An Analysis of Narrative and Voice in Creative Nonfiction


  • Michael Pickett National University



Narratological Framework, Narratological Relationships, Creative Nonfiction


This manuscript surveys and analyzes the relationships between 25 published essays identified in the book In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction using Jahn’s (2003) narratological framework in an attempt to identify the narratological relationships between fiction and creative nonfiction and to analyze creative nonfiction through a narratological framework created for fiction.All of the surveyed stories contained many indicators that contribute to a deepened engagement for the readers, however at the individual writer level; the lowest common denominator is each writer’s ability to forge ahead and continue to create a narrative that develops meaning for the readers beyond the mere reporting of events.Areas identified for further research includes experimental research in the areas of cross-cultural cognitive models that could provide insights concerning the existence of an unreliable narrator within narrative discourse. In addition research could be pursued in the areas of structural discourse of the narrative, much like Jahn’s model, yet somewhat more cognitive juxtaposing the more psychological aspects of narrative discourse to the structural components.


Alonso, Pilar. “The Conceptual Integration Network Model as Paradigm for Analysis of Complex Narrative Discourse.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 37. 2 (2004): 161-181.

California Civil Code. California Law: Civil Code Section 1595-1599. September 7, 2005


Gutkind, Lee. Creative Nonfiction: Lee Gutkind Editor and Founder Speaks Out. January 11, 2006 < >

Gutkind, Lee. In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton. 2005.

Herman, David. “Scripts, Sequences, and Stories: Elements of Postclassical Narratology.” Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 112 (1997): 1046-1059.

Jahn, Manfred. “Frames, Preferences, and the Reading of Third-Person Narratives: Towards a Cognitive Narratology.” Poetics Today 18. 4 (1997): 441-468.

Jahn, Manfred. “Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative.” Part III of Poems, Plays, and Prose: A Guide to the Literary Genres. March 29, 2005 <>

Richardson, Brian. “Fiction and its Other.” Novel 32. 3 (1999): 444-445.

Schneider, Ralf. “Toward a Cognitive Theory of Literary Character: The Dynamics of Mental Model Construction.” Style 35. 4 (2001): 607-640.

Simms, Patsy. Literary Nonfiction: Learning by Example. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Valken, Maaten. “Literature and Quality Non-Fiction: What’s the Difference?” Publishing Research Quarterly 14. 2 (1998): 3-5.