"Creative Nonfiction focuses on real events that a writer has either directly experienced or has learned about in various forms, such as observation and research, that are connected to the writer’s life. Essential elements of the Fiction genre are employed, including a narrative plot structure with scenes (people and subjects in action), memorable and descriptive details, and character development. However, an important difference between the two genres is that successful Creative Nonfiction requires the portrayal of ‘truth’ (what has actually occurred), along with thoughtful reflection of the events on the writer’s life, to convey meanings and significance that go beyond individual experience." (English 414 Course Description)
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According to The Fundamentals of Literary Criticism, the critical process is comprised of four steps:
Step I: Interpretation
What is this text actually about?
Now is the time to:
Step II: Orientation
It is easy to become caught up in the author's point of view and reject a text.
Before doing so, consider:
Step III: Evaluation
After steps I and II, evaluation of a work often arises naturally. A true evaluation of a work occurs when the reader is certain they see the literary work as it was intended to or should be seen. At this point, the reader forms their judgment of a work, whether it is good or bad and why. This is done without attributing personal tastes to the work.
Step IV: Articulation
At this point, the reader is ready to share their ideas with others. By taking action, the reader opens themselves up to others' critical opinions of works, allowing a dialog to begin.
Roberts, Mark. The Fundamentals of Literary Criticism. Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell Limited, 1974. Print.