The Writer's Path at SMU
True Stories Dramatized. NARRATIVE NONFICTION: THE PROPOSAL
True stories bubble up from life experiences—people, places, events, hobbies, professions, animals and institutions—we have known and/or wondered about. Our lives become rich veins to mine for facts and nuances of “story,” story that shines the light on some facet you’re drawn to by the ever inquisitive nature of writers. Bring your ideas, your curiosity, and we’ll flesh them out into story in Narrative Nonfiction: The Proposal.
“Narrative Nonfiction,” (NNF) also called “Creative Nonfiction” or “Literary Nonfiction”: These terms name the story form that highlights true stories and their facts with storytelling’s gifts of drama. Often, the questions we seek to answer in NNF revolve around the “Why” and the “How” of something or someone.
Narrative Nonfiction stories draw on interests across the universe of writing: history, science, business, sports, travel, geography and memoir to name a few. In this fall’s “Narrative Nonfiction: The Proposal” class, we’ll write a “proposal” of our respective books, including:
A PROPOSAL, a polished version of these three components, is what agents and editors require for Narrative Nonfiction rather than a completed manuscript.
That’s why we at SMU offer this proposal course, A NARRATIVE NONFICTION PROPOSAL RATHER THAN COMPLETED MANUSCRIPT, in ONLY nine weeks. Then, when an agent or editor expresses interest IN YOUR PROPOSAL, the keystrokes fly, a completed book the target.
EXAMPLES FROM A FEW MASTERS, starting with the man known as the “Grandfather of Creative Nonfiction,” Gay Talese, because of his biography of The New York Times, The Kingdom and The Power (1962). Others include:
These are a few off my bookshelf—and ones I inevitably use in teaching Narrative (Creative) Nonfiction—but please explore your own literary interests in true stories dramatized—Narrative NonFiction—and…for class…