Five Writers Who Break The Rules

A list of gutsy authors who break the rules

I thought I was writing creative non-fiction but now I don’t know.

I’ve only recently considered researching my stories before writing them.

I thought telling an honest story was enough but, now that I’m entering an MFA program in Creative Non-Fiction, the readings have me thinking otherwise.

So many non-fiction writers look down on writers who only use themselves as points of reference.

But then I think of Lewis Carroll

I started reading Lewis Carroll poems from this website I found while I was at work.

The people in the meeting were discussing upcoming marketing promotions for something that I knew nothing about and I sat there feeling wholly invisible and vacant.

You know, that feeling of being around people but none of those people are around. Do I need to research that feeling before I write about it or can I just write about it?

Chris Kraus

I read book after book written by Chris Kraus while I was suffering from strange pains in my pelvis and hand.

I continue to be drawn to her ability to give feeling to fact.

She certainly uses research and references to tell her stories but the real fact of her writing, to me, is her “I”.

Sheila Heti

I hear great criticism of Shelia Heti in the narrative non-fiction world. They call her work auto-fiction. It’s true, her stories are hard to believe at face value but I don’t think she’s asking us to believe that she’s conveying reality. I think she’s asking us to follow the experience she has in her body as she lives through a slice of life. Her story won’t be exact because as she lived it, she suffered and suffering destroys objectivity.

Henry Miller

I read Henry Miller when I was in my early twenties and it’s because of him that I keep diaries. It is also because of him that I have become ok with feeling alienated.

Frederico Fellini

If you’ve made it this far in the article and you don’t know know who Fellini is, take a break right now and watch one of his films. Actually, let’s all watch 8 1/2 tonight. The day I first saw that movie was the day I realized that stories have infinite possibilites.

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