
• should be rich with imagery, modifiers, and fresh
language, and should vary their syntax
• Usually told from the first-person voice
• make sure that it tells a story
• the writer should structure and present his essay in
the way that best reflects the emotional timbre of
the essay
• should attempt to accurately and honestly relate
these personal ideas
Readers Expect You to Share
Your thoughts
Your feelings
Your opinions
Personal Reflections
Keep in mind that a creative essay does
not strive to provide answers to questions or
even to necessarily explain a particular concept.
Rather, a creative essay is meant to help create
sense of the world and to raise questions that
the reader may wish to explore further.
Descriptions found at: