Propelled by Story, Constrained by Truth: Exploring the Boundaries of Narrative Nonfiction
March 14, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Instructor: Chris Register
$60 Members | $65 Nonmembers
Saturday, 3/14/20 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Narrative nonfiction authors face many decisions along their journey from proposal to print. Whether curating material for a historical snapshot, recreating conversations for a travelogue, or painting a scene for a memoir, the challenges are the same: where to begin, what to tell and leave out (and in what order), how much dialogue versus backstory to employ, and—of course—that elephant in the writing room: to what extent are we constrained by the truth?
The path among these questions is generally one writers forge on our own, guided by our personal styles and criteria. What we share, however, is the desire to convey engrossing stories that captivate our readers. In this seminar, we’ll employ examples of great storytelling to:
- examine strategies for merging fact and craft;
- discuss how different target audiences might respond to different approaches, and;
- address specific challenges faced by students in composing their respective stories.
Unwilling to let the pollsters and pundits define his country, Charlottesville’s Chris Register traded his ergonomic lawyer’s chair for a stiff bicycle seat and set out to uncover the truth about the state of the nation today. After interviewing hundreds of everyday Americans over 16,000 miles of solo bicycle travel, Chris put down the kickstand and began writing Conversations With US – Great Lakes States, the first in a multi-volume series documenting this epic survey of the United States. His latest adventure involves moving from pedal to prose to print with his publishing company, Spoke & Word Books.