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To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0205605491
ISBN-10: 0205605494
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Frequently Bought Together

To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction + Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University + Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Connie D. Griffin

 

Filled with practical techniques and concrete examples, To Tell The Truth is an invaluable guide to writing in the burgeoning genre of creative nonfiction.  Connie D. Griffin, an experienced educator, writer and journalist, sheds light on the trials and tribulations all writers face when entering into the writing process. Starting from the principles of storytelling and examining every facet of the various forms of nonfiction narrative, this book will assist you with the technical challenges of transforming life as lived into literary representation. Each chapter is reinforced with sample essays, memoirs, literary journalism, short shorts and prose poetry selected from the canon of this rapidly growing field. Honed and refined in dozens of college-level writing programs, creative writing workshops and conferences, these clear and detailed lessons will provide you with the tools that you’ll need to develop a writing practice and a distinctive writing voice that will serve you for years to come.

 

WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS EDITION

 

·         A close analysis of the various forms of creative nonfiction, including the memoir, the lyric essay, literary journalism, the nonfiction short, and the prose poem.

 

·          Techniques and lessons for developing good writing practices, writing for story and theme, the importance of scene, characterization, creating a narrative persona and generating narrative from research.

 

·          An emphasis on working in stages: prewriting prompts, developing ideas through multiple drafts and strategies for revision to deepen narrative.

 

·          Over 40 model selections of contemporary creative nonfiction, including Writers on Writing--essays focusing on writers' creative processes.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Connie Griffin holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa; a master's degree from Boston College; and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She has taught and presented in a variety of writing programs, writing institutes, and conferences, including Boston College's Creative Writing Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst's Journalism Program, the National Writer's Union writers' conference--WriteAngles, Curry College's Blue Hills Writing Institute, and the Northeast Modern Language Association. She teaches courses in narrative nonfiction, literary journalism, feature and magazine writing, memoir, media studies, as well as literary and cultural studies. She has published essays, articles, reviews, features, and profiles and has presented numerous papers on memoir, autobiography, and narrative nonfiction. She served on the editorial board and as guest editor for Woman of Power magazine, staff writer for The University of Tulsa Magazine, and contributing writer for Tulsa Magazine. She served as Broadcast Relations Manager for the University of Tulsa, where she was producer and host of University FOCUS, a weekly educational television program.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205605494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205605491
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeannette LeSure on April 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I collect books on writing by writers--I need them--and in Connie Griffin's book, "TO TELL THE TRUTH: Practice & Craft in Narrative Nonfiction," I've found yet another favorite. Frankly, this should be a textbook used for every course in writing nonfiction. From the outset, through her own powerful voice and through the often startlingly eloquent voices of the writers she has included, Griffin hits every fear, every imagined and real hurdle we encounter -- whether we're seasoned writers or fledglings. Then she offers us a way over or through them. Griffin blends the three necessities to engage and teach: practical, detailed advice from successful writers coupled with outstanding "practice strategies" exercises; examples of every form that are just, plain, superb; and finally (this is important and all too rare) organization that lets you find what you want immediately, through the index OR the table of contents. It sits by my computer, with "A Room of One's Own," "Journal of a Solitude," and "Writing Down the Bones." These books give me hope when I'm stuck, and the knowledge that my struggles are neither unique nor unconquerable. To me, Griffin's book is a must have for any nonfiction writer, perhaps especially for those of us who have not yet published our work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allan G. Hunter on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Writing memoir is often a difficult process as one has to wrestle with all sorts of challenges around what one remembers, how well one remembers it, how one can reconstruct what might have been going on that one didn't recognize at the time, and with how one can find the deep wisdom that resides in one's life. Connie Griffin presents us with a clear, precise, and user-friendly manual that will make such obstacles melt away. Packed full of good practical advice, and also containing many short essays written by the very finest writers of our time, she is at the same time a comforting coach and a stimulating guide. Where other writers have been overly directive or hopelessly vague, Connie Griffin can draw upon years of actual classroom experience working with memoir writers, and the fruits of her labors are here.

I feel I can assert all this because I too teach Memoir writing, and I am very grateful for Connie Griffin's book.

[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erika S. Dejong on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying this book is a must for anyone who wants to write creative nonfiction. Like many aspiring writers of nonfiction, I have collected "how to write" books in abundance, pulling a little something from each that inspires and encourages me. When I read Griffin's book "To Tell the Truth," I spent hours in it before hitting the keyboard, lost in the wonderful prose she employs to instruct. Learning becomes almost entirely organic. This book is at once masterfully and beautifully written, weighted in practical techniques and penned in the exact craft she is teaching--- creative nonfiction.

The organization of the writing process-- from early scribblings, working with memory, developing a narrative persona, portraying the people in our stories in all their quirks and truths, working with scenes, themes, situations, and finally that thing called storytelling, draft and draft-- comes to life in the progression of the chapters, start to finish. The exercises in each chapter were fresh and imaginative, asking that we stretch ourselves and our creative ideas to accomplish each chapter's lesson.

Another nice aspect of this book is the anthology. These pieces appear at the end of each chapter as opposed to the end of the book. Not only do we get to read Writers on Writing, but we also get to read creative nonfiction pieces that are powerful, lovely, colorful, emotional, and funny, which all exemplify the lesson of the chapter in which they appear!! It was as if Griffin was leading a workshop on the "chapter of the week," helping us learn the skills of writing, and then handed us a short, creative piece to read, and said, "See? This is what this chapter is about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roman Holliday on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers a wealth of ideas and inspiration for the aspiring memoirist (I consider myself one!) The explanations of what to look for in the well-chosen excerpts and the suggested exercises makes this a volume to keep handy on the shelves.
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