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The numerous literary and creative devices used within fiction are generally thought inappropriate for use in nonfiction.
In the title essay, ruminations on her early failures build to a comparison of the novels of Henry James and E. All of this is seamlessly brought to bear on her own work.
It’s a dazzling demonstration of literary criticism combined with personal writing, and it will interest readers accustomed to filling their books with marginalia.
Despite the truth of nonfiction, it is often necessary to persuade the reader to agree with the ideas and so a balanced, coherent and informed argument is vital.
However, the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction are continually blurred and argued upon, especially in the field of biography; as Virginia Woolf said: "if we think of truth as something of granite-like solidity and of personality as something of rainbow-like intangibility and reflect that the aim of biography is to weld these two into one seamless whole, we shall admit that the problem is a stiff one and that we need not wonder if biographers, for the most part failed to solve it." e.g. Common literary examples of nonfiction include expository, argumentative, functional, and opinion pieces; essays on art or literature; biographies; memoirs; journalism; and historical, scientific, technical, or economic writings (including electronic ones).
Rarely is such a complex understanding of the elements of fiction (see E. Forster) presented in such palatable terms (see Stephen King).
The feat is not to be missed, and this book deserves a wider audience than what it will find in graduate writing workshops.The question was how to manage those expectations…without causing either boredom or frustration.” Incredibly, Livesey writes about writing to avoid boredom and frustration in a way that risks neither.She boldly proposes six “rules governing romance” that are too good to spoil here.If you’ve ever tried and failed to write a novel, then you should read this book.Nonfiction's specific factual assertions and descriptions may or may not be accurate, and can give either a true or a false account of the subject in question.Then, quite suddenly, I am at the top, standing on a broad plateau littered with broken rocks as if a giant with a hammer had vented his rage.”This paragraph is remarkable in that it’s from the opening of an essay on the role of research in fiction.In other hands, such an essay could easily become erudite, academic, and dull, but Livesey doesn’t allow for boredom, slipping in captivating descriptions and personal details to drive home critical points.Simplicity, clarity and directness are some of the most important considerations when producing nonfiction.Audience is important in any artistic or descriptive endeavor, but it is perhaps most important in nonfiction.Livesey approaches the subject of writing fiction with a mix of pragmatic explanation and personal story.We visit and revisit the Scottish all-boys boarding school where her father taught when she was a teenager, we’re with her when she learns of her stepmother’s death, and we follow her up a small mountain in Iceland:“The track leading to it follows the shore of a small lake fringed with rushes.