How to Write a Creative Nonfiction Essay

For many people, writing a nonfiction creative essay is not as easy as writing a fiction story. Writing about fiction is far easier than writing a nonfiction essay. This is because with fiction, you have larger areas to explore and you can let your imagination run wild. However just like writing a fiction essay, nonfiction essay writing should also come easily even though you have to stick to certain guidelines.

You cannot let your mind run wild when you set out to write a nonfiction creative essay, but you can get adventurous as you stick to the facts. Writing essays is also part of the education curriculum in many colleges and high schools. Therefore there is need to learn how to write your real life experiences without violating the rules.


Creative Nonfiction writing and what sets it apart from fiction


For those that may not know what the difference between creative nonfiction and fiction, here is the explanation. With fiction writing, you do not have to stick to particular points of views or facts and you can write just about anything. You can even write about things you only imagine in your head like aliens and monsters and bring them to life in your writing. Creative nonfiction on the other hand limits you to facts. You can only write real things in your creative nonfiction. The things that make nonfiction essays are real life stories, memoirs, experiences and many others.

The style you use to write your nonfiction essay is what determines its creativity. Just because you are writing about a real life experience, you do not have to make it read like an academic paper. One good example of a creative nonfiction writer is Truman Capote. His books and literary works continue thrilling many readers to date. You too can be a wonderful nonfiction writer if you set your mind into being the best. You can write interesting personal essays by following the guidelines below.


How to write a creative nonfiction essay


  • Find a topic that pleases you

The first step to write a good essay is to find a topic that you are passionate about. You could base the topic of your choice on true stories, a conversational informal piece or even formal piece of writing that requires study and facts to back up your facts. The most important thing is that you need to have something to say. The difference is there is a structures and chorological order to say it without coming out as irrelevant. Once you have your topic, then you are now set to begin.

  • Reflect over the topic and make it your own

Whatever topic you choose to focus on, chances are that someone may have written something on the same. Every writers experience is different and you can make your own unique. Write the story in your own words focusing more on details from certain experiences in your life. Stick to the truth no matter what because once you veer from that, then your essay will lose credibility. Be yourself and do not put any airs on your story telling.

  • Carry out enough research

Just because you are writing, nonfiction does not mean that you do not have to research on your topics. You can never go wrong with research because it opens you up to many possibilities. Use secondary and primary sources to get all the information you need. For example if you are writing a nonfiction essay on historical times, you need to read widely in order to get your facts right. Visit as many places as you can to collect all the information you need. Read what other people have written on the same topics and come up with your own writing style. Whatever you do, do not start writing blindly but research your topic extensively.

  • Avoid clutter

Anything you write should look pleasing to the eye of the reader even before he/she starts reading. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Long paragraphs put many people off and you do not want that. Every word you write should count and have a meaningful function. Do not repeat yourself or find filler words just to make the word count. Avoid passive language as much as you cam and be very careful with the construction of the sentences.

Another way of avoiding clutter is by properly organising your work. Choose the order you want your essay to take and stick to that. The order could be logical order, topical order or a chronological order. If your essay were on real life experiences or personal, then a chronological order would be the best.

  • Include elements of fiction

Creative nonfiction just like fiction has a plot, setting and characters. The difference between the two is that in nonfiction, all the elements are real while in fiction, not all the elements are real. Just because your essay is on something real does not mean that it has to be dull and very straightforward. The just-the-facts-approach may be too boring to read to most people.

Give your nonfiction essay some life by including elements of fiction. This you can do with your character descriptions, scenes in your plot, and the dialogue between different characters in your story. You can also create suspense in your story just like in a fiction story.

  • Give specific and concrete details

You may have a long story to tell your readers but you do not have to include everything in your essay. Give your readers what you think they want to read. Give them only the most important details of your story. Use an appealing language to awaken the reader’s senses. If you are writing a story on your romantic escapades, let the readers feel the how the moment was. Describe the events with detail and precision that will make them feel like they are present in the situation. Make it even more interesting by including metaphors, similes and imagery.

  • Captivate your readers with a good lead, body and an ending

Every essay you write should have one major factor to consider. It should be captivating. Make your lead as interesting as possible so that the reader will want to continue reading the rest of the essay. In your lead, let the reader know the purpose of your essay and give them enough reasons to read through. Your body should have all the facts in short, clearly thought out paragraphs. The ending should also leave your readers intrigued. Emphasise on any new information you may not have included and give a quote if you can.

  • Proofread and revise your essay

Do not ever submit an essay without going through it once more. Run your nonfiction essay through proofreading software, make sure you do not have any plagiarised stuff and make it readable. Check out any other errors like the placement of commas and get rid of unnecessary adverbs, phrases and adjectives. Check the language too and get rid of any clichés and colloquial words. Make your language as simple and readable as possible. Using heavy vocabulary does not make your essay any greater.


Wrapping it up

You can become the best of what you want to be by following the above guidelines for your essay writing. All you need is self-motivation, a topic and style that you are passionate about. If you are not sure of where to begin or how to do it, then there is no harm in seeking help. The internet has many places you can seek help from and you can check us up for any help you need. is a platform that helps everyone with tips on how to write good essays. If you are looking for uniqueness, reach out and you will find all the help you need.



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