About the book
This handy guide begins by defining creative nonfiction. Then it explores the flexibility of the form—the liberties and the boundaries that allow writers to be as truthful, factual, and artful as possible. A succinct but rich compendium of ideas, terms, and techniques, Keep It Real will clarify the ins and outs of writing creative nonfiction. Starting with the acknowledgment of sources, then running through fact-checking, metaphor and navel gazing, and ending with writers’ responsibilities to their subjects. This book provides all the information writers need to write with verve while remaining true to their story.
The popularity of creative nonfiction ... is hardly a surprise, and writers new to it would do well to start by perusing this slim tome on the subject. Editor Lee Gutkind is one of the pioneers in the field, and the advice he offers is straightforward, well organized, and useful. Brief chapters discuss everything from writing montages, to the narrative voice, to writing about family members, to reconstructing past events, to different points of view. Largely practical and eminently helpful, Keep It Real is the perfect book for those taking their first steps into this versatile and (relatively) brave new writing world.
—Michael G. Cornelius
Bloomsbury Review, April 1, 2008
Who says that non-fiction has to be just the facts and nothing else? Keep It Real ... is a guide for writers who are set to write nonfiction but want to do it with some flare. ... Highly recommended for anyone who wants to dive into this field.
—James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review, May, 2008
In "Keep It Real," editor Lee Gutkind and a passel of experienced nonfiction writers have teamed up to write a stimulating and informative collection of short, digestible chapters on the marvels and pitfalls of creative nonfiction. ... The organizational approach of "Keep It Real"--chapters on topics arranged alphabetically--seems haphazard at first, but the juxtaposition of practical advice and less-tangible aspects of the craft make for a pleasing eclecticism. A chapter called Compression is followed by Defamation and Libel; The Lyric Essay follows Legal Responsibilities of Publishers. There are fascinating disquisitions on the nature of memory and truth.
Although this is not a "how to" book, the authors define and describe the genre with specificity and good examples, generating plenty of options and approaches.
The Seattle Times, June 27, 2008