Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life, Revised Edition

Philip Gerard
Published in 2004
by Waveland Press, Inc.

In this practical guidebook, Philip Gerard, author and founder of the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MFA program in creative writing, walks through the genre of creative nonfiction—how it came to be defined and what it takes to craft a compelling, true story. Gerard combines journalistic skills with the art of storytelling in the eleven chapters covering subjects such as research, interviewing, mystery and structure, law and ethics, and revision. Writers will learn the challenges and steps to mastering the craft of creative nonfiction with Gerard’s generous instruction and advice. “The hardest part of writing creative nonfiction is that you’re stuck with what really happened—you can’t make it up,” writes Gerard. “You can be as artful as you want in the presentation, draw profound meanings out of your subject matter, but you are stuck with real people and real events. You’re stuck with stories that don’t always turn out the way you wish they had turned out.”