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Students new to creative nonfiction invariably wrestle with the concept of telling their own truths, and are either unsettled or relieved by the idea that how and why we remember an occurrence is not the same as a factual record of that same occurrence. Keeping a diary can be droll, and can feel somewhat meaningless.
Well, who cares? And neither did Didion. Jotting down the thoughts I have now, the things that surprise me today, the moments that inspire me throughout the year.
We discuss the value of the technique, the way it works here, and how a mis en scene technique can fail in lesser hands. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess.