re: Stuck Between Two Stones: Fiction or Nonfiction?

by Fioldaliza Woods
(Apopka, FL.)

Hello Glen- first, let me give you a bow and hats off on such an outstanding website. Truly it's a writer's very own cloud in heaven! Well, I am finally ready!! For 15 years I've put this calling off, while each day being reminded by those who have been my students throughout the years, that all my great and captivating stories "should belong in a book." I've encountered experiences and stories that if never told, they will never serve as a lesson or to develop the lives of others. However, this is my desire. I love nonfiction! It's all I ever read while growing and still today at age 39 it's all I love to read. Some fiction pieces are awesome, and I too have read some great fictional works, but as an educator, a reality that has hit our society is the fact that our youngsters and young adults just don't want to read anymore. Standardized testing, and curricula are mainly tailored around nonfiction, and our states create their tests using nonfiction reads. Based on this fact, I wanted to write where my work can be part of school curricula and literature book lists; but with more of the nonfiction genre in place. However, I wanted to write stories in a plot setting that would give the YA the feeling that they are reading a nonfiction so good that it all feels like it's fictional. In other words, a story created with characters who develop a plot that truly did happen at some time. What type of genre would this fall into? And can this be all possible to do? Look forward to your professional insight.

Response: It sounds like what you want to write is creative nonfiction.

In this genre, the author takes factual, historical events and writes about them as though they were fiction, using the techniques of fiction. It is a popular and entertaining way to educate children and young adults about history and historical figures,

The difference between creative nonfiction and fiction based on historical persons or events is that with creative nonfiction you are obligated to get the facts correct. As long as you don't contradict history, you can embellish a little and tell the story in a dramatic way. But it's a narrow tightrope to walk.

On the other hand, there are stories such as The Magic Treehouse series that take historical settings and persons and use them in stories about events that never actually happened. This is also somewhat educational as long as the reader knows what is factual and what is made up.

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Jul 01, 2012
Thank You!!
by: Liza Woods

I am so excited to know that no long I'm stuck between two stones, but a genre between the two stones in fact does exist!! You have no idea how excited I am right now! Glen, thank you so much for not only answering so quickly, but for educating me on this particular genre a bit more further. I knew something like this existed but couldn't place the finger on it. I hope this posting answers the questions other writers may have on this topic. Much success to you. You will be the first to know when my first book is published...promise :)

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