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You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction--from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between [Format Kindle]

Lee Gutkind

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Présentation de l'éditeur

From rags-to-riches-to-rags tell-alls to personal health sagas to literary journalism everyone seems to want to try their hand at creative nonfiction. Now, Lee Gutkind, the go-to expert for all things creative nonfiction, taps into one of the fastest-growing genres with this new writing guide. Frank and to-the-point, with depth and clarity, Gutkind describes and illustrates each and every aspect of the genre, from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. Offering new ways of understanding genre and invaluable tools for writers to learn and experiment with, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up allows writers of all skill levels to thoroughly expand and stylize their work.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 618 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 290 pages
  • Editeur : Da Capo Lifelong Books (14 août 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0080K3CHA
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°189.739 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne

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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  51 commentaires
28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Most powerful stories cannot be eradicated by time." 23 décembre 2012
Par E. Bukowsky - Publié sur Amazon.com
Creative nonfiction has become a hot commodity in recent years. It is "the fastest-growing genre in the literary and publishing worlds." An example is Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," one of the outstanding books of 2010, in which Skloot explores the life of an African-American woman whose cells are used all over the world for groundbreaking research. Lee Gutkind, author of "You Can't Make This Stuff Up," discusses works by Skloot and other outstanding writers to illustrate how evocative, moving, and profound creative nonfiction can be.

A prolific author in his own right, Gutkind is the founder and editor of a magazine, "Creative Nonfiction." In "You Can't Make This Stuff Up," he defines creative non-fiction, talks about some of its "prime movers," and addresses the challenges inherent in writing an essay, article, memoir, or other full-length work that is entertaining, stylish, memorable, and factually accurate. He emphasizes that there are "legal, ethical, and moral lines" that should not be crossed when writing creative nonfiction. Writers who "make stuff up" are often exposed, leading to reputations in ruins and careers that are ignominiously cut short.

This well-constructed book features outstanding examples of creative nonfiction by Skloot, Gay Talese, Lauren Slater, and Eve Joseph. These pieces demonstrate how colorful characters, lively scenes, crisp dialogue, and good storytelling can draw us in, maintain our interest, and subtly reveal big truths. In the second part of "You Can't Make This Stuff Up," Gutkind offers aspiring writers sound advice on how to produce their own works of creative non-fiction. He talks about choosing a topic, conducting research, fact-checking, editing, setting up a narrative structure, and revision. In addition, he suggests specific techniques, habits, and exercises to help budding writers get started on the road to success.

Lee Gutkind has been teaching courses on creative nonfiction for years; in fact, Rebecca Skloot is one of his former students. However, you do not have to be an aspiring Laura Hillenbrand ("Unbroken"), Jeannette Walls ("The Glass Castle"), or Tom Wolfe ("The Right Stuff") to derive pleasure from this lively, detailed, and entertaining work. Gutkind's passion, humor, clarity, and expertise make this a must-read for anyone who appreciates the art of creating "true stories, well told."

ADDENDUM: I did not deduct any stars for the errors in this book, although considering Gutkind's obsessiveness about fact-checking, I should have. For example, on page 28, Gutkind mentions that George C. Scott and Peter O'Toole won best actor Oscars for "Patton" and "Lawrence of Arabia" respectively. This is untrue in the case of Peter O'Toole. If you look up this fine actor's biography, you will learn that "O'Toole has been nominated eight times for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, making him the most-nominated actor never to win the award."
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP helped me set my goal. 20 décembre 2012
Par David Steiger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Turning our fourteen-year-old daughter’s three diaries into a memoir was proving more difficult than the middle grade fiction I loved to write. YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP by Lee Gutkind was exactly what I needed. Especially what he said about reflection—it hurt—but I had to do it.
I checked out a copy from the library, but halfway through page six I bought my own copy and highlighted the first words that helped me set my goal. I would write creative nonfiction—a well-told true story without any made up stuff. In addition, there was a bonus. This book is helping my fiction. I'll follow the final word and reread it along with STORYCRAFT by Jack Hart.
23 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 In two words: Don't lie. Not when you're presenting your work as nonfiction. 8 août 2013
Par Aisling D'Art - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book presents very good arguments in favor of writing nonfiction as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I'll admit that I'm biased and I'm probably not the target audience for this book. I write nonfiction, but mostly fringe, New Age, and BOTS (based on a true story) books. I'm writing with a deliberate slant, and my goal is as much to entertain my readers as to inform them.

So, though the subtitle of this book says its "the complete guide to writing creative nonfiction from memoir to literary journalism and everything in between," I felt as if the author placed clear and narrow limits on how "creative" nonfiction can be. I'm sure that, from his viewpoint, permitting Dewey Decimal Classification 398 (including folklore, fairy tales, and ghost stories) was a grave error.

I wanted to like this book, and I'm sure it's a bible for people who want to write gritty stories about real life, including tragedies and tales of redemption. However, even the examples in this book were depressing, albeit well-written (or perhaps because they're so well written.)

If you love reading books by authors like Steinbeck, Normal Mailer, and Hemingway, you're sure to like this book. If you'd describe yourself as a "cynic," this book is your cup of tea.

For me, this book clarified the kind of writer I am by showing me the kind of writer I'm not... and absolutely, positively, never want to become. Bring on the musical comedies! Give me P. G. Wodehouse!
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Inspiring and helpful 20 février 2013
Par Leanne Shirtliffe - Publié sur Amazon.com
I enjoyed this book for several reasons: (1) Gutkind's advice was practical and helpful. I feel like I became a better reader by seeing the relationship between scenes and information through his examples and his highlights. If I become a better reader, I become a better writer. (2) The sample essays are fantastic. They are diverse, and I appreciated reading them in their entirety. (3) I really enjoyed the section on immersion nonfiction. I now want to immerse myself in something that is not related to doing laundry or teaching teens, two things I'm already immersed in. I didn't do any of the writing exercises (in my opinion, those are meant for someone new to writing or to the genre), but I will definitely be applying some of his tips and techniques to my current WIP. Worth the read and the money!
18 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Learning Creative Nonfiction from the Master 9 octobre 2012
Par Steve Proctor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Disparaged in 1997 as the "godfather behind creative nonfiction" in a critical Vanity Fair article, the author has led the development of this genre since the early 1970's.

The author promotes a practice he calls reading with a "double eye." First, you read as "your" reader -- "writing for others in a way you might want others to right for you," learning to read with an eye for what you want and need to read (and hence to write). You learn to appreciate what you want when it's there, and notice when it's not. And there's reading as a writer -- "to understand the approach, the craft, the tricks of the trade of the writer you are reading."

Part I provides answers the question in depth, "Just what is creative nonfiction?" There's historical and personal background. And there's a great introduction to the various subgenres of creative nonfiction.

The Birth of the Godfather
The Definition Debate
The Fastest-Growing Genre
Truth or...
Truth and Fact
The Creative Nonfiction Police
The Creative Nonfiction Pendulum: From Personal to Private
The Public or "Big Idea'
Widening the Pendulum's Swing
The Creative Nonfiction Way of Life
Selecting Subjects to Write About
The Tribulations of the Writer at Work
It's the Story, Stupid
It's the Information, Stupid
And Finally, a Gentle Reminder

Part II is devoted to the craft of creative nonfiction. This material is focused on the subject -- this is no generic "how to write" book. The many exercises make this part even more useful. Read the chapter headings of Part II for a clearer idea of its contents:

How to Read
The Building Blocks
The Yellow (or Highlighting) Test
A Famous and Memorable Scene
To Highlight or Not to Highlight: That Is the Question
Intimate Details
Inner Point of View
Recreation or "Reconstruction"?
The Narrative Line and the Hook
The Story Determines the Research
Framing: The Second Part of Structure (After Scenes)
Main Point of Focus
First Lede/Real Lede
A Final Word: Read the Book Again

This book is highly recommended for anyone who aspires to write creative nonfiction. It's probably the premier book on the subject, written by an established advocate and master of the genre. It's also a great overall theoretical introduction to the subject.

For any writer I'd recommend Fowler's Second Edition. It is, I believe, still the single most important guide to English usage. And for writers needing a bit of diversion, there's THE Book of Word Games: Parlett's Guide to 150 Great and Quick-to-Learn Word Games.
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