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January 16, 2018 @ 5:54 am

Four ways to write authentic creative nonfiction dialogue

Dialogue. I know some of you shutter when you see that word.

I'm happy to say you don't have to, but dialogue is an essential part of telling any story, fiction or nonfiction.

No wonder we put so much pressure on ourselves to write dialogue that works for our stories. It's meant to help move the narrative forward, it reveals vital insights into our characters, it gives a sense of time and place, and more.

Every writer wants to create authentic dialogue. So when it comes to creating that authenticity, how do we go about doing it?

Today on Creatively Genuine, I discuss four tactics which help me create dialogue in my creative nonfiction novel.

As part of the "creative" side of this nonfiction story, I need to write dialogue spoken at moments I did not witness and by people who passed away years ago. I cannot interview them and take notes on how they speak or to confirm what they actually said.

That's the creative part of my creative nonfiction novel. And the dialogue has to be authentic to my audience.

Hopefully one or all four of these tactics I talk about today can help you, even if you're writing fiction.

Dave is a professional writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. His writing podcast, Creatively Genuine, is available on iTunes and Google Play.

 

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January 9, 2018 @ 6:04 am

From Pantser to Plotter

When I sat down for my first writing session of 2018, I came with all the enthusiasm inherent with a new year. I figured I could pick up where I left off 10 days earlier, when I shut down all manuscript work in favor of the Christmas holiday. 

An all-too-familiar panic, however, set in rather quickly. 

Every time I've gone to write a draft of my creative nonfiction novel, I manage to navigate deep into the story, but eventually, I find myself intellectually and emotionally lost. Why? I lose sight of the greater context, the big picture. 

It's frustrating. I know the story, after all, I lived it. So why did I struggle to finish it?

Simple -- I was a pantser. And it held me back.

Writers find themselves in two camps; either you are a pantser or a plotter. Pantsers write by the seat-of-their-pants, simply winging it to see where the writing and their creativity takes them. They have no patience for the focused practice of mapping out every plot point and character sketch; in other words, what plotters do.

Today on Creatively GenuineI discuss my metamorphosis from pantser to plotter and how that's impacted my writing. I also discuss a book called The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson, which you can find right here.

Are you a pantser? A plotter? How has either one helped or held you back? Leave a comment and let's start a spirited (and respectful) discussion.

Dave is a professional writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. His writing podcast, Creatively Genuine, is available on iTunes and Google Play.

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January 2, 2018 @ 5:49 am

Five ways to keep your writing on track in 2018

It's the first Creatively Genuine pod for 2018, and in this one, I offer five ways to keep your writing resolutions on track throughout the year.

We all begin a new year with hope and ambition, but let's face it -- within a few weeks, our drive begins to diminish. Life challenges us. Other priorities have a way of, well, getting in the way.

Here are five ways we can all stay focused on our writing so we don't lose momentum after January 1.

Also today, for all the new listeners, a roundup of what Creatively Genuine and my book, For Him I Sing, is all about. I look at where we've been, where we are, and where we're going so you know what to expect.

I'm so excited for 2018 to begin. Much more to come. Hope you enjoy the start to the new year.

Dave is a writer, magazine columnist, blogger, podcaster, and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. His writing podcast, Creatively Genuine, is available on iTunes and Google Play.

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December 19, 2017 @ 11:13 am

The three effective strategies for productive writing in 2018

2017 draws to a close, and I'm stopping by Creatively Genuine to talk about three productivity strategies I tried in 2017 that will make me a better writer in the year ahead.

Give one or all of these a try. And if you discovered a technique or strategy that improved your productivity in 2017, I would love to hear about it. Tell me in the comments or on Twitter at NorthArchDP

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December 19, 2017 @ 9:10 am

AWOL at the Holiday Inn

How do you take a family legend that no one alive can truly confirm, and then turn that legend into a scene in your creative nonfiction novel? The backstory of whether a family member deserted the Marine Corps during Christmas 1942.

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December 19, 2017 @ 9:08 am

Messing with timelines. Non-linear story telling takes over.

The movie Dunkirk had a profound inspiration on how I tell the story of my father's abduction and the investigation into what happened 60 years ago. Why? Messing with the chronological proved to be advantageous and profound.

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December 19, 2017 @ 9:06 am

Based on a True Story

This is a good one. If you walked into the nonfiction section of Barnes & Noble and pulled a book out from the memoir shelf, and you read that the book is "based on a true story," how would you feel? Today on Creatively Genuine, I'm talking about the creative part of creative nonfiction novel writing.

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December 19, 2017 @ 9:04 am

Don’t Overlook the Second Hook

Your opening scene to the first chapter isn't the only hook you should be concerned about as a writer. There's another hook just as vital to keeping the reader interested. 

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December 19, 2017 @ 9:03 am

It’s Not Journalism

Saturday morning, and after finishing Chapter One of the manuscript, I discuss the difference between straight journalism and creative nonfiction and why for my book I chose the latter.

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December 19, 2017 @ 9:01 am

“I Will Kill The Boy”

I bet that title caught your attention. Today, I continue work on Chapter One of my creative nonfiction novel, in which my grandmother in 1957 allegedly threatens to kill the baby my grandfather has with his teenage mistress. I also discuss why I reject the idea of daily word counts for writers and focus instead on writing scenes.

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