When an author decides to write a story, the form that they write it is important to the way they want to impact their readers. Using the wrong form, or even the right for in the wrong way, can change the entire meaning or flow of the story and many people may end up struggling with it.
For Creative NonFiction, I personally think one of the best ways to develop a story is to use parallel, between the past and the present. That could be because the majority of the creative nonfiction pieces I’ve read so far are written that way. Two were written in journal form. One may be considered accumulation.
Here is a list of some forms, provided by the course blog:
- juxtaposition – arranging one item alongside another item so that the comment back and forth on one another
- parallelism – alternating or intertwining one continuouse strand with another (a present tense strand with a past tense strand, a domestic strand with a foreign strand, etc)
- patterning – choosing an extra-literary design and arranging literary segments accordingly (for example, using the structure of/associations with the seasons, a musical piece, preparing a meal as the sequential frame for an essay)
- accumulation – arranging a series of segments or scenes or episodes so that they add to or enrich or alter the meanings of previous segments with each addition, perhaps reinterpreting earlier segments
- journaling – actually writing in episodes or reconstructing the journal experience in drafts (this approach may include notes, earlier versions of the essay, reflections on how to revise earlier sections, etc.)
Out of all these choices, the one I probably wouldn’t do is journaling, just because I don’t keep a journal. I used to, a very long time ago, but then I got tired of writing in it everyday. My life just didn’t seem exciting enough to write down on paper. But if I thought about it I could probably find a few things to write about that would be listed under several of these pieces.
One of my friends here at Kean suggested that I write my “I” essay on mine and my boyfriend’s relationship: how we met and how we made it this far. She found it very cute, so I’ve been thinking about it, and might go with it. Looking at the list I think I would use patterning with it, using different musical pieces in order to explain how I felt throughout different points in the relationship. And yes, I do have 5 years worth of songs and quotes that would fit the entire story 🙂
Another essay I would really like trying to do would be something with my dreams. I have the craziest dreams ever that I always remember. If I can remember what was actually going on in my life at the time of certain dreams, I would connect the dreams to real life in order to explain what might’ve been going on to trigger it. Not entirely sure how I would write it, though. Juxtaposition perhaps?
Still searching for my “Eye” piece though. I wonder when it will stop in and say hello. Maybe it already has, but I have yet to acknowledge it’s presence.
Until next time.