Keep It Real (Paperback Edition)

This handy guide begins by defining creative nonfiction. Then it explores the flexibility of the form—the liberties and the boundaries that allow writers to be as truthful, factual, and artful as possible. A succinct but rich compendium of ideas, terms, and techniques, Keep It Real will clarify the ins and outs of writing creative nonfiction. Starting with the acknowledgment of sources, then running through fact-checking, metaphor, and navel gazing, and ending with writers’ responsibilities to their subjects, this book provides all the information writers need to write with verve while remaining true to their story.


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Author Bio

  • Edited by Lee Gutkind
    Lee Gutkind, recognized by Vanity Fair as “the Godfather behind creative nonfiction,” is the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, and editor of more than 25 books. He is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University and a professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication Gutkind has lectured to audiences around the world—from China to the Czech Republic, from Australia to Africa to Egypt. 
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Table of Contents

  • Private and Public: The Range and Scope of Creative Nonfiction

  • The ABCs of Creative Nonfiction

  • “Acknowledgment of Sources”

  • Backdoor Access

  • Checkbook Journalism

  • Composite Characters

  • Compression

  • Defamation and Libel

  • Evolution of the Genre

  • Facts

  • Fact-checking

  • Family Members as Characters

  • Forewords and Afterwords

  • Frame

  • Getting Inside Characters’ Heads

  • Guiding the Reader

  • Gunkholing: Finding a Story

  • History into Nonfiction Narrative

  • The “I”

  • Immersion

  • Influencing Readers

  • Keeping It Brief

  • Legal Responsibilities of Publishers

  • The Lyric Essay

  • The Memoir Craze

  • Metaphor

  • Montage Writing

  • The Narrative Impulse

  • Navel-gazing

  • Point of View

  • Psychoanalyzing Characters

  • Quotation Marks

  • Reconstruction of Events

  • Reflection

  • The Roots of Memoir

  • Scenes

  • Subjectivity

  • Tape Recording

  • Truth

  • Use of Imagination

  • The Vagaries of Memory

  • Whose Story to Tell

  • Writers’ Responsibility to Subjects