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Schreibtischtäter > Literary writing > Spoke desgin

What obsesses you? What do you want to explore? What might you investigate? Make a list. William Zinsser declares that new writers ought to begin their writing lives creative nonfiction because `They will write far more willingly about subjects that touch their own lives or that they have an aptitude for`. For creative writing students from academic backgrounds such as the sciences, creative nonfiction comes into its own, and `writing what you know` might prove to be writing about your own studies or research. Those new creative writers who worry that writing about external matters is less authentic a project than writing about themselves ought to be relieved by the certainty that the style of any piece of writing is going to reveal as much about the writer as it is about the subject. However, that way you write will also reveal in authenticity, especially if you get facts and details wrong through lack of familiarity.

Finding a topic

If you find it difficult to locate a topic, then write a trail piece in which you take a subjet that you know a great deal about. Again, test out its promise a literary integrity by writing it as a scene, or series of scenes. Many new writes begin with what is on their doorstep: family history. They then choose some discrete aspect of family history, one that they know very little about, and which requires a small amount of research. They shift from the panoptic to the microscopic focus. Tight scenes have much greater light and energy than any vague, large vision.
Mirror this shift of focus in your creative nonfiction. Choose an aspect of the world or people that you know reasonably well, and then choose some aspect that is new to you and needs fieldwork. Your task is to connect them without them seeming slung together haphazardly. For example, you might wish to write a personal essay about one of your grandparents, but then use the impact of age memory as a hook on which to hang the essay. A similar strategy is to take two aspect of life, and lean them against each other so that they become more than the sum of their parts. For example, you could write a piece that combined you love a sport with foreign travel. Or combine public and private narratives, such as issue of public injustice with some crisis in your family life.

Fieldwork and interviews

Research will involve carrying out Internet searches on your subjet, and checking library database for books and articles on the same or similar subjects. Importantly, check whether your subject has already been covered, and what gaps are left between subjects that are ripe for research and writing. Try also to read a national newspaper at least twice a week to keep up on current affairs, and maintain what writes call a `futures` file of press clippings in your notebook. These clippings may touch on your subject or contain matters you may wish to write about later. If you are writing call a `futures` file of press clippings in your notebook. These clippings may touch on your subject or contain matters you may wish to write about later. If you are writing about local of family history, then you need to become acquainted with record offices. Most cities and towns posses excellent archives of official documents, papers and records. Talk to their archivists and librarians about the kind of information you are seeking. Third-party help of this type can allow you to access materials it might take many weeks to find under your own steam. Research might also include interviewing an expert in a field simply to get information. However, interviewing people about their own stories is a different matter.
Interviewing people is an art form in itself but it comes down to there matters: being interested in what a person has to say; becoming a good listener; and recognizing which materials to select from a interview. Choose your interviewees with care, and make sure you all well prepared. Try to formulate your questions so that they do not `lead` to predictable responses, but that they elicit long answers that may even take the form of an anecdotal story or joke. Nurture the relationship with a subject; this promotes mutual trust but also allows you to take in more than mere surface information. It allows you to know people better - their values, attitudes and thoughts. It should also lead you to make fewer factual, or moral, mistakes.

A literature of hope

You are writing during the silver age for creative nonfiction. It is probably the most communal, idealistic and open-ended of literary genres. `If were asked what I want to accomplish as a writer, I would say it`s to contribute to a literature of hope`, states Barry Lopez in About This Life. Creative nonfiction is now an international supergene encompassing memoirs, history, ogy, film and music writing, popular philosophy, ethnic studies, journalism, writing on religion, literary studies, and more. It contributes to the boom in expands the continent of creative writing, presenting complete pictures of a subject and fresh ways of looking at the world around us. Its permeable open space continues to grow and capture ever more subjects, writers and readers, especially through weblogs.

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