My P.O.V: Nothing But The Truth
A Study of Narrative Non-Fiction
One of my favorite authors, David Sedaris, once said, ""If I sit at my computer, determined to write a New Yorker story I won’t get beyond the first sentence. It’s better to put no pressure on it.” Pressure. That’s a word most people equate with 11th grade. One of the pressures is writing a college essay, your chance to express who you are in a short piece. This may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. The college essay is nothing more than a really well crafted piece of narrative non-fiction. So, what is narrative non-fiction, anyway?
The genre we are studying goes by many names: Narrative Non Fiction, Creative Non Fiction, Literary Non-Fiction. Whatever we name it, good writers use the qualities of good writing no matter the genre. Narrative non-fiction (the name we will use!) writers use the tools of what is traditionally called creative writing to tell true stories. By using the tools of creative writing, these writers are able to pull us in to their world.
For the next month or so, we will embark upon a new study of this genre. More specifically, we are looking at personal, auto-biographical stories. Writing about yourself creatively can feel like quite a challenge. So, why reinvent the wheel? Good writers always look to those who have come before them for inspiration. By first studying narrative non-fiction, we will come to our own decisions about what makes "good" narrative non-fiction. Then we will use these qualities in our own writing.
Throughout this unit you will read and you will write, write, write...this is a chance to dig in and consider your personal philosophies, a chance to remember the indelible moments of your life, a chance to make sense of the moments that define who you are.
A (very brief) Overview
The Beginning: A study of narrative non-fiction, reading The Color of Water memoir as a whole class text
The Middle: Brainstorming and writing our personal essays (College Essay and This I Believe) and reading an independent memoir
The End: (First week of June) Polishing our College Essays, creating a college application folder on google docs
Outcomes you will "see" at least once: Create, Discern, Communicate, Collaborate, Be Precise, Argue, Plan, Innovate